GeoSystems (Geoengineering) Overview


  • BS in Engineering or a Physical science or
    • Mathematics 1A, 1B, 53, 54 (or equivalent)
    • Chemistry 1A (or equivalent)
    • Physics 7A (or equivalent)
    • CE 30 Introduction to Solid Mechanics (or equivalent)
    • CE 70 Engineering Geology (or equivalent)
    • CE 175 Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (or equivalent)
To see Berkeley course descriptions, visit the Guide; to go directly to CE courses, click here.


MS: Plan I

  • Thesis required
  • 20 units with 9 in approved graduate courses (3 of these can be CE 299) and the remaining 11 units from approved upper-division and graduate courses. However, there is a minimum of 12 units per semester to be considered a full-time student.

MS: Plan II

  • 24 units with 12 in approved graduate courses (3 of these 12 can be CE 299) and 3 of the remaining 12 can be CE 299.
  • Either 1) submission of a written report on at least 3 units of individual study or research, or 2) submission of a satisfactory, individually written, capstone report in course CE 273, Advanced GeoeSystems Testing and Design


  • A bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited institution or a recognized equivalent is required.  If you hold only a bachelor's degree, you must earn the master's degree while progressing towards the Ph.D.  A demonstrated superior level of academic achievement (minimum 3.5 GPA) in your graduate studies and support of a faculty research adviser are required to continue in the program.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and above 3.0 in the minor fields.
  • Each PhD student must have a graduate advisor to provide general academic guidance and to help with administrative matters, and a research advisor to supervise the student's dissertation research and to assist in identifying funding paths.
  • Two minors, one from outside CEE.
  • Two examinations: 
    • Written take-home preliminary examination consisting of 4 questions to be answered within 5 days period to test the students’ abilities to apply fundamentals, perform research, synthesize information, and think creatively to solve complex problems in GeoSystems.
    • Three-hour oral qualifying examination administrated by a committee of 4 faculty members, 2 of which represent the minor fields. The thesis advisor may be a member of the committee but not its chair. Testing the student’s mastery of the field is regarded as an essential part of the examination.