ERG Program Directory

The information below is a directory of ERG programs. Please read through and contact us at for graduate program questions and for all other questions. 

ERG doctoral students work­ across dis­ci­plines and depart­ments to cre­ate trans­for­ma­tive knowl­edge for the planet and its peo­ple. As one of the first interdisciplinary programs in the field, ERG faculty and students have established an impressive track record of undertaking engaged, cutting-edge research and turning these ideas into effective actions from local to global levels.

ERG admits highly qualified applicants into the Ph.D. program, designed to support and empower doctoral students to pursue rigorous, interdisciplinary, original research in the fields of energy, resources, and the environment.

The first two years of the Ph.D. involve coursework, taught jointly with the Master’s Degree students, and a Final Project in the second year. Please see the Master’s Degree Curriculum for further details. Doctoral students will receive a Master of Science or Master of Arts Degree in Energy and Resources upon completion of the first two years’ requirements.

In some cases, ERG may waive some course or project requirements for Ph.D. students who already hold a Master’s Degree and who can demonstrate a highly interdisciplinary academic background.

After completion of the first two years’ requirements, Ph.D. students will prepare for their Qualifying Examination and commence their Dissertation research.

The ERG Master’s Degree is a two-year program designed to educate the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders. 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 as well as serving as an interdisciplinary foundation for doctoral students preparing for Dissertation research.

Students are taught the range of methods and subjects that they should be able to understand, advance, and critique in order 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.

Breadth Curriculum

The course requirements provide for a substantive and broad introduction to disciplinary approaches that are employed in studying energy and resource issues. These approaches are codified as the Breadth Requirements in:

A. Interdisciplinary Energy and Resource Analysis
B. Environmental Science
C. Resource and Environmental Economics
D. Social Science Approaches to Energy, Resources and the Environment
E. Engineering Approaches to Energy, Resources and the Environment
F. Humanities

Students select from a wide array of possible courses in departments across the campus that will satisfy these area requirements.

Depth Curriculum

The program also provides experience in interdisciplinary analysis applied to a key resource concern. Through a topical cluster of courses and the independent capstone project, students extend and deepen their investigation and understanding with a particular research focus.

Capstone Master’s Project

The ERG Master’s Degree program culminates in a final independent capstone project. Students develop their project and critique each other’s work over the four semesters of their Master’s seminar class. Students also work closely with their advisors and other faculty readers in the planning and completion of their project. At the end of their second year, students submit their project and present their work to the ERG community.

Ph.D. students completing the Master’s program may choose to use this project as the foundation for their future dissertation.

Concurrent ERG/PP students complete both an ERG Master’s Project as described above, and an Advanced Policy Analysis (APA) Project, which is a client-based policy analysis project through The Goldman School of Public Policy,

Click here for more information on the Master’s Degree Curriculum Requirements (MA or MS).

Preparation for the ERG Master’s Degree Program

While not required for admission, we recommend the following college-level coursework as preparation for your studies at ERG:

  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Courses in fundamental science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.)
  • Four or more upper-division social science (political science, sociology, anthropology, etc.) and humanities courses
  • Micro-Economics

Continuation from the ERG Master’s to the Ph.D.

Students admitted to the ERG Master’s Degree may apply for admission the ERG Ph.D. program during the regular admission cycle in their third (fall) semester, and will be considered under the same criteria and in the context of external Ph.D. admissions candidates.

The Energy and Resources Group and The Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) offer a three-year concurrent Master’s Degree program that integrates the strengths of public policy analytical tools with the interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise in energy and resources. Students receive a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) as well as a Master’s Degree in Energy and Resources (M.A. or M.S.).

Applicants submit one application that is reviewed by the two programs independently. The online application form is available here. In the dropdown menu, select Public Policy, then select MPP/ERG MA or MPP/ERG MS.

Applicants may be offered admission to one of the programs or to both concurrently. Funding may come from one or both programs.

Current Master of Public Policy and ERG students may apply to change to the concurrent degree program during their first year through the normal admissions process. Use the Concurrent MPP/MA or MPP/MS degree application to apply to the concurrent degree program.

Click for more details on the concurrent degree program.

ERG and the U.C. Berkeley School of Law offer a four-year concurrent Master’s and Juris Doctor (J.D.) program. Applicants must apply and be admitted to the ERG Master’s Degree and to Berkeley Law separately.

For more information on applying to this program please contact ERG at

The Minor in Energy and Resources offers under­grad­u­ates the oppor­tu­nity to develop basic knowl­edge and skills to help them address the com­plex and inter­de­pen­dent issues asso­ci­ated with the inter­ac­tion of social, eco­nomic, polit­i­cal, tech­ni­cal, and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors. Though it is designed pri­mar­ily to com­ple­ment majors in the nat­ural sci­ences and engi­neer­ing, stu­dents in any major with the appro­pri­ate pre­req­ui­sites may pur­sue the ERG Minor.

The Energy and Resources Group (ERG) is an academic unit within the Rausser College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley.  Our vision is a future in which the twin goals of human well-being and a healthy environment are mutually and sustainably satisfied. ERG’s mission is to develop and transmit the critical knowledge needed to make such a future possible. We view society and the environment as an inextricably coupled system. ERG research, therefore, emphasizes (1) science-based knowledge of the environmental consequences of resource use; (2) analytical tools that promote efficiency, conservation, affordability and equity in energy and resource use patterns; and (3) a deep understanding of the social and institutional contexts in which resource and environmental problems arise, and in which creative and ethical solutions can be sustained. It is this synthesis of basic science, practical problem-solving and constructive social critique that defines ERG.

ERG provides a dynamic academic environment in which students, core faculty, and affiliate faculty members communicate and collaborate freely and actively. This rich and diverse network of scholarship is represented in ERG’s broad research themes (Technology, Development and Society; Consumption, Resource Use and Equity; Global Change Science; Governance Challenges; and Ecological Economics), and is reflected in its curricular offerings. Most of these themes are not “fields” as defined by traditional academic departments. They have emerged through ERG’s integrative approach to research, and through applying our research to energy and resource problems at home and abroad.

A structured approach to studies of energy and resources has two advantages: (1) Students receive guidance in selecting a coherent set of courses that can be tailored to their particular interests. (2) An officially recognized “minor” in energy and resources is of strategic importance when seeking jobs in the burgeoning areas of environmental science and policy.

Based on a six-course set of prerequisites in mathematics and natural sciences, the minor is satisfied by completing five upper division courses, including two core courses and three electives. AP, IB, and GCE credit may be applied toward lower division prerequisites.The great challenge of an interdisciplinary but rigorous education lies in training the student to use and to integrate multiple research methods. The core courses provide students with an introduction to interdisciplinary analysis, and to integrating tools and methods from different disciplines such as economics and ecology. They also cover key energy and resource issues. The electives allow further exploration of these concepts. The electives must be taken from the list approved by the ERG faculty or with permission by the appropriate ERG faculty as listed in the ERG Minor Detailed Guidelines and Course Information.

The Energy and Resources Group is responsible for monitoring the minor program and will designate one faculty member as The Undergraduate Faculty Advisor. It is The Undergraduate Staff Advisor who will be charged with certifying completion of the minor.  All core faculty members will participate in advising students in the minor, just as they do graduate students.

At the time that the student completes the minor program, the Energy and Resources Group will notify the Office of the Registrar. Completion of the minor program will be noted in the memorandum section of the student’s transcript of Berkeley work.

If you are interested in pursuing the minor:

  1. Complete the “Intent to Declare ERG Minor” form by the end of the fifth week of classes in the semester in which you begin the upper division ERG minor coursework.
  2. Submit the “Minor Completion Form” by the last week of instruction of the semester before the semester in which you intend to graduate, to the undergraduate staff advisor at or to 260 Mulford Hall.

ERG Minor Snapshot

For more information, contact:
Anna Hoehenrieder
Undergraduate Academic Advisor – Rausser College of Natural Resources
260 Mulford Hall

ERG Undergraduate Minor Faculty Advisor:
Lara Kueppers
Assistant Professor, Energy and Resources Group

The Summer-only Minor or Certificate in Sustainability is open to matriculated UC Berkeley undergraduates, students from other institutions, and the general public. Upon completion, UC Berkeley undergraduates receive a Minor in Sustainability, while other participants receive a Certificate in Sustainability from UC Berkeley.

Find more information about the Summer-Only Minor and Certificate in Sustainability here.