The minimum requirement for admission to the Master's 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. We highly recommend at least one term of college-level calculus and courses in fundamental science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) as a prerequisite for the ERG core technical courses. One year of upper-division (junior/senior) social science (political science, sociology, anthropology, etc.) is also strongly recommended.
Consideration for admission to the Ph.D. program at ERG requires separate application following the prior completion of a two-year Master's program similar in scope to the ERG Master's degree from a fully accredited U.S. institution of higher learning or foreign equivalent. Those completing ERG Master's degrees will be asked to apply in fair competition with those applying from other institutions. 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.
Of those applicants admitted to the Master’s program who applied to the Master’s/Ph.D. track, a small number of very highly qualified applicants will be selected for the Master's/Ph.D. track. The remainder will be admitted to the two-year Master's program and may apply to the Ph.D. program upon completion.
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/PhD or MS/PhD option on the online application, and clearly indicate their intention in their statement of purpose. Denial of direct entry into the Ph.D. is a judgment based on evidence available at the time of application, and will in no way prejudice or affect the outcome of a later case for entry into the Ph.D. program after completing a Master's degree. 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.Admission to the Master’s/Ph.D. track does not preclude the possibility that, as a result of a screening exam, a candidate could be found unlikely to complete the Ph.D. and be asked to withdraw from that aspect of the program. Continuation past the Master's will be contingent on a faculty review of the candidate's progress, to take place no later than the end of the third semester of the four-semester Master's sequence. Those who pass the review will be allowed to continue to the Ph.D. program following completion of their Master's requirements, with no further review. Those who fail the review will be allowed to complete their Master's degrees with their entering class. At a later date, they may apply for readmission to the Ph.D. program using the standard internal Ph.D. application.
Fall 2013 Application Deadline: December 7, 2012
It is not necessary to write to the Chair or any member of the ERG faculty in order to submit an application. Please apply using the U.C. Berkeley online application, available in mid-September.
All information about the program is available on the Energy and Resources Group website.
Cost of Attendance: For graduate student fees, please see the UC Berkeley Registrar’ fee schedule for graduate academic students.
The University awards merit-based and diversity fellowships each year; ERG nominates qualified fellowship candidates for consideration. See University Fellowships for details.
The University of California at Berkeley offers a wide variety of financial aid programs to help students meet their educational expenses. Financial Aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need and is available to all citizens of the U.S. and permanent residents. Among the types of aid offered are grants, loans, work-study, scholarships, and fellowships. In addition, ERG receives block grant funding whereby grants are given to new and continuing students covering one or a combination of the following: tuition, fees, and/or stipend. All applicants, domestic or international, are eligible for block grant monies which are awarded on both need and academic merit. The block grant is used as a "fellowship" for newly admitted students and a need-based award for continuing students on a yearly or semester-by-semester basis.
Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships
In addition to the kinds of formal financial aid mentioned above, students may find employment as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) for courses taught by ERG professors, affiliates, or in other campus departments, or as Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) on campus or at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
GSIs for ERG courses are chosen by the professor in charge, usually several weeks before the course begins. Since ERG professors teach only a small number of courses each year that require GSIs, this is not a major source of employment for ERG students, however, qualified students may seek GSI appointments in other campus departments. There is no formal requirement that ERG students serve as GSIs while in the program. See Academic Appointments for details about prerequisites and salaries.
Because of limited department fellowship resources, often ERG students who need financial aid find work as GSRs in a variety of research projects supervised on campus by ERG core and affiliated faculty, at LBNL’s Applied Science Division, and recently, in the ERG-managed internship program with the California Public Utilities Commission. GSRs normally work 25%-50% during the academic year, and may work full-time during the summer. See Academic Appointments for details.
There is no application form for GSI or GSR positions; students are hired through departments once positions are secured.