CBE Ph.D. Admission Requirements

At Berkeley, graduate work towards a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering emphasizes the excitement of original research in frontier areas of applied science. While formal courses are necessary to provide scientific fundamentals and intellectual breadth, the primary characteristic of Berkeley's graduate experience is to participate in the quest for new knowledge. Graduate students and faculty collaborate as partners in scholarship, in learning, and in intellectual discovery.

The online application is available starting in September at the Graduate Division Website.  Applications are only accepted for the fall semester.

Application Fee Waivers

Application fee waivers are provided to members of various professional societies and program participants, including those that are members of (or previously participated in) NSF-REUs, NSBE, NOBCChE, SACNAS, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and the Peace Corps, among many others. Fee waivers are also considered for those with a demonstrated financial need. Please see the following Graduate Divison website for more information on requesting an application fee waiver: https://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/fee-waiver/

Application Materials

Admission is granted by the University's Graduate Division on the recommendation of the department. Applicants are required to provide the following: evidence of superior performance and research experience in the last 2 years of undergraduate studies; a statement of purpose; personal history statement (see FAQ's) and 3 letters of recommendation from professors or colleagues familiar with the applicant's academic, research, and professional aptitudes. International students whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency. The weight of evidence from all sources determines admission. Students do not need a master's degree to apply for a doctoral degree. Most applicants will have completed a typical undergraduate program in chemical engineering. However, admission may be granted to students with undergraduate degrees in a related discipline. In this case, necessary background courses in chemical engineering are taken as part of the program for the first year.

GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

The faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at UC Berkeley have determined the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is a proven identifier of race and socio-economic status. Its association with successful completion of the doctorate is minimal, and its fulfillment is an economic burden on applicants. CBE will no longer consider it for admission.

Evidence of English Language Proficiency

All international applicants are required to provide evidence of English language proficiency by providing test scores from either the TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum score for the TOEFL is at least a 90 on the (Internet-based test) iBT. You may also submit an IELTS score of an overall Band score of 7 on a 9-point scale.The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived if you have studied at a U.S. institution of higher education for at least a year and received grades of B or better. In that case, an official transcript from that institution can be used as evidence of English language proficiency.

We welcome inquiries concerning admission to our graduate program by email at chegrad@cchem.berkeley.edu. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the department only after receiving an offer of admission.


PhD Application Deadline

Dec 4, 2023 8:59 PM