Preparing for Graduate School

Applying to Graduate School

Graduate Study in Earth and Planetary Science

EPS majors at Berkeley have a history of success going on to PhD programs and pursuing academic careers in addition to pursuing targeted Master level graduate student to further increase professional preparedness. PhD programs in Earth Science typically have full tuition support, health insurance as well as stipends that cover living expenses.

The steps towards graduate study include:

  • Gaining experience through both coursework and research
  • Developing a CV
  • Taking standardized tests (e.g. GRE) as necessary
  • Identifying and contacting potential graduate advisors
  • Preparing and submitting applications which typically require statements related to your academic journey and research interests

A helpful timeline for these steps as well as additional descriptions can be found in this GSA Today article. Note that aspects of this process differ markedly from undergraduate applications. In particular, the step of contacting potential advisors is essential. To do so, identify someone who you should be interested in working with, spend time understanding their research (particularly through their publications), and then reach out in a way that introduces yourself and describes overlapping interests. Faculty members are busy — so reminder emails can be a good idea you do not hear back (don't take it personally).

Additionally, there are competitive fellowships that can support graduate research and provide additional support. For US citizens the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a great program to apply for. 

We encourage you to reach out to EPS faculty here at Berkeley, including your undergraduate major advisor, to discuss your plans, goals, and options.