Master of Financial Engineering Program

International Applicants

Who is an International Applicant?

You are considered an international applicant if you are not a United States citizen or US Permanent Resident at the time you apply to the MFE Program. Heightened security and a lengthy visa process make it imperative that applicants from outside the United States submit application materials as early as possible.


Graduates of recognized academic institutions outside the United States should have completed degree programs representing a minimum of 16 years of schooling with at least 12 years at the primary and secondary levels. The University's Graduate Division reviews the academic records of all applicants whose undergraduate degrees were earned outside the US to determine whether the academic credentials presented for a foreign institution are comparable to the US bachelor's degree. Further, the Graduate Division decides whether the TOEFL or other English proficiency exam is required in the case of each applicant.

Minimum qualifications for several countries are listed below. Please see the Application Packet for complete information:

  • Asian Countries of Japan, Korea, People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and Thailand. A bachelor's degree requiring a minimum of four years of study.
  • Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa. An Honours bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree whose program represents four years of study.
  • Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan. A bachelor's degree that represents four or more years of course work such as the B. Engineering, the B. Technology, and the B. Architecture, or a master's degree in a nonengineering or technical field.
  • Central and Latin America, Mexico, Portugal, Spain. A Licenciado or Titulo.
  • East European States. A Bakalar, Diplom or Diploma, Inzenr, Licenta, Magister, or Oklevél diploma requiring a minimum of four years of study.
  • Former Soviet Republics. Bakalavr, Inzenÿr, Magister, or Specialista requiring a minimum of four years of study.
  • French or French-Style Schools and Universities. The DiplÔme, Maîtrise, or a professional title such as the Ingénieur.
  • Germany. The Diplom or Magister Artium. Holders of the Vordiplom or Zwischenprüfung may be considered for admission only on an exceptional basis.
  • United Kingdom and British-Style Schools and Universities. An Honours bachelors degree.

Financial Aid

As an international applicant, you should be aware that financial aid may be limited and should be prepared to provide your own financial support and healthcare coverage. If you are admitted to the MFE Program, you will need to submit proof of adequate funding for your studies. Please see our information regarding international student loans for more information on how to obtain funding for the MFE Program through loans. U.S. embassies will not grant a visa without this information.


International Applicants are required to turn in one official copy of all transcripts and degree certificates. Transcripts and degree certificates must be sent directly to the MFE office from the academic institution(s). Records or transcripts must be issued in the original language and if necessary, accompanied by official English translations prepared by the institution's authorized official, such as a registrar or recorder. Please pay attention to the instructions on the online Application regarding transcripts and degree certificates.

Working in the US

In order to complete the MFE program, students are required to do a 10-12 week internship with a company. To be eligible to work in the US, students must either be citizens or have an immigration status that allows work permission. Most international students participating in the MFE program obtain either the F-1 or J-1 student status, both which do allow work permission during and after completion of studies. Berkeley International Office can advise international students on the most appropriate status for the MFE program if you are unsure.

If you are or will be in the US as a non-immigrant worker (H-1, L-1, E-2, other) prior to the MFE program start date, contact the Berkeley International Office before terminating your job to determine the proper status for you to begin your program of study. In most cases, an application for "Change of Status" to F-1 or J-1 must be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before you quit your job.

Spouses on F-2 visas are not permitted to accept employment. If your accompanying spouse wishes to work, both of you should consider entering the country on J visas. For more information, please contact the Berkeley International Office.

English Proficiency

All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and non-English-speaking countries in Africa.

If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a U.S. university, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must submit an official transcript from the U.S. university. Graduate Division will accept either TOEFL or IELTS scores. TOEFL scores are valid for two years and should not be older than June 1, 2015 for Spring 2018 entry. For the TOEFL, your most recent score must be at least 570 for the paper-and-pencil test, at least 230 for the computer-based test, or at least 90 for the Next Generation internet-based test . When ordering TOEFL reports use institution code 4833, select "Graduate School" (not "Graduate School of Management") and department code 82.

For IELTS, your most recent overall BAND score must be at least 7 on a 9-point scale. IELTS Tests taken before June 2015 will not be accepted by Graduate Admissions. You are responsible for providing us with an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS. Remember to order the TRF when you register to take the test.

Admission Decision

MFE admissions will notify all international applicants that their applications have been received and are considered ready for review. However, final decisions on foreign academic records and English proficiency remain with the Graduate Division.