Environmental Economics and Policy

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS)

The College of Natural Resources and the College of Letters & Science jointly offer the undergraduate major in Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP). This major offers an opportunity to explore aspects of economic and political institutions that affect the development and management of natural resources and the environment. The program takes a problem-solving approach to issues involving renewable and fixed natural resources, and it is based on a foundation in microeconomic theory and the economics of resources and the environment. The environmental economics and policy program is offered by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

This major leads to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree (for students in the College of Natural Resources) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree (for students in the College of Letters & Science).

Students who graduate with a degree in environmental economics and policy go on to a variety of jobs or graduate programs.

Admission to the Major

Advice on admission for freshmen and transfer students can be found on the CNR Admissions Guide page or the CNR Prospective Student website. Freshman students may apply directly to the major or may select the College of Natural Resource's undeclared option, and declare the major by the end of their fourth semester. Transfer students may apply directly to the major through the CNR B.S. option and, if admitted, be declared as EEP majors. Transfers may also apply to the major through the College of Letters & Science B.A. option but, if admitted, will be undeclared.

Information for current Berkeley students who would like to declare the major after admission, including information on a change of major or change of college, please see chapter 6 of the College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Honors Program

Students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher may enroll in the College of Natural Resources honors program (H196) once they have reached upper division standing. To fulfill the program requirements, students design, conduct, and report on an individual research project, working with a faculty sponsor. For further information about registration for the honors symposium or the honors requirements, please see the College of Natural Resources website.

Minor Program

The minor program offers interested students an opportunity to explore aspects of economic and political institutions that affect the development and management of natural resources and the environment. For information regarding how to declare the minor, please contact the department.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.

  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required.

  3. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in upper division major requirements is required.

  4. At least 15 of the 36 required upper division units must be taken in the College of Natural Resources (except for students majoring in environmental economics and policy; please see the EEP major adviser for further information).

  5. A maximum of 16 units of independent study (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199) may count toward graduation, with a maximum of 4 units of independent study per semester.

  6. No more than 1/3 of the total units attempted at UC Berkeley may be taken Pass/No Pass. This includes units in the Education Abroad Program and UC Intercampus Visitor or Exchange Programs.

  7. A maximum of 4 units of physical education courses will count toward graduation.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Requirements

Principles of microeconomics, select one of the following:
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy [4]
Introduction to Economics [4]
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format [4]
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy [4]
Calculus, select one of the following sequences:
Calculus
and Calculus
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
Statistics, select one of the following:
Introduction to Probability and Statistics [4]
Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business [4]

Upper Division Requirements

Intermediate microeconomics, select one of the following:
Microeconomic Theory with Application to Natural Resources [4]
Economic Analysis--Micro [4]
Economic Theory--Micro [4]
Environmental or natural resource economics
ENVECON C101Environmental Economics4
or ENVECON C102 Natural Resource Economics
Quantitative methods, select one of the following:
Modeling and Management of Biological Resources [4]
Introductory Applied Econometrics [4]
Upper division electives
Select five courses
Three courses must be upper division ENVECON courses
Two courses may be selected from other departments; see major adviser for a list of approved courses
Globalization and the Natural Environment [3]
Economics of Race, Agriculture, and the Environment [3]
Agricultural and Environmental Policy [4]
Industrial Organization with Applications to Agriculture and Natural Resources [4]
Economics of Innovation and Intellectual Property [4]
Health and Environmental Economic Policy [4]
Regulation of Energy and the Environment [4]
Economic Development [4]
Advanced Topics in Development and International Trade [3]
Population, Environment, and Development [3]
Economics of Poverty and Technology [3]
Advanced Topics in Environmental and Resource Economics [4]
Economics of Water Resources [3]
Climate Change Economics [4]
International Trade [4]
Forest Ecosystem Management [4]

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.

  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.

  3. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

At least one of the five upper division courses below must be taken during the academic year (i.e., not all courses may be Summer Session courses).

Lower Division Prerequisite

Select one of the following sequences:
Analytic Geometry and Calculus
and Analytic Geometry and Calculus
Calculus
and Calculus

Minor Requirements

Principles of microeconomics, select one of the following:
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy [4]
Introduction to Economics [4]
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format [4]
Intermediate microeconomics, select one of the following:
Microeconomic Theory with Application to Natural Resources [4]
Economic Analysis--Micro [4]
Economic Theory--Micro [4]
Environmental and natural resource economics
ENVECON C101/ECON C125Environmental Economics4
ENVECON/ECON C102Natural Resource Economics4
Quantitative methods, select one of the following:
Modeling and Management of Biological Resources [4]
Introductory Applied Econometrics [4]
Forest Ecosystem Management [4]
Game Theory in the Social Sciences [4]
Economic Statistics and Econometrics [4]
Econometric Analysis [4]
Applied Econometrics and Public Policy [4]
Natural Resource Sampling [2]
Resource Management [4]
PB HLTH 140
Course Not Available
Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health [4]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Life Scientists [4]
Natural resource analysis and policy, select one of the following:
Globalization and the Natural Environment [3]
Economics of Race, Agriculture, and the Environment [3]
Industrial Organization with Applications to Agriculture and Natural Resources [4]
Economics of Innovation and Intellectual Property [3]
Health and Environmental Economic Policy [3]
Regulation of Energy and the Environment [4]
Economic Development [4]
Advanced Topics in Development and International Trade [3]
Population, Environment, and Development [3]
Economics of Poverty and Technology [3]
Advanced Topics in Environmental and Resource Economics [4]
Economics of Water Resources [3]
The Economics of Climate Change [4]
ENVECON C180
Course Not Available [3]
International Trade [4]

College Requirements: College of Letters and Science

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

College Requirements: College of Natural Resources

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking all majors in the College require two semesters of lower division work in composition. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Foreign LanguageEEP Majors only

The Foreign Language requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. It may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Quantitative ReasoningEEP Majors only

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Undergraduate Breadth

Undergraduate breadth provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program and many students complete their breadth courses in their first two years. Breadth courses are built into CNR major requirements and each major requires a different number of breath courses and categories. The EEP major is the only CNR major that requires the entire 7 course breadth. Refer to the major snapshots on each CNR major page for for additional information. 

High School Exam Credit

CNR students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many College and Major Requirements. See AP Exam Equivalency Chart and Higher Level IB Exam Equivalency Chart in the CNR Student Handbook for more information.

Units Requirements

Students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • At least 36 units must be upper division courses, including a minimum of 15 units of upper division courses in the College of Natural Resources. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of Special Studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the 120 units; a maximum of four is allowed in a given semester.
  • A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Students may receive unit credit for courses graded P (including P/NP units taken through EAP) up to a limit of one-third of the total units taken and passed on the Berkeley campus at the time of graduation.

Semester Unit Minimum

All CNR students must enroll in at least 13 units each fall and spring semester.

Semester Unit Maximum

To request permission to take more than 19.5 units in a semester, please see the major adviser.

Semester Limit

Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within 8 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students admitted as transfer students must graduate within 4 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students who go on EAP and UCDC can petition for additional semesters. Summer session, UC Extension and non-UC study abroad programs do not count towards this semester limit. Students approved for double majors or  simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester. CNR does not limit the number of total units a student can accrue.

Senior Residence Requirement

After the term in which you achieve and exceed 90 units (senior status), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence at the College of Natural Resources over at least 2 semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units taken while the student is a member of CNR. At least one of the two terms must be a fall or spring semester. Senior residence terms do not need to be completed consecutively. All courses offered on campus for the fall, spring, and summer terms by Berkeley departments and programs and all Berkeley online ('W') courses count. Inter-campus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units do not count toward this requirement.

Students may use Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that four units of coursework are completed.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in a fall, spring or summer UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding UCEAP). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status is reached. International travel study programs sponsored by Summer Sessions and education abroad programs offered outside of the UC system do not qualify for modified senior residence.

Most students automatically satisfy the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless students go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension during their senior year. In these cases, students should make an appointment to see an adviser to determine how they can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Grade Requirements

  • A 2.0 UC GPA is required for graduation.
  • A 2.0 average in all upper division courses required of the major program is required for graduation.
  • A grade of at least C- is required in all courses for the major

Plan of Study

Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Environmental Economics and Policy major requirements before making a program plan. For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.,), see the College Requirements and Major Requirements tabs.

Freshman
FallUnitsSpringUnits 
MATH 16A3MATH 16B3 
OR
 
OR
  
   
Reading and Composition A4Reading and Composition B4 
L&S Breadth4Lower Division Elective4 
L&S Breadth4ENVECON C14 
 
OR
  
   
 15 15
Sophomore
FallUnitsSpringUnitsSummerUnits
STAT 204ENVECON 100 (Core 1 of 2)4Internship 
OR
 L&S Breadth4
OR
 
 L&S Breadth3Study Abroad 
L&S Breadth4American Cultures Requirement4 
L&S Breadth4  
Lower Division Elective3  
 15 15 0
Junior
FallUnitsSpringUnitsSummerUnits
Environmental Economics and Policy Quantitative Methods4ENVECON C101 (Core 2 of 2)4Internship 
Upper Division Environmental Economics and Policy Elective (1 of 5)4Upper Division Environmental Economics and Policy Elective (2 of 5)4
OR
 
Lower or Upper Division Elective4Lower or Upper Division Elective4Study Abroad 
Lower or Upper Division Elective3Lower or Upper Division Elective3 
 15 15 0
Senior
FallUnitsSpringUnits 
Upper Division Environmental Economics and Policy Elective (3 of 5)4Upper Division Environmental Economics and Policy Elective (5 of 5)4 
Upper Division Environmental Economics and Policy Elective (4 of 5)4Lower or Upper Division Elective4 
Lower or Upper Division Elective4Lower or Upper Division Elective4 
Lower or Upper Division Elective3Lower or Upper Division Elective3 
 15 15
Total Units: 120
1

 This is a sample program plan. This plan assumes that the student has completed the Entry Level Writing and American History and Institutions requirements prior to admission.

2

 Students are strongly advised to work with an academic adviser to determine a personal program plan. Your program plan will differ depending on previous credit received, your course schedule, and available offerings.

3

 Any EEP course will satisfy the L&S Breadth area of Social and Behavior Sciences, one of seven breadth areas.

Accelerated Program Plans

For students considering graduating in less than four years, it's important to acknowledge the reasons to undertake such a plan of study. While there are advantages to pursuing a three-year degree plan such as reducing financial burdens, they are not for everyone and do involve sacrifices; especially with respect to participating in co-curricular activities, depth of study,  and summer internships, which typically lead to jobs upon graduation. All things considered, please see the tables for three and three and a half year degree options.

3.5 Year Plan

3 Year Plan

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Produce graduates with an excellent education in applied economics, with a particular expertise in one of three fields: environmental economics and policy; development economics, or agricultural economics.
  2. Prepare students for successful careers and further studies in graduate programs in a variety of applied fields within economics.
  3. Produce graduates who have the capacity for continued learning throughout their careers and who will have a significant, positive impact on their professions.
  4. Encourage the development of the ethics, skills, and motivation necessary to serve society.

Courses

Environmental Economics and Policy

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Michael Anderson, Associate Professor. Health economics, environmental economics.
Research Profile

+ Maximilian Auffhammer, Professor. Climate change, econometrics, air pollution, environmental economics, energy economics.
Research Profile

Peter Berck, Professor. Environmental economics, agricultural and resource economics, natural resource economics, agricultural production.
Research Profile

Alain De Janvry, Professor. Economics, labor management and policy.
Research Profile

Alain De Janvry, Professor. Economics, labor management and policy.
Research Profile

Thibault Fally, Assistant Professor. International Trade and Investment, economic development, trade, development.
Research Profile

Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor. Industrial organization, energy markets, energy efficiency, market-based environmental regulation, renewable energy resources.
Research Profile

+ J. Gilless, Professor. Environmental policy, resource economics, forestry, forest economics, wildland fire.
Research Profile

Larry S. Karp, Professor. Economics, environmental policy.
Research Profile

Ethan A. Ligon, Associate Professor. Economics, insurance, agricultural contracts, risk sharing, intra-household allocation.
Research Profile

Jeremy R. Magruder, Associate Professor. Employment, development economics, labor markets, social networks in developing countries.
Research Profile

Aprajit Mahajan, Associate Professor.

Edward A. Arens, Professor. Marketing, economics, labor, industrial organization, antitrust, econometrics, agricultural economics, trade.
Research Profile

Gordon Rausser, Professor. Biotechnology, environmental policy, resource economics, regulatory policy, bargaining and negotiation theory, futures and options markets, industrial organization and antitrust analysis.
Research Profile

David Roland Holst, Adjunct Professor.

Elisabeth Sadoulet, Professor. Economics, agriculture, labor management and policy.
Research Profile

James Michael Sallee, Assistant Professor. Energy, taxation, tax policy, climate, transportation, fuel economy.
Research Profile

Leo K. Simon, Adjunct Professor. Economics.
Research Profile

David Sunding, Professor. Water, environmental economics, economics of law, water quality, endangered species, wetlands.
Research Profile

Christian Traeger, Assistant Professor.

Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, Professor. Economics, industrial organization and applied econometrics.
Research Profile

Brian Wright, Professor. Innovation, economics, catastrophe insurance, intellectual property, agricultural policy, patents, commodity markets, storage, speculation.
Research Profile

David Zilberman, Professor. Marketing, biotechnology, water, risk management, biofuels, natural resources, agricultural and environmental policy, the economics of innovation.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Charles Gibbons, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Irma Adelman, Professor Emeritus.

Anthony Fisher, Professor Emeritus. Environmental and natural resource economics, economics of climate change.
Research Profile

Michael Hanemann, Professor Emeritus. Economics, labor management and policy.
Research Profile

George G. Judge, Professor Emeritus.

Sherman Robinson, Professor Emeritus.

Howard Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus.

Andrew Schmitz, Professor Emeritus.

L. Timothy Wallace, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

207 Giannini Hall

Phone: 510-642-3345

Fax: 510-643-8911

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

David L. Sunding, PhD

326 Giannini Hall

Phone: 510-642-8229

sunding@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Staff Adviser

William Hughes

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-5325

whughes@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Advising

Office of Instruction and Student Affairs, CNR

260 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-0542

Fax: 510-643-3132

cnrteaching@berkeley.edu

Head Undergraduate Adviser

Peter Berck, PhD

Phone: 510-642-7238

pberck@berkeley.edu

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