Mfe Application Essay

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Application Requirements

To apply to the MFE Program, applicants must submit an online application. The MFE Program no longer has a paper application. To be considered for admission, an applicant must have successfully completed the following:

University Transcripts

Proof of a valid degree from an accredited institution, comparable to the four-year Bachelor's Degree from UC Berkeley. Applicants should have sufficient training to undertake graduate study in the chosen field and a satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum of 3.0 in upper division work.


Applicants need to demonstrate a strong quantitative background including linear algebra, multivariate calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis, and advanced statistics and probability. Check the Prerequisite Course List for details. You should also have prior exposure in computer programming (C, C++) and familiarity with computers as a computational and management tool.

In some cases, applicants may be admitted conditional on the successful completion of one or more recommended courses before enrollment in the program. For more information please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

GMAT or GRE Score Reports

We require either the GMAT or GRE. All GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years and should not be older than April 1, 2013 for Spring 2018 entry. When ordering GRE scores, use institution code 4833 and department code 4399. For GMAT scores, use program code N2V-PT-87. Applicants who will hold a PhD degree before December 31, 2017 can waive the GRE requirement. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

When selecting score recipients on the day of the test, or sending additional score reports through the GRE website, test takers should type the name or partial name of the department, e.g. "Business", and the computer will list all department codes that match alphabetically. Test takers should NOT enter a department code number because the computer does not conduct a numeric match. To illustrate, please see this screen shot with U CA Berkeley selected as the score recipient.

Test takers are asked to enter the four digit department code only if they are sending scores through the automated phone service. When sending scores online or on the day of the test, they should type in the name of the department, not the numeric code.

Two Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation. Letters should come from individuals who are familiar with your training in quantitative methods and their remarks should address your ability to apply your quantitative skills. Recommendation letters should be written by an individual in a position to evaluate you either professionally or academically (e.g., a supervisor, project leader, or instructor). Recommendations from co-workers, friends or family members are inadmissible.


Interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis. Please refrain from contacting the office to request an interview. You will be contacted by the MFE Program office if an interview is necessary to make a decision on your application

  • Who is interviewed: As we state in the application, the interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis. As such, we ask that you please do not contact us to schedule an interview unless we have already reached out to you to do so. Not all candidates are invited to interview.
  • Interview purpose: The purpose of the interview is for the admissions committee to gain a better understanding of your skillset and to understand what you may need to do in order to better prepare for the program should you be offered the hold or admit status.
  • Role of the Interviewer: The interviewers are not members of the admissions committee, nor do the interviews determine the admissions decisions. What is covered in the interview?: Interviews can cover a range of topics, but please note that if a subject is part of the prerequisite skillset for the MFE program, or if it is noted on your resume, then it may be covered during the interview.
  • Multiple interviews: Sometimes we interview a candidate more than once. This is because at times, the admissions committee has further questions and wishes to know more about a candidate than was covered in the interview.
  • Post-Interview: We ask that you do not contact the interviewers with questions about your admissions status, or about "how the interview went", as the interviewer will not be able to answer these questions. If you do have questions, you are encouraged to send them to the admissions committee,
  • Application Cycle

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants may submit a complete application starting from December to November each year. Please remember that there is no fall admission; the MFE Program begins in March of every year. For application deadline dates click here.

    Special Circumstances: The MFE Program does not accept any credits or transfers from other universities. All admission decisions are final, and there is no appeals process.

    Please note that students who are offered admission will be given a deadline to submit the first fee payment installment. If the deadline is not met, we reserve the right to rescind our offer of admission.

    If you have questions about your application, please direct them to or please call (510) 642-4417. Please do not direct application questions to individual staff or faculty members.

    Our Round 4 Deadline is coming up on October 2 - that’s 5 days from today! - for Spring 2018 start. 

    We know applying to grad school can seem overwhelming, and we understand you have commitments to school, work, and others.  But if you’re committed to pursuing a career in finance, data science, or fintech, we want to help you get there. 

    The first step is submitting your application - and we show you exactly how to do that within the next 5 days:

    Day 1

    1. Register for your Berkeley MFE Online Application Login Account HERE.
    2. Fill out Personal Data I - you'll breeze right through this since you already have all the answers!
    3. Gather all required documents - transcripts, certificates, etc.
    4. Think about who you want to write your recommendation letters (2) and reach out to them. 

    Don't worry, recommenders can take a few extra days to complete their letters and submit after the October 2 deadline.  Of course, the Admissions Committee cannot review your application until all materials are received.

    Day 2

    1. Enter recommenders' information to send electronic requests or print out the form to hand to your recommenders.
    2. Fill out Personal Data II - just a few more background questions.
    3. Review the Essays topics and draft your answers offline.  There are only 3 questions with a max word of 250 each, about 1-2 paragraphs.  The online application will timeout so we recommend working offline and pasting them in later.
    4. Short Essay Questions - some questions may not apply to you so enter "N/A" where appropriate.

    Day 3

    1. Proficiency Requirements - list all prerequisite courses you've completed.  Courses in progress should be included in Short Essay Question #1.
    2. Complete Employment section - list ALL professional experience (including internships, part-time work, research, etc.)
    3. Fill out Education section - list all institutions from which you received a degree or completed prerequisite courses.  For MOOCs (e.g. Coursera, edX, etc.), CFA, FRM, choose "Other" under "Instutitions." 
    4. Upload copies of official transcripts and/or certificates of completion for degrees and completed prerequisite courses.

    Day 4

    1. Flesh out your drafts and input Essays in the online application.  Do not use special formatting - plain text works best.
    2. Enter your Test Scores (GMAT / GRE, TOEFL / IELTS) as relevant.  Haven't taken the exams yet?  Add your future test date and email unofficial scores ASAP after submitting your application!
    3. Update your Resume and upload the one-page PDF file.
    4. Take a breather - you're practically done!

    Day 5

    1. It's a new day - do a final review of your application with that fresh set of eyes.  Check for accuracy and correct typos.
    2. Carefully review the Applicant Acknowledgment and verify the statement.
    3. Pay Application Fee Online.
    4. The final step - Submit Application!

    Easy, right?  You've started the journey and there are still 6 months for you to continue preparing for the start of the Berkeley MFE in March 2018.  It's a life-changing experience, and we're with you every step of the way. 

    As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.  We look forward to receiving your application soon!

    For the most up-to-date info, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Learn more about the Berkeley MFE Program and how we can help you launch your career by going to our website.


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