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Students in our program are trained to make research and technical contributions to the field of environmental health science in the U.S. and across the globe.

This program is a two-year course of study focused on developing skills in assessing, measuring and controlling health impacts associated with physical, chemical and biological agents in the environment and workplace. The curriculum requires 20-24 units of upper division graduate coursework integrating multiple disciplines, with an emphasis on assessment of exposure to environmental contaminants, toxicology, environmental and occupational epidemiology, risk assessment, control strategies, and policy solutions. A thesis or original research project is required.


Students have four semesters in which to complete their degree requirements and have the option to pursue Degree Plan I (thesis option) or Degree Plan II (non-thesis option). For more information, refer to the UC Berkeley Graduate Division Degrees Policy. Students are required to take 8 to 12 units of advanced study taught by the program’s faculty and are additionally required to take at least two courses outside those taught by the program’s faculty, preferably courses taught outside Berkeley Public Health (the student’s faculty adviser must approve these courses). Students should reference the Berkeley Compendium of EHS Expertise to supplement their required courses with electives. Research efforts will begin in the second semester of the first year with Independent Research (PB HLTH 299, 2 units) under the supervision of a faculty adviser. During the second year, students will take additional units of PB HLTH 299 as they conduct their research projects or theses. Students are encouraged to pursue their research during the summer between years one and two.

Required Courses

  • PB HLTH W200: Foundations of Public Health Practice (fall)
  • PB HLTH 270: Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences (fall)
  • PB HLTH 270A: Exposure Assessment and Control I (fall)
  • NUSCTX 110 / PB HLTH 270B: Toxicology (fall)
  • PB HLTH 220C: Health Risk Assessment, Regulation and Policy (spring)

Quantitative Methods

  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiological Methods I (Fall, summer)
  • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (fall, spring)

An additional biostatistics course is also required, of which the following are generally selected from:

  • PB HLTH 245: Introduction to Multivariate Statistics (fall)
  • PB HLTH 241: Statistical Analysis of Categorical Data (spring)


Applicants must have completed undergraduate coursework in chemistry and biology.

  • Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants: engineering, biology, microbiology, immunology, environmental science, toxicology and chemistry.
  • Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants in past years have worked as lab technicians, student researchers, research scientists, post-graduate fellows, toxicologists, industrial hygiene engineers and for the Peace Corps.


Excellent career opportunities are available for our graduates. In recent years, alumni have accepted job offers at research institutions, consulting companies and governmental organizations such as the California Environmental Protection Agency, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the California Energy Commission, and the California Department of Toxic Substances. Many graduates have continued their education in doctorate programs in environmental health and other related fields.

Admissions Statistics

3.7 Average GPA of admitted applicants
84% Average Verbal GRE percentile scores of admitted applicants
79% Average Quantitative GRE percentile scores of admitted applicants
25% Acceptance rate
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