update from William Boos, November 27, 2023: The deadline for applications to our Ph.D. program is December 4, 2023. As stated below, I expect to arrange video interviews with some candidates in January/February 2024. If you have sent me an inquiry about the application process and I have not replied, that is only because I do not have the capacity to respond to all the emails I receive; I prioritize interactions with the people who are currently part of my research group, the students I teach in my courses, and the current members of my department.
A position in the Ph.D. program of Berkeley’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science will be available in our research group, with start date in August 2024. Applicants must have strong quantitative backgrounds. The student who takes on this position will, over the course of five years and in collaboration with me (William Boos), produce a body of original research that constitutes a doctoral thesis. Our group has several focus areas for possible thesis topics, but we also encourage you to bring your own ideas. See here for more information on our Ph.D. program.
Students in our Ph.D. program must pass the qualifying exam near the end of the second year, and are expected to serve as a teaching assistant for at least two semesters during the five-year program. Serving as a teaching assistant provides a minimal amount of teaching experience, which is important for many careers, including those in academia.
This graduate student position includes complete financial support, meaning that tuition, fees, health insurance, and a salary are all paid while you make satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree (this typically means that five years of funding are provided). The salary is currently set to be at least USD 44,000 per year, with the exact amount determined by the contract between the University of California and the United Auto Workers Union, which our graduate students have joined. The financial support that we provide for your five years of graduate studies usually exceeds USD 500,000 and comes from a variety of sources, primarily governmental research grants to our research group; fellowship programs and compensation from the university for teaching assistant duties may also contribute.
Prospective students who are interested in this opportunity are encouraged to contact me by email, providing a transcript (unofficial is fine), a brief (e.g. 1-2 paragraph) statement of your research interests, and any other relevant materials you would like to be considered. Due to the number of inquiries typically received, I cannot reply to all individual requests; I strive to respond to prospective students whose applications would be strongly competitive for admission, provided your inquiry comes sufficiently far in advance of the application deadline. Full applications can be submitted to the EPS Graduate Program. I will arrange video calls with a subset of candidates after applications are reviewed (typically in January and February).
Berkeley charges an application fee of USD 135 for US citizens and Permanent Residents, and USD 155 for all others. Students who cannot afford to pay this application fee can apply for a fee waiver if they are a US citizen or Permanent Resident. Unfortunately, Berkeley does not offer fee waivers for international students. However, if you are an international student who cannot afford to pay the application fee, you may upload a single PDF file containing a complete transcript (unofficial is fine), a personal statement, a statement of purpose, and a cover letter briefly explaining your need for an application fee waiver to this web portal by November 1, 2023 (roughly one month ahead of Berkeley’s official application deadline). Students whose applications are very strongly competitive will be contacted and asked to provide a full application, including reference letters, by the official university deadline, and our research group will pay your application fee.