Admis­sion to the Energy and Resources Group

The Energy and Resources Group seeks stu­dents who have excelled aca­d­e­m­i­cally, what­ever their dis­ci­pline; who show promise of abil­ity to cross dis­ci­pli­nary bound­aries; and who want not only to under­stand prob­lems of energy, resources, and envi­ron­ment but to help solve them.

ERG delib­er­ately admits stu­dents with a wide vari­ety of inter­ests, per­spec­tives, dis­ci­plines, research meth­ods, and expe­ri­ence so that each can help the oth­ers see the whole picture.

Admis­sion to ERG is highly com­pet­i­tive, with a class of approx­i­mately 21 stu­dents (Master’s and Ph.D. com­bined) selected annu­ally from approx­i­mately 300 applicants.

Those admit­ted to the pro­gram have strong aca­d­e­mic records and let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, bal­anced and strong GRE scores, and, where applic­a­ble, related work expe­ri­ence and pub­li­ca­tions. The state­ment of pur­pose, sup­ple­mented by the per­sonal his­tory state­ment, is vital in demon­strat­ing an applicant’s com­mit­ment to the program.

You may apply to the two-year Master’s Degree (M.S. or M.A.), ERG/Public Pol­icy Con­cur­rent Master’s Degree or the Ph.D. pro­gram. Within the Master’s appli­ca­tions there is check­box to indi­cate your inter­est in the Master’s/Ph.D. Track.

The online appli­ca­tion for Fall 2016 admis­sion to ERG’s grad­u­ate pro­grams will be avail­able on Sep­tem­ber 8, 2015. The dead­line for fil­ing appli­ca­tions is Fri­day, Decem­ber 4, 2015. Admis­sions deci­sions will be announced in Spring 2016. ERG admits stu­dents only in the Fall term. You can learn more about the grad­u­ate pro­grams at UC Berke­ley and access the appli­ca­tion on the Grad­u­ate Divi­sion web­site here.

The appli­ca­tion dead­line for the con­cur­rent degree pro­grams with the Gold­man School of Pub­lic Pol­icy is Tues­day, Decem­ber 1, 2015. Admis­sion deci­sions for this degree is deter­mined by the School of Pub­lic Pol­icy. Con­tact them directly for fur­ther information.

Notice on Late Doc­u­ments for Admis­sion Appli­ca­tions for Fall 2016:
(Please note this does NOT apply to Pub­lic Pol­icy Con­cur­rent Degree appli­cants; for these appli­cants all doc­u­ments are due Dec. 1.)

  • Let­ters of Rec­om­men­da­tion: ERG will accept Let­ters of Rec­om­men­da­tion until Jan­u­ary 8, 2016. Your rec­om­menders will be able to use their link to access your file until that date. You will be able to see when their let­ter is uploaded to your file, and also will be able to send them reminders through the online appli­ca­tion system.
  • TOEFL, IELTS and GRE: ERG will accept test scores until Jan­u­ary 8, 2016. Please self-report your unof­fi­cial score results before Decem­ber 4, 2015 if possible.

For ques­tions con­tact erggrad@​berkeley.​edu.




Admis­sion to the Master’s Pro­gram (MA or MS)

The pur­pose of the ERG Master’s pro­gram is to edu­cate the next gen­er­a­tion of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary lead­ers. Specif­i­cally, stu­dents are taught the range of meth­ods and sub­jects they should be able to under­stand, advance, and cri­tique to address crit­i­cal issues stem­ming from the inter­ac­tion of humans and the envi­ron­ment. To that end, the require­ments for the ERG Master’s degree are both broad and deep, stress­ing ana­lytic, method­olog­i­cal, the­o­ret­i­cal, and prac­ti­cal approaches to prob­lems in energy, resources, and the environment.

The course require­ments pro­vide for a sub­stan­tive intro­duc­tion to the dis­ci­pli­nary approaches that are employed in study­ing energy and resource issues. The require­ments also ensure expe­ri­ence in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary analy­sis applied to a key resource con­cern. The cur­ricu­lum pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity — through a top­i­cal clus­ter and an inde­pen­dent project — to extend and deepen the areas of inves­ti­ga­tion and under­stand­ing to sat­isfy the intel­lec­tual inter­ests of each student.

The cur­ricu­lum is intended to serve those stu­dents for whom the Master’s degree will be the final for­mal edu­ca­tion in sup­port of a pro­fes­sional career and also those stu­dents who intend to con­tinue their edu­ca­tion, for exam­ple by pur­su­ing a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources.

The min­i­mum require­ment for admis­sion to the Master’s Degree pro­gram is com­ple­tion of a Bachelor’s degree or its equiv­a­lent at a fully accred­ited U.S. insti­tu­tion of higher learn­ing or for­eign equiv­a­lent. Because the pro­gram is fun­da­men­tally inter­dis­ci­pli­nary, there are no other for­mal require­ments for con­sid­er­a­tion, although, as dis­cussed above, suc­cess­ful can­di­dates will demon­strate aca­d­e­mic and intel­lec­tual excel­lence.  Please review the UC Berke­ley Grad­u­ate Divi­sion min­i­mum require­ments for admis­sion as a grad­u­ate stu­dent at http://​grad​.berke​ley​.edu/.

Click here for details on the Master’s Degree curriculum.

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Admis­sion to the Master’s/Ph.D. Track

A small num­ber of highly qual­i­fied appli­cants will be selected for the Master’s/Ph.D. Track. The Track is both an indi­ca­tion of your intent to con­tinue to the Ph.D. pro­gram at ERG, and ERG’s expec­ta­tion that you will to be qual­i­fied to con­tinue to doc­toral work after sat­is­fy­ing the Master’s Degree require­ments.  It does not oblig­ate you, or ERG, to your even­tual matric­u­la­tion to the Ph.D. Can­di­dates admit­ted into the joint Master’s/Ph.D. track will be expected to com­plete all the require­ments of the ERG Master’s Degree before con­tin­u­ing. Can­di­dates for admis­sion to the Master’s pro­gram whose ulti­mate goal is to con­tinue on for a Ph.D. at ERG should select either the MA or MS degree appli­ca­tion and select the Master/s Ph.D. Track checkbox. Other Master’s stu­dents may apply to the Ph.D. pro­gram upon suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the two-year Master’s program.

Click for infor­ma­tion on con­tin­u­ing from the Master’s to the Ph.D.

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Admis­sion to the Con­cur­rent ERG Master’s/Public Pol­icy Degree Pro­gram

The Energy and Resources Group (ERG) and the The Gold­man School of Pub­lic Pol­icy (GSPP) offer a MPP-ERG (MA or MS) con­cur­rent degree pro­gram that inte­grates the strengths of pub­lic pol­icy ana­lyt­i­cal tools with the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary knowl­edge and exper­tise in energy and resources. Stu­dents com­plete both pro­grams in three years and receive a Master’s of Pub­lic Pol­icy (MPP) as well as a Master’s Degree in Energy and Resources (MA or MS).

Appli­cants sub­mit one appli­ca­tion that is reviewed by the two pro­grams inde­pen­dently. The online appli­ca­tion form is avail­able here. Appli­cants may be offered admis­sion to one of the pro­grams or to both con­cur­rently. Fund­ing may come from either or both programs.

Click for details on the con­cur­rent degree pro­gram curriculum.

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Admis­sion to the Ph.D. Program

Stu­dents admit­ted directly to the Ph.D. pro­gram must have a two-year Master’s Degree from a fully accred­ited U.S. insti­tu­tion of higher learn­ing or for­eign equiv­a­lent.  They also must be able to demon­strate a highly inter­dis­ci­pli­nary aca­d­e­mic back­ground, either through a com­bi­na­tion of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree course­work, or an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Master’s pro­gram equiv­a­lent in breadth and depth to the ERG Master’s pro­gram.  Doc­toral stu­dents must also demon­strate their readi­ness for inde­pen­dent research with no addi­tional foun­da­tional work required.

Appli­ca­tions from stu­dents with one-year Master’s degrees, or with single-discipline pro­fes­sional degrees (e.g., law, pub­lic health) will usu­ally be redi­rected to the ERG Master’s pro­gram for consideration.

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How to Apply to ERG

Admis­sions Process

Appli­ca­tion to ERG opens the first week of Sep­tem­ber, and closes the first Fri­day in Decem­ber.  We admit stu­dents only in the fall term. Let­ters of Rec­om­men­da­tion and final tran­scripts will be accepted after the ini­tial dead­line, until the first Fri­day in Jan­u­ary.  You must apply to ERG and elec­tron­i­cally upload all sup­port­ing doc­u­ments using the appro­pri­ate UC Berke­ley Grad­u­ate School online appli­ca­tion here. Paper appli­ca­tions will not be accepted.

All appli­ca­tions are reviewed by an anony­mous Admis­sions Com­mit­tee com­posed of mem­bers of ERG core fac­ulty, selected stu­dents, and fac­ulty affil­i­ates. Final rec­om­men­da­tions for admis­sions are made by ERG core fac­ulty to the Grad­u­ate Divi­sion of UC Berke­ley. Admis­sions noti­fi­ca­tions will be sent to appli­cants by March 1. Fund­ing and fel­low­ship pack­ages may be pre­sented sep­a­rately from admis­sions offers.

For more infor­ma­tion about fund­ing your grad­u­ate stud­ies, click here.


Rec­om­mended Prepa­ra­tion for Study at ERG

We highly rec­om­mend at least one term of college-level cal­cu­lus and courses in fun­da­men­tal sci­ence (physics, chem­istry, biol­ogy, etc.), as well as four or more upper-division social sci­ence (polit­i­cal sci­ence, soci­ol­ogy, anthro­pol­ogy, etc.) and human­i­ties courses.

Please also see the Grad­u­ate Divi­sion web­site at for details on the min­i­mum campus-wide require­ments for admis­sion to U.C. Berke­ley grad­u­ate pro­grams. Details on the require­ments spe­cific to inter­na­tional appli­cants   can be found there as well.


The Appli­ca­tion

1. State­ment of Pur­pose and Per­sonal His­tory State­ment
ERG places con­sid­er­able weight the State­ment of Pur­pose and the Per­sonal His­tory State­ment. We pre­fer state­ments that are 500‑1000 words each.

  • The State­ment of Purpose (SOP) is a forward-looking state­ment. A good SOP demon­strates that you can think crit­i­cally and deeply about top­ics that are rel­e­vant to your intended area of study. You should dis­cuss your prior expe­ri­ences here, but in the con­text of how those expe­ri­ences serve your future goals. One model for writ­ing the SOP is to map out a prob­lem space, con­vey knowl­edge about rel­e­vant exist­ing efforts, and pro­vide a vision for mak­ing an impact. But there is no “right” way to write the SOP; ulti­mately, we are look­ing for things like cre­ativ­ity, matu­rity, and crit­i­cal think­ing. If you are apply­ing for admis­sion direct to the Ph.D., your SOP might include a refined set of meth­ods you would like to study and ques­tions you would like to pur­sue in your dissertation.
  • The Per­sonal His­tory State­ment (PHS) is a ret­ro­spec­tive state­ment. A good PHS is intro­spec­tive, helps us to under­stand how your expe­ri­ences moti­vate you to go to grad­u­ate school. The PHS can also be a place to demon­strate lead­er­ship skills, obsta­cles over­come, and self-motivation. Use the PHS to give us per­spec­tive that we can’t get from read­ing the other parts of your application.

2. Tran­scripts
Unof­fi­cial copies of your tran­scripts will be accepted for the appli­ca­tion. If you are admit­ted, you will be required to sub­mit offi­cial tran­scripts for all college-level work. For course­work com­pleted in the fall term of your admis­sions cycle, ERG will accept amended tran­scripts and late grade reports until the first Fri­day in Jan­u­ary.  There is a sec­tion of the appli­ca­tion that will allow you to doc­u­ment course­work in progress.

3. Let­ters of Rec­om­men­da­tion
ERG requires three let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, and will accept up to five.  You are wel­come to use rec­om­menders from your pro­fes­sional as well as your aca­d­e­mic career. At least one let­ter must be from a pro­fes­sor who is in a posi­tion to assess your poten­tial for advanced aca­d­e­mic work.

It is strongly pre­ferred that your rec­om­menders use the UC Berke­ley online por­tal to upload let­ters to your appli­ca­tion. On your appli­ca­tion, you will find a sec­tion that asks you for name and email address for your rec­om­menders. When you sub­mit that infor­ma­tion, the sys­tem will auto­mat­i­cally send an email request to your rec­om­menders with a link where they can upload their rec­om­men­da­tion let­ter as a pdf. You should review your appli­ca­tion peri­od­i­cally to see if the let­ters from your rec­om­menders have been uploaded. You will have the option to elec­tron­i­cally send a reminder request. If a rec­om­mender is unable or unwill­ing to upload a let­ter elec­tron­i­cally, we will accept hard copies mailed in a sealed enve­lope (with sig­na­ture over the seal) to: CONFIDENTIAL Admis­sions, Energy & Resources Group, 310 Bar­rows Hall #3050, Berke­ley, CA 94720–3050. We will then upload the let­ter to your file for them.

4. GRE scores
All appli­cants are required to sub­mit GRE scores. Inter­na­tional appli­cant GRE scores will be viewed with an under­stand­ing of the chal­lenges of tak­ing this test in a sec­ond lan­guage.  ETS trans­mits scores to UC Berke­ley directly, but you may self-report scores until we are able to ver­ify your offi­cial score. To sub­mit your offi­cial score, on your test reg­is­tra­tion list the Berke­ley Grad­u­ate Divi­sion insti­tu­tional code 4833. You do not need a depart­ment code. We rec­om­mend tak­ing the GRE no later than Octo­ber. To be valid, the GRE must have been taken within the past 5 years.

5. Lan­guage Pro­fi­ciency Scores
Inter­na­tional appli­cants from coun­tries in which the offi­cial lan­guage is not Eng­lish must pro­vide offi­cial evi­dence of Eng­lish pro­fi­ciency. There are two stan­dard­ized tests you may take: the Test of Eng­lish as a For­eign Lan­guage (TOEFL), and the Inter­na­tional Eng­lish Lan­guage Test­ing Sys­tem (IELTS).

To sub­mit your TOEFL score, on your test reg­is­tra­tion please list the insti­tu­tion code for Berke­ley, 4833. You do not need a depart­ment code. Scores more than two years old will not be accepted. For more infor­ma­tion about lan­guage test­ing and scores, as well as appli­cants from which coun­tries will be required to sub­mit scores, please refer to the Grad­u­ate Divi­sion website.

For more infor­ma­tion on lan­guage pro­fi­ciency require­ments and con­di­tions for test waivers, please see the Berke­ley Grad­u­ate Divi­sion Admis­sions pages here.

6. Con­tact­ing Fac­ulty
At ERG, stu­dents are admit­ted to the pro­gram as a whole, and not under the aus­pices of any par­tic­u­lar fac­ulty mem­ber. You do not need to iden­tify or solicit endorse­ment from a fac­ulty mem­ber who will sup­port your research finan­cially or aca­d­e­m­i­cally.  It is not nec­es­sary or rec­om­mended to con­tact the Chair or any mem­ber of the ERG fac­ulty in order to sub­mit an appli­ca­tion.  It is, how­ever, help­ful to include names of pro­fes­sors whose inter­ests are aligned with yours.

7. Admis­sions Guid­ance
If you have ques­tions about the appli­ca­tion process or the pro­gram, please con­tact the Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Affairs Offi­cer at erggrad@​berkeley.​edu.

Click to go to ERG Admis­sions FAQ.

Click for more on fund­ing your grad­u­ate studies.

For more infor­ma­tion about the campus-wide Berke­ley Grad­u­ate Divi­sion admis­sions require­ments, please go to http://​grad​.berke​ley​.edu/​a​d​m​i​s​s​i​o​n​s​/​r​e​q​u​i​r​e​m​e​n​ts/

Inter­na­tional appli­cants should also visit the Berke­ley Inter­na­tional Office (BIO) web­site at http://​inter​na​tion​alof​fice​.berke​ley​.edu/

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Matric­u­la­tion from the Master’s of Master’s/Ph.D. Track to Ph.D.

Stu­dents who begin on the Master’s/ Ph.D. Track, as well as those who are admit­ted to the two-year Master’s Degree pro­gram, will have an oppor­tu­nity to declare their inter­est in con­tin­u­ing to the Ph.D. dur­ing the third semes­ter of the two-year Master’s program.

To offi­cially matric­u­late into the Ph.D. pro­gram, all Master’s Degree stu­dents must meet the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria: (1) they must meet all the require­ments of the Master’s Degree pro­gram and (2) they must have a let­ter from one ladder-rank fac­ulty mem­ber in the ERG core or affil­i­ate pool that indi­cates a com­mit­ment to serve as the student’s Ph.D. advi­sor and an assess­ment of the types of projects the stu­dent could work on dur­ing Ph.D. studies. ERG Core Fac­ulty will review the eli­gi­bil­ity of all stu­dents wish­ing to con­tinue to the Ph.D. at ERG. If the stu­dent does not meet the cri­te­ria, he or she will be given the oppor­tu­nity to fin­ish any addi­tional course work, if nec­es­sary, to com­plete the require­ments of the Master’s Degree but will not matric­u­late to the Ph.D. program.

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