An executive program that prepares technically sophisticated executives for growth into new areas in their career.

The Executive Scholars Program (ESP) is an executive program that prepares technically sophisticated executives for growth into new areas in their career.

While completing the program, executives will be able to pursue the following career pathways:


Academic Pathway

The Academic Pathway allows candidates to develop the portfolio and experience that is needed to teach and conduct industry-oriented research at Berkeley and other global academic institutions.


CXO Pathway

The CXO Pathway enables technical leaders to grow within their firms on their path to a range of CXO positions which require a broad perspective, innovative behaviors, and technical depth.


New Venture Pathway

This Pathway prepares executives to transition to new career directions while developing thought leadership in Berkeley SCET's Innovation Labs and by connecting into Berkeley's emerging industry ecosystems.


Although this program is not an academic doctoral program, the ESP program is structured parallel to a Ph.D.  It includes a proposal, teaching development, dissertation equivalent, and defense.  The expected completion time is 2 to 3 years, part time, with an expectation of 8-10 hours per week.  Also like a Ph.D. program, progress towards completion is self-paced and largely self-driven.

Over the period of the program, participants may build a portfolio of work as well as develop connections with a new industry and/or new venture ecosystem needed to accelerate their career interests.  The portfolio will include teaching experience, broad publication, and thesis about an evolving industry and/or societal impact area.  During the program, Executive Scholars play a role that increases the connections between Berkeley students, faculty, and a targeted industry ecosystem.  


Executives may apply whenever openings are posted. Ideal candidates have a combination of:

  1. Technical depth such as Ph.D. or technical expertise coupled with innovation management experience
  2. Leadership experience as executive or founder in a successful new venture   
  3. Demonstrated behaviors and track record as an innovator or entrepreneur.

To apply, the candidate should write a self statement which outlines an emerging area of growth. The candidate should also explain their motivation to join the Berkeley SCET Executive Scholar program. 

  • Application letter including a statement of interest and CV
  • 2 Letters of Reference




  • Engineering Leadership Professional Program (ELPP)
  • Participation as mentor in one C/X Lab program

Proposal Phase

  • Work with advisor
  • Make a proposal for a future industry creation area based on trends, customer needs, or other analysis
  • Present in a 30 min proposal presentation + 45 min discussion and submit a 5-10 page executive summary
  • The proposal should identify an opportunity space for an X/C Lab

Teaching Development

  • Teacher Training
  • Selection and practice of teaching 3 new case studies
  • Teaching (Training) in 2 semester of C/X Lab over the term of the program subject to UC Berkeley requirements and approval processes

Industry-Oriented Publication

  • An industry report like a McKinsey report to be published by Berkeley SCET
  • 3 peer reviewed conference or 1 journal paper in a Technology Management Area
  • 1 case study and teaching note to be placed in the Berkeley SCET library
  • The executive scholar may work with undergraduate students as part of the team to create publication


  • Select Committee: 1 SCET faculty, 1 Non-SCET Berkeley Faculty, 1 Industry member from relevant industry
  • Must summarize objective of creating an externally funded X-lab in the area
  • Includes major trends and change variables as part of story narrative
  • Progress made during the entire program


Phases of the Program

Pre-Proposal: Executive Scholar Program Acceptance, Visiting Scholar, Industry Fellow

After Accepted Proposal: Executive Scholar Candidate

Program Completion: Executive Scholar 

During the program, accepted Executive Scholars are provided with Calnet IDs, email addresses, and facilities usage at UC Berkeley and the Sutardja Center.  Upon completion, Executive Scholars may apply to stay affiliated with Berkeley, continue to lead lab areas, and be able to advise future executive scholars. The program status of all ESP candidate is to be marked and archived on the SCET website. 

The Executive Scholars Program at Sutardja Center is an executive-level Certificate Program that is structured parallel to a Ph.D. program. The program is designed to help sophisticated, technically-oriented leaders pursue career growth paths that include combinations of CXO roles, teaching, and new venture opportunities.

Additional Information:

  • Global participants follow all processes for acceptance and visa processing.
  • Program fee is $48,000 USD/year. Fees may be partially or fully waived with merit based scholarships.
  • Executive scholars Program candidates are on-boarded as Visiting Scholars or Visiting Researchers at SCET
  • Visiting Scholar and Visiting Researcher requirements of the SCET may be counted towards the Executive Scholars Program.