Graduate Requirements


  • 1 year of college-level calculus
  • 1 year of college-level physical science (e.g., Physics 7A & 7B)
  • 1 semester of probability and statistics
  • 1 semester of elementary linear algebra

Course Descriptions

See Berkeley Academic Guide for all CEE course descriptions.

Berkeley Graduate Division's Degree Policy

All UC Berkeley graduate degree programs must conform to the minimum requirements spelled out in the Degrees Policy of the Graduate Division.


Master of Science: Plan I

A student in the MS Plan I degree program must:

  • conduct research with an E&PM faculty and submit a thesis that is approved by a committee of 3 faculty members
  • take 20 units of course work that include:
    • minimum 8 units of E&PM graduate courses
    • maximum 4 units of individual study (CE 299). The student usually enrolls in CE 299 with their adviser when conducting their thesis research.
    • remaining units must be graduate or upper-division courses from Berkeley that are approved by your major field adviser
  • attend the weekly E&PM Seminar (CE298). This seminar provides a forum for learning about what is happening in the profession and in academic research.

Master of Science: Plan II

A student in the MS Plan II degree program must:

  • pass the comprehensive examination (see details below)
  • take 24 units of course work that include:
    • minimum 12 units of E&PM graduate courses
    • maximum 4 units of individual study (CE 299)
    • remaining units must be graduate or upper-division courses from Berkeley that are approved by the student's major field adviser
  • attend the weekly E&PM Seminar (CE 298). This seminar provides a forum for learning about what is happening in the profession and in academic research.

The comprehensive exam is a closed-book written test of the student's general knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the field of engineering and project management, command of course material, and ability to link the material presented in different courses. The test is administered towards the end of the spring semester and, at the faculty's discretion also in the fall (NOTE - it will not be offered in Fall 2022). During the 3-hour exam, each student selects and answers 3 questions.

The comprehensive exam has the following possible outcomes:

  • Master of Science degree pass
  • Master of Science degree fail—with a definition of the activity required to demonstrate pass defined on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the faculty.

The questions will be graded on a 100-point basis. A grade of 80 or more on each question is required for Master's pass. The primary evaluation criterion is the written response to the exam questions. However, in cases where the written response places the student on the borderline between outcomes, other factors such as performance in courses and research experience will be given consideration. At the discretion of the faculty, a repeat exam may be administered for a student who does not pass the first time.


An applicant for admission to the PhD program will hold a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited institution or a recognized equivalent. An incoming PhD student who holds only a bachelor's degree must earn the master's degree (Plan I or Plan II) while progressing towards the PhD. The student must demonstrate superior academic performance (minimum 3.5 GPA) in their graduate studies and have the support of an E&PM faculty research adviser to proceed with their studies.

Students in the PhD degree program must:

  • have a graduate adviser to provide general academic guidance and to help with administrative matters, and a research adviser to supervise the student's dissertation research and to assist in identifying a multi-year funding path
  • complete in their first year of the PhD program at least 3 units of CE 299 with one of the faculty members of E&PM
  • pass an oral preliminary examination. A student will make satisfactory progress towards the PhD degree if they take this prelim within the first year (post master's) of PhD study. The prelim focuses on the student's ability to demonstrate mastery and apply core knowledge in the area of research activity. Three faculty members—at least 1 E&PM faculty—will be designated as members of the exam committee. This exam is an E&PM program requirement, not a Graduate Division requirement. The student must have a research adviser and have made satisfactory progress towards the degree when scheduling this exam. Authority for approval of an exam committee and date lies with the research adviser. The student will have 2 chances to receive a pass on this exam and be dismissed if not successfully passing on the second attempt.
  • select a major field related to the PhD dissertation and 2 minor fields
    • The major is normally devoted to 1 field of study within a single department and should be in the area of the dissertation research.
    • The minor typically consists of 2 or 3 graduate or advanced undergraduate level courses. The minor fields should serve to broaden the base of the studies and lend support to the major field. Each should have an orientation that is different from the major program. One minor program should consist of courses outside of the department of the major. 
  • maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and a minimum of 3.0 in the minor fields.
  • Before advancement to PhD candidacy, you must be admitted to and pass the qualifying examination administered by a committee approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division. In E&PM, this committee consists of 4 faculty members, with at least 1 member from outside your major department. The research adviser may be a member of the committee, but may not serve as the committee chair. The qualifying exam is a 3-hour oral exam. Typically, the student will make a brief presentation on the planned doctoral research. Following this, the committee asks questions on a wide range of topics.
  • After passing the qualifying examination, the student and their research adviser nominate a dissertation committee consisting of at least 3 faculty members, 1 of whom must be outside of the major. This committee has the responsibility of reviewing the student's work and approving (signing) their doctoral dissertation.