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 20 stu­dents selected annu­ally from approximately 350 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 (M.S. or M.A.) or the Ph.D. program.

A two-year Master’s Degree and a strong interdisciplinary background is required for application directly to the Ph.D. If you plan to start in the Master’s Degree progam and hope to continue to the ERG Ph.D. program, you should indicate your interest by checking the Master’s applications Master’s/Ph.D. checkbox. If you are not sure about your future Ph.D. plans, you will have an opportunity to revisit this question during the Master’s Program.

The online application for admission Fall 2018 will be available on September 5, 2017. The application deadline is Friday, December 1, 2017 by 8:59 pm PST. 

Admissions decisions will be announced in Spring 2018. 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.

  • TOEFL, IELTS and GRE: Late test scores submitted after Dec. 1, 2017 will not be accepted. However, we will accept self-reported scores until the final score report can be verified. Please self-report your unofficial score results on your application by the Dec.1 deadline.
  • Transcripts: Please upload your transcripts to your application as pdf files. UC Berkeley does not require official transcripts until you are admitted.
  • Grades for Courses in Progress: please list on your application all relevant courses you are taking in the fall term and forward your final transcript to as soon as it becomes available. ERG will post late transcripts from Fall 2016 to your file for you.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters should be submitted by your recommender by Friday Dec. 1, 2017. They will receive an email link to upload their letter directly to the online system. Letters of recommendation may not be uploaded or submitted by the applicant.
  • Late Letters of Recommendation: Late letters will be accepted until Tuesday, January 2, 2018 (Public Policy Concurrent Degrees will not accept late letters). If a letter writer has an exceptional situation that would prevent them from meeting the extended deadline or uploading their letter to the online system, please ask them to contact

For any other questions contact




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

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 at 8:59 pm PST.  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

The ERG Graduate application accepts the following document file formats: Word, PDF, RTF. Required supporting materials: Resume/CV; Optional supporting materials: sample of written work, list of publications and presentations, honors and awards.

1. Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement
ERG places considerable weight on the Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement. Statements should be approximately two pages in length 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.

If a recommender is unable or unwilling to upload a letter electronically, we will accept hard copy letters on their institutional letterhead, mailed by the recommender in a sealed envelope with their 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. We do not accept any letters of recommendation mailed to us by the applicant.

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

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

International applicants should also visit the Berkeley International Office (BIO) website at

PLEASE NOTE: If applying to the MPP/MA or MPP/MS Concurrent Degree Program: Select Public Policy & Energy and Resources MPP/MA or MPP/MS from the ‘select program’ drop down menu on the application instructions section. If you are already enrolled as a MPP or Law student, but also would like to apply to the Energy and Resources MA/MS, select the MA or MS program and select your indicated option under the Energy and Resources Program section. You do not already have to be enrolled in a graduate program in order to apply to the concurrent degree programs. For further questions, please contact

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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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