Ph.D. Admissions Bootcamp

Interested in pursuing a Ph.D, but not sure where to start — or which program is the right fit for your interest?

UC Berkeley’s Office for Graduate Diversity has created a series of virtual workshops to help prospective doctoral students understand how Ph.D. programs differ from other graduate degrees, and how to find the right program for their interests and goals. No travel or synchronous attendance required!

This free online bootcamp series was developed specifically for underrepresented individuals considering graduate school, though it is open to all who may benefit. 

Registration is closed, however, recordings will be available after July 31 when the bootcamp is complete.

Benefits of Participating

Participants who successfully complete the Bootcamp will:

  • Understand the Ph.D. admissions process and graduate funding
  • Complete deliverables, including first drafts of application materials and a graduate application timeline
  • Engage with experts, faculty, and current graduate students in your field
  • Receive a certificate of completion and application fee waiver (for eligible UC Berkeley programs)


This bootcamp is for U.S. residents, U.S. citizens, or individuals who have attended or are attending an institution of higher education in the U.S. or U.S. territories. If you are interested in future, similar events regardless of citizenship or residency status, please complete our interest form.


The Ph.D. Admissions Bootcamp will take place over six sessions, on a virtual platform. No travel or synchronous attendance required! View session descriptions below.

SessionTitleRelease Date
Session 1 Demystifying the Ph.D Tuesday, July 2, 2024
Session 2PhD Options for My Discipline: Developing a Competitive Application (select one below)2a or 2b below
Session 2aApplying to STEM ProgramsTuesday, July 9, 2024
Session 2bApplying to Social Science and Humanities ProgramsWednesday, July 10, 2024
Session 3How to Find Your Researcher IdentityTuesday, July 16, 2024
Session 4Making Use of the Summer and Organizing for the Journey AheadTuesday, July 23, 2024
Session 5Closer to Achieving the DreamTuesday, July 30, 2024
Session 6Live Discussion: Meet the Speakers (Optional)Wednesday, July 31, 2024

Bootcamp Session Descriptions

Mug with the word "begin"

Demystifying the Ph.D.

Session 1

Learn about how doctoral programs differ from other professional and graduate programs, and if a Ph.D. program might be right for you. We’ll demystify the funding process, discuss how admissions committees review applicants, and provide tips on how to identify and contact faculty in your program of interest.

student holding up glass structure and looking at it

Ph.D. Options for My Discipline: Developing a Competitive Application

Session 2
  • Session 2a: Applying to STEM Programs

  • Session 2b: Applying to Social Science and Humanities Programs

Learn about what types of graduate programs are possible for students in your discipline, and undergraduate major. Meet faculty, experts, current graduate students, and alumni in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (Session 2A) or humanities and social sciences (Session 2B). Learn their recommendations for successfully navigating the application process and succeeding in graduate school.

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How to Find Your Researcher Identity

Session 3

Learn from current graduate students about how to develop your identity as a researcher, what tools and support you need to thrive in a research setting, and who to reach out to for support in identifying and pursuing your research focus.

Student working on a computer

Making Use of the Summer and Organizing for the Journey Ahead

Session 4

The key to a successful graduate school application often involves making effective use of limited time. In this session learn how to organize your time to put together a competitive application, along with some hacks, tips, and tools to prepare your application.

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Closer to Achieving the Dream

Session 5

In this session, learn how to grow and strengthen your recommender relationship, organize and track admissions deadlines, write a strong diversity statement, manage rejection, and choose the right institution.

students walking up stairs to Sproul Plaza

Live Discussion: Meet the Speakers

Session 6

During this optional session, you will have the opportunity to engage in a live discussion with speakers you will hear from throughout the series.

If you require accommodations in order to fully participate, please reach out to us at [email protected] with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.