Quick References

Graduation Requirements and Milestones

  1. First-Year Report (synthetic division only): a journal-quality research paper of no more than 10 pages (without figures) detailing research and experiments from the student’s first year of work. Typically due June 1st.
  2. Poster Presentations: (chemical biology division only): three conference-style poster presentations, to be displayed during a presentation session at the end of each of three 10-week rotations during the student’s first year.
  3. Seminar Presentation (GRS/GRC): (all divisions): A 25-minute presentation given to the department on the student’s research during the second year of study. GRS presentations are held Thursday mornings and GRC presentations Thursday afternoons throughout the year. All are invited to attend.
  4. Qualifying Examination (all divisions): An oral examination of varying length (2-3 hours) given approximately three weeks after the seminar presentation (GRS/GRC). The student is tested on both their research as well as an outside topic for which they have prepared a research proposal for review.
  5. Advancement to Candidacy (Plan B) (all divisions): Occurs after the student has completed all previous requirements and is approved by the department. The application fee is $90.
  6. Submission of Thesis (all divisions): There is no thesis defense at UC Berkeley. The student’s thesis committee reviews the completed work after the thesis committee chair (the student’s advisor) has approved it for review. The degree is then complete.


While there is no formal coursework requirement for the PhD, either for the department or the university, it is expected that you will complete sufficient and appropriate coursework upon which to build a foundation for interesting research. It is important to note, however, that there is a formal coursework requirement should you decide to depart with a Master’s degree (See university requirements below).


There are regular weekly seminars in several major areas, including biophysical, physical, nuclear, organic, theoretical, solid state, and inorganic chemistry. These seminars are presented by members of the Berkeley faculty, as well as distinguished visitors to the campus.

University Requirements for a Doctoral Degree or Master’s Degree

The Guide to Graduate Policy presents the Univeristy’s official policies and sequence of steps involved in completing a graduate degree at Berkeley. Section F describes the policies and requirements to obtaining a Doctral degree and Master’s degree.

Graduation Statistics (2011-2012), Department of Chemistry

  All Students P S F M P/F P/M S/F S/M
MS 9 5 4 1 8 0 5 1 3
PhD 48 24 24 17 31 9 15 8 16

(P = physical; S = synthetic; F = female; M = male)

‘14-‘15 Non-Fellowship Pre-Tax Payroll for First Year Students

Sept 1 Oct 1 Nov 1 Dec 1 Jan 1 Feb 1 Mar 1 Apr 1 May 1 Jun 1 Jul 1 Aug 1 Total
1765.50 1765.50 1765.50 1765.50 1765.50 2777.66 2777.66 2777.66 2777.66 2727.50 2772.26 2772.26 29,250.20

You will also receive a one-time disbursement of $750 at the beginning of the fall semester to even up the fall stipend.

The most up to date pay-scales for all GSI/GSR appointments can be found on the bulletin board under forms and information.

Graduate Student Services Office Staff

Lynn Keithlin, Graduate Student Affairs Officer (419 Latimer, 642-5883)

Will guide you on your academic progress, including choice of research group, the student seminar and the qualifying exam; schedules classrooms. Most of the department paperwork you will need to file will be with Lynn.

Aileen Harris, Graduate Student Affairs Officer (419 Latimer, 642-5884)

Knows everything about admission and industrial recruiting.  She is generally a good resource for all questions about the department and will be responsible for the incoming graduate students during their first semester at Cal.

Electronic Resources

Academic Life

The College of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry

Chemical Biology Graduate Program

Chemistry Graduate Student Bulletin Board

Guide to Graduate Policy

Department of Chemistry Calendar (Seminars and Events)

Schedule of Classes

Bearfacts – Your University Profile (ie. official address information) academic transcripts, degree audit report, current class schedule, statement of California residence,

Tele-BEARS – Class enrollment

GSI Teaching and Resource Center

Graduate Appeals and Graduate Appeals Form

Graduate Fellowships and Grants (List of available grants from the Graduate division, includes conference travel grants)

Financial Information and Resources

Payroll Information Management – Change or update payroll/stipend information, print W2 forms, print earnings statements, update personal profile information (address, email, etc), reimbursement tracking.

Student Information – View financial aid information (department tuition waivers, loans offered and taken) and CARS account information (your bills with the university).

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Federal Tax Forms

Financial stress management toolshttp://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/news/financialstress.shtml

Non-Academic Life

Family Resources – Information about family life, including paid maternity leave, domestic partner policies, child care, and the Berkeley parents network. Child care reimbursement has changed recently, make sure you learn about all of your options.

Setting up a CALNET ID and Berkeley Email

Residency Office

Career Center

University Ombuds Service

Compilation of Useful Links by Chris Chang Group


University Health Services

Benefits and Coverage Information

Dental Coverage Information

Vision Coverage Information

Counseling and Psychological Services

Alta Bates Hospital -2450 Ashby Avenue, at the intersection of Ashby Ave and Colby Ave


AC-Transit – Easy Bay Bus Transit

Cal Class Pass – Free Bus Pass

Berkeley Parking and Transportation

Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart)

Bicycle Information

Living in Berkeley

Craig’s List

Padmapper – Search for apartments with google map. Includes craiglist listings.

Cal Rentals

Manville Apartments (Law and Graduate Housing)

International House

Family Student Housing