Environmental Health Sciences

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Academic degree programs in the Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) are recommended for individuals with clear research interests of an interdisciplinary nature. Applicants may apply to the MS program, the PhD program, or to the joint MS/PhD program. (For students entering the joint MS/PhD program, continuation to the doctoral program is contingent upon superior performance throughout the MS program and completion. The student must also apply to the PhD program during the regular application season, in the second year of their MS program, and be admitted.) EHS is administered within the Division of Environmental Health of the School of Public Health. Although students receive their academic degrees from the graduate group (under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Division of the UC Berkeley campus), students are also affiliated with and apply to the School of Public Health.

For a complete list of faculty please visit our website.

 

Visit Group Website

Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from the British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants include biology, microbiology, chemistry, engineering, toxicology or environmental science. Undergraduate coursework in biology and chemistry is required.  Admission to the doctoral program generally requires a masters degree in environmental health sciences or a similar field. In all cases an important aspect of the application for admission is the personal statement indicating an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field of environmental health, the applicant’s future aspirations in the field, and the relevance of their previous academic background, and/or their research, or professional experience.

 
In addition to the UC Berkeley application, students must also submit an additional application to the School of Public Health.

Master's Degree Requirements

Curriculum

Environmental Health Sciences MS - Required Courses
PB HLTH 270Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences3
PB HLTH 270AExposure Assessment and Control3
NUSCTX 110Toxicology4
PB HLTH 220CHealth Risk Assessment3
PB HLTH 250AEpidemiologic Methods I3-4
or PB HLTH 250B Epidemiologic Methods II
two Biostatistics courses - Required Courses 

(other courses can be substituted with approval)

PB HLTH 142Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health4
PB HLTH W241RStatistical Analysis of Categorical Data4
PB HLTH 245Introduction to Multivariate Statistics4
elective courses

Remaining units to be chosen from upper division or graduate courses  from courses in a range of closely related fields. A recommended list will be provided to students.

  • No internship/fieldwork/practicum but fieldwork common

  • Capstone/Master's Project (Plan II)

global health and environment ms - course requirements
environmental health sciences

(at least 3 courses; bolded course is required)

PB HLTH 270Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences3
Choose two of:
PB HLTH 270AExposure Assessment and Control3
PB HLTH 273Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease3-4
or PB HLTH 260A Principles of Infectious Diseases
NUSCTX 110Toxicology4
PB HLTH W272AIntroduction to Geographic Information Systems for Public Health (*)3
PB HLTH 220CHealth Risk Assessment (pre-requisite: NUSCTX 110)3
*Courses offered in other departments can fulfill GIS credit (e.e., CRP 204C)
biostatistics and epidemiology 

(at least 3 courses; bolded courses are required, unless exempted): 

PB HLTH 142Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health4
PB HLTH 250AEpidemiologic Methods I (*)3-4
or PB HLTH 250B Epidemiologic Methods II
PB HLTH W241RStatistical Analysis of Categorical Data4
PB HLTH 245Introduction to Multivariate Statistics4
PB HLTH 254Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology3
*Students with previous coursework in epidemiology are encouraged to take 250B
GHE THESIS UNITS:
PB HLTH 299Independent Research (*)3-6
Number of PH 299 units: (6 units maximum)
elective courses

Remaining units to be chosen from upper division or graduate courses in  areas and from courses in a range of closely related fields.  A recommended list will be provided to students.

 
  • No internship/fieldwork/practicum but fieldwork common
  • Capstone/Master's Project (Plan II)

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

Normative Time to Advancement: 4 Semesters

The normal time from entry into the doctoral program to advancement to candidacy is four semesters although it is generally somewhat less for students who complete a master's degree in Environmental Health at Berkeley.

Total Normative Time: 12 Semesters

Time to Advancement

Curriculum

Although there are no formal course requirements for the doctoral degree students are expected to be well-versed in the material covered in the following courses at the time of the qualifying examination.

PB HLTH W241RStatistical Analysis of Categorical Data4
PB HLTH 220CHealth Risk Assessment3
PB HLTH 250BEpidemiologic Methods II 14
PB HLTH 270Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences3
PB HLTH 270AExposure Assessment and Control3
NUSCTX 110Toxicology4

Prospectus

A preliminary examination including a research prospectus must be successfully completed prior to the qualifying examination.

Time in Candidacy

Dissertation

Dissertation required.

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences

School of Public Health

2121 Berkeley Way #5302

Phone: 510-643-5160

Visit Group Website

Graduate Group Chair

Ellen Eisen

eeisen@berkeley.edu

Program Manager

Gladys Stout

ehs_div@berkeley.edu

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