Master’s in Environmental Health Sciences (MS)

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.

Curriculum

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). 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.

  • PB HLTH 220C: Health Risk Assessment, Regulation and Policy (3 units) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 250A: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 units) (fall) or PB HLTH 250B: Epidemiologic Methods II (4) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 270: Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences (3 units) (fall)
  • PB HLTH 270A: Exposure Assessment and Control I (3 units) (fall)
  • NUSCTX 110 / PB HLTH 270B: Toxicology (4 units) (fall)
  • Two biostatistics courses are also required, which the following are generally selected from:
    • PB HLTH 142: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4 units) (fall, spring)
    • PB HLTH 245: Introduction to Multivariate Statistics (4 units) (fall)
    • PB HLTH 241: Statistical Analysis of Categorical Data (4 units) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 256: Human Genome, Environment and Public Health (4) (fall)
  • PB HLTH 267B: Characterization of Airborne Contaminants (4) (spring, every other year)
  • PB HLTH 269C: Occupational Biomechanics (3) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 269D: Ergonomics Seminar (2) (fall)
  • PB HLTH 269E: Current Topics in Environmental Medicine (2) (fall)
  • PB HLTH 270C: Practical Toxicology (2) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 271C: Drinking Water and Health (3) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 271E: Science and Policy for Environmental Health (3) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 271G: Global Climate Change and Health (3) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 290: Exposure Assessment and Control II (3) (spring, every other year)
  • PB HLTH 273: Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease (3) (fall)
  • PB HLTH 254: Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (3) (spring)
  • PB HLTH 290: Air Pollution, Climate and Health (2) (spring)

Qualifications

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.

Employment

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

3.77 Average GPA of admitted applicants
84% Average Verbal GRE percentile scores of admitted applicants
79% Average Quantitative GRE percentile scores of admitted applicants