Energy & Resources

Graduate Degrees: Ph.D., M.A., M.S.

Apply for Admission: December 3, 2018

Required Tests: GRE (general test)


The graduate courses in ERG provide advanced training in interdisciplinary analysis and research. Individual courses review current developments in the field or emphasize particular disciplinary perspectives: economics, resources, politics, public policy, or environmental sciences.

Master’s Degrees in Energy and Resources

The pur­pose of the ERG Master’s pro­gram is to edu­cate the next gen­er­a­tion of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary lead­ers. ERG offers both a Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degree. 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 PhD in Energy and Resources.

Master’s/PhD Track

A small num­ber of highly qual­i­fied appli­cants will be selected for the Master’s/PhD Track. The track is both an indi­ca­tion of your intent to con­tinue to the PhD 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 PhD. Can­di­dates admit­ted into the joint Master’s/PhD track will be expected to com­plete all the require­ments of the ERG Master’s Degree before con­tin­u­ing.

ERG Con­cur­rent Degree Pro­grams (MPP/MA or MMP/MS)

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).

Matric­u­la­tion from the Master’s to the PhD

Stu­dents who begin on the Master’s/ PhD Track have an oppor­tu­nity to declare their inter­est in con­tin­u­ing to the PhD dur­ing the third semes­ter of the two-year master’s program. Other Master's Degree students will have the opportunity to apply to continue to the PhD as well.

To offi­cially matric­u­late into the PhD 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 PhD advi­ser and an assess­ment of the types of projects the stu­dent could work on dur­ing PhD stud­ies. Non-Track Master's students will also need to submit a new Statement of Purpose.  If the stu­dent does not meet these 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 PhD program.

PhD in Energy and Resources

The admis­sion require­ment for the PhD is that the total­ity of the student’s course­work after the bachelor’s degree, includ­ing courses taken at other uni­ver­si­ties and inside and out­side of ERG at Berke­ley, must meet the sub­stan­tive and unit require­ments and interdisciplinary breadth that is offered in the ERG MA or MS degree.

There is no for­mal lan­guage require­ment for the PhD degree. How­ever, those stu­dents con­duct­ing research in a non-English speak­ing coun­try must demon­strate com­pe­tency in the lan­guage of the country.

After the doc­toral stu­dent and his or her advi­sers have agreed on a sub­ject for the dis­ser­ta­tion, the stu­dent must defend in a three-hour oral exam­i­na­tion the suit­abil­ity of the topic and his/her prepa­ra­tion for attack­ing it. This exam, called the qual­i­fy­ing exam­i­na­tion, is con­ducted by a com­mit­tee of four fac­ulty mem­bers cho­sen by the stu­dent, in con­sul­ta­tion with his/her fac­ulty advi­ser and sub­ject to the approval of the graduate dean.

This exam­i­na­tion should be taken at least one year before the expected com­ple­tion of the dis­ser­ta­tion. The final require­ment for the PhD is com­ple­tion of the dis­ser­ta­tion to the sat­is­fac­tion of a com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of three fac­ulty advisers/readers cho­sen by the stu­dent, sub­ject to approval by the grad­u­ate dean. The PhD degree in Energy and Resources is typ­i­cally com­pleted three to five years beyond the master’s degree.

Source: Berkeley Academic Guide

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