Environmental Engineering Science

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The environmental engineering science (EES) major is an interdisciplinary program pairing engineering fundamentals with courses in the environmental and natural sciences. The EES curriculum provides a broader foundation in the sciences, allowing students to take classes in a variety of departments both inside and outside of the College of Engineering. At the same time, it allows students to focus their studies on environmental issues more than is possible in other engineering programs. EES provides a solid interdisciplinary foundation that is necessary for creating real-world solutions to global environmental challenges, such as providing a robust supply of safe drinking water, and meeting societal demands for energy without causing air pollution or interfering with the Earth’s climate systems.

Admission to the Major

Prospective undergraduates of the College of Engineering must apply for admission to one specific major/degree program. For further information, please see the College of Engineering's website.

Admission to engineering via a Change of College application for current UC Berkeley students is very competitive as there are few spaces open in engineering each year to students admitted to other colleges at UC Berkeley. For further information regarding a Change of College to Engineering, please see the College's website.

Minor Program

A minor in environmental engineering is available through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Other Majors offered by the Engineering Science Program

Energy Engineering (Major and Minor)
Engineering Mathematics and Statistics (Major only)
Engineering Physics (Major only)

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

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

  3. A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for all work undertaken at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements.

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

For a detailed plan of study by year and semester, please see the Plan of Study tab.

Lower Division Major Requirements

MATH 1ACalculus4
MATH 1BCalculus4
MATH 53Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 54Linear Algebra and Differential Equations4
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
or CHEM 4A General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis
PHYSICS 7APhysics for Scientists and Engineers4
PHYSICS 7BPhysics for Scientists and Engineers4
ENGIN 7Introduction to Computer Programming for Scientists and Engineers4
CIV ENG 11Engineered Systems and Sustainability 33
CIV ENG C30/MEC ENG C85Introduction to Solid Mechanics3
Basic science electives, select three from the following: 212-15
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory [4]
General Chemistry [4]
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Structure and Reactivity
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis [5] 1
The Planet Earth [4]
Physics for Scientists and Engineers [4]

CHEM 4A and CHEM 4B are intended for students majoring in chemistry or a closely-related field.


Approved scores on Biology AP, IB, or A-Level exams can satisfy two of the three basic science electives.


Junior transfer admits are exempt from completing CIV ENG 11.

Upper Division Major Requirements

CIV ENG 100Elementary Fluid Mechanics3-4
or MEC ENG 106 Fluid Mechanics
or CHM ENG 150A Transport Processes
CIV ENG C103N/GEOG C136/ESPM C130Terrestrial Hydrology3-4
or CIV ENG 115 Water Chemistry
MEC ENG 40Thermodynamics3-4
or ENGIN 40 Engineering Thermodynamics
or CHM ENG 141 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
CIV ENG 111Environmental Engineering3
Math/computing elective, select one course from the following:3-4
Methods of Engineering Analysis [3]
Advanced Programming with MATLAB [3]
Introduction to Analysis [4]
Linear Algebra [4]
Introduction to Partial Differential Equations [4]
Numerical Analysis [4]
Mathematical Methods for Optimization [4]
Introduction to Complex Analysis [4]
Concepts in Computing with Data [3]
Concepts of Probability [4]
Advanced Science Sequence, select 8-10 units from the following:8-10
Organic Chemistry [5]
Organic Chemistry [5]
Physical Chemistry [3]
Physical Chemistry [3]
Physical Chemistry Laboratory [3]
Field Geology and Digital Mapping [4]
Introduction to Aquatic and Marine Geochemistry [4]
Geodynamics [4]
Computer Simulations with Jupyter Notebooks [4]
Biological Oceanography and Biogeochemistry [4]
Structural Geology and Tectonics [3]
Geomorphology [4]
Isotopic Geochemistry [4]
Air Pollution [3]
Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics [3]
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Laboratory [3]
Principles of Conservation Biology [4]
Ecosystem Ecology [4]
Microbial Ecology [3]
Science of Soils [3]
Chemistry of Soils [3]
Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry [4]
Climate Dynamics [4]
Survey of the Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology [4]
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
Cluster courses: select any 12 units from the clusters listed below. 112

The 12 units of cluster courses are in addition to the engineering and science courses used to fulfill other requirements for the major. While the courses are organized by topic, students may take any combination of courses from any of the lists. 

Approved Cluster Courses

Air Pollution and Climate Change
ARCH 140Energy and Environment4
CIV ENG C106Air Pollution3
CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
EL ENG 134Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Devices4
EL ENG 137AIntroduction to Electric Power Systems4
EL ENG 137BIntroduction to Electric Power Systems4
ENGIN 150Basic Modeling and Simulation Tools for Industrial Research Applications4
EPS C183Carbon Cycle Dynamics3
MAT SCI 136Materials in Energy Technologies4
MEC ENG 109Heat Transfer3
MEC ENG 140Combustion Processes3
MEC ENG 146Energy Conversion Principles3
NUC ENG 161Nuclear Power Engineering4
CHM ENG 140Introduction to Chemical Process Analysis4
CHM ENG 142Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Engineering4
CHM ENG 150BTransport and Separation Processes4
CHM ENG 170ABiochemical Engineering4
CHM ENG C170LBiochemical Engineering Laboratory3
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
MCELLBI/PLANTBI C116Microbial Diversity3
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
PLANTBI C116Microbial Diversity3
PLANTBI 120Biology of Algae2
PLANTBI 120LLaboratory for Biology of Algae2
PLANTBI 122Bioenergy2
PLANTBI 180Environmental Plant Biology2
Ecosystems and Ecological Engineering
CIV ENG 113Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement3
ENGIN 150Basic Modeling and Simulation Tools for Industrial Research Applications4
ESPM C103Principles of Conservation Biology4
ESPM C104Modeling and Management of Biological Resources4
ESPM 111Ecosystem Ecology4
ESPM C133Water Resources and the Environment3
ESPM 174Design and Analysis of Ecological Research4
INTEGBI 151Plant Physiological Ecology4
INTEGBI 151LPlant Physiological Ecology Laboratory2
INTEGBI C153Ecology3
INTEGBI 154Plant Ecology3
Environmental Fluid Mechanics
CIV ENG C103N/GEOG C136/ESPM C130Terrestrial Hydrology4
CIV ENG 105Design for Global Transformation3
CIV ENG 173Groundwater and Seepage3
ENGIN 150Basic Modeling and Simulation Tools for Industrial Research Applications4
EPS 117Geomorphology4
EPS C129Biometeorology3
MEC ENG 165Ocean-Environment Mechanics3
MEC ENG 167Microscale Fluid Mechanics3
CIV ENG 171Rock Mechanics3
CIV ENG 173Groundwater and Seepage3
CIV ENG 175Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering3
CIV ENG C178Applied Geophysics3
CIV ENG 281Engineering Geology3
ENGIN 150Basic Modeling and Simulation Tools for Industrial Research Applications4
EPS 117Geomorphology4
Water Quality
CIV ENG 110Water Systems of the Future3
CIV ENG 111LWater and Air Quality Laboratory1
CIV ENG 113Ecological Engineering for Water Quality Improvement3
CIV ENG 115Water Chemistry3
CIV ENG C116Chemistry of Soils3
CIV ENG 173Groundwater and Seepage3
ESPM 120Science of Soils3
ESPM C133Water Resources and the Environment3

College Requirements

Students in the College of Engineering must complete no fewer than 120 semester units with the following provisions: 

  1. Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 (C average) and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical coursework required of the major.
  3. The final 30 units and two semesters must be completed in residence in the College of Engineering on the Berkeley campus.
  4. All technical courses (math, science, and engineering) that can fulfill requirements for the student's major must be taken on a letter graded basis (unless they are only offered P/NP). 
  5. Entering freshmen are allowed a maximum of eight semesters to complete their degree requirements. Entering junior transfers are allowed five semesters to complete their degree requirements. Summer terms are optional and do not count toward the maximum. Students are responsible for planning and satisfactorily completing all graduation requirements within the maximum allowable semesters. 
  6. Adhere to all college policies and procedures as they complete degree requirements.
  7. Complete the lower division program before enrolling in upper division engineering courses. 

Humanities and Social Sciences (H/SS) Requirement

To promote a rich and varied educational experience outside of the technical requirements for each major, the College of Engineering has a six-course Humanities and Social Sciences breadth requirement, which must be completed to graduate. This requirement, built into all the engineering programs of study, includes two Reading and Composition courses (R&C), and four additional courses within which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. See the humanities and social sciences section of our website for details.

Class Schedule Requirements

  • Minimum units per semester: 12.0
  • Maximum units per semester:  20.5
  • Minimum technical courses: College of Engineering undergraduates must include at least two letter graded technical courses (of at least 3 units each) in their semester program. Every semester students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their declared major. Satisfactory progress is determined by the student's Engineering Student Services Advisor. (Note: For most majors, normal progress will require enrolling in 3-4 technical courses each semester). Students who are not in compliance with this policy by the end of the fifth week of the semester are subject to a registration block that will delay enrollment for the following semester. 
  • All technical courses (math, science, engineering) that satisfy requirements for the major must be taken on a letter-graded basis (unless only offered as P/NP).

Minimum Academic (Grade) Requirements

  • Minimum overall and semester grade point averages of 2.00 (C average) are required of engineering undergraduates. Students will be subject to dismissal from the University if during any fall or spring semester their overall UC GPA falls below a 2.00, or their semester GPA is less than 2.00. 
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (C average) in upper division technical courses required for the major curriculum each semester.
  • A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical course work required for the major are required to earn a Bachelor of Science in the College of Engineering.

Unit Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of special studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed to count towards the B.S. degree, and no more than 4 units in any single term can be counted.
  • A maximum of 4 units of physical education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Passed (P) grades may account for no more than one third of the total units completed at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF), UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) toward the 120 overall minimum unit requirement. Transfer credit is not factored into the limit. This includes transfer units from outside of the UC system, other UC campuses, credit-bearing exams, as well as UC Berkeley Extension XB units.

Normal Progress

Students in the College of Engineering must enroll in a full-time program and make normal progress each semester toward the bachelor's degree. The continued enrollment of students who fail to achieve minimum academic progress shall be subject to the approval of the dean. (Note: Students with official accommodations established by the Disabled Students' Program, with health or family issues, or with other reasons deemed appropriate by the dean may petition for an exception to normal progress rules.) 

UC and Campus Requirements

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 satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). The UC Entry Level Writing Requirement website provides information on how to satisfy the requirement

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions (AH&I) 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.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

The American Cultures requirement is a Berkeley campus requirement, one that all undergraduate students at Berkeley need to pass in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You may take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. The requirement was instituted in 1991 to introduce students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.


Plan of Study

For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.), please see the College Requirements and Major Requirements tabs.

CHEM 4A or 1A and 1AL15MATH 1B4
Reading & Composition Part A Course74CIV ENG 1163
Humanities/Social Sciences course73-4ENGIN 74
 16-17 15
MATH 534MATH 544
First Basic Science Elective24-5Second and Third Basic Science Electives28-10
Reading & Composition Part B Course74 
 16-17 15-17
CIV ENG 100, MEC ENG 106, or CHM ENG 150A3-4MEC ENG 40, ENGIN 40, or CHM ENG 1413-4
CIV ENG C103N or 1153-4Math/Computing Elective33-4
CIV ENG 1113Cluster courses46
Humanities/Social Sciences course73-4Humanities/Social Sciences course73-4
 12-15 15-18
Cluster course43Cluster course43
Advanced Science Sequence course54-5Advanced Science Sequence course54-5
Free Electives8Humanities/Social Sciences course73-4
 Free Electives4
 15-16 14-16
Total Units: 118-131

CHEM 4A is intended for students majoring in chemistry or a closely-related field.


Select three basic science electives from: BIOLOGY 1A plus BIOLOGY 1AL, BIOLOGY 1B, CHEM 1B, CHEM 3A plus CHEM 3AL, CHEM 3B plus CHEM 3BL, CHEM 4B, EPS 50, PHYSICS 7C. Note: approved scores on Biology AP, IB, or A-Level exams can satisfy two of the three basic science electives.


Select one from the following: ENGIN 117, ENGIN 177, MATH 104, MATH 110, MATH 126, MATH 128A, MATH 170, MATH 185, STAT 133, or STAT 134.


Cluster courses: 12 units required. See Major Requirements tab for list of approved cluster courses.


Advanced science sequence: 8-10 units required. See Major Requirements tab for list of approved advanced science sequence courses.


Junior transfer admits are exempt from completing CIV ENG 11.


The Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) requirement includes two approved Reading & Composition (R&C) courses and four additional approved courses, with which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. R&C courses must be taken for a letter grade (C- or better required). The first half (R&C Part A) must be completed by the end of the freshman year; the second half (R&C Part B) must be completed by no later than the end of the sophomore year. The remaining courses may be taken at any time during the program. See engineering.berkeley.edu/hss for complete details and a list of approved courses.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Environmental Engineering Science Major Map PDF.


Environmental Engineering Science

Faculty and Instructors

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


Ilan Adler, Professor. Financial engineering, optimization theory, combinatorial probability models.
Research Profile

Ana Claudia Arias, Professor. Physical Electronics (PHY), Flexible and Printed Electronics, Energy (ENE).
Research Profile

David Attwood, Professor-in-Residence. Short wavelength electromagnetics, Soft X-ray microscopy, Coherence, EUV lithography.
Research Profile

James Casey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, finite elasticity, continuum thermodynamics, plasticity, theories of elastic-plastic materials, history of mechanics, dynamics.
Research Profile

Alexandra von Meier, Adjunct Professor. Energy, Electric Grids, Power Distribution .
Research Profile

Scott Moura, Chair of Engineering Science. Optimal control, PDE control, estimation, adaptive control, dynamic system modeling, energy management, battery management systems, vehicle-to-grid, smart grid .
Research Profile

Kara L. Nelson, Professor. Water and wastewater treatment, water reuse, detection and inactivation of pathogens in water and sludge, appropriate technologies .
Research Profile

Sayeef Salahuddin, Professor.

David Sedlak, Professor.
Research Profile

Junqiao Wu, Professor. Semiconductors, nanotechnology, energy materials.
Research Profile

* Tarek Zohdi, Professor. Finite element methods, computational methods for advanced manufacturing, micro-structural/macro-property inverse problems involving optimization and design of new materials, modeling and simulation of high-strength fabric, modeling and simulation of particulate/granular flows, modeling and simulation of multiphase/composite electromagnetic media, modeling and simulation of the dynamics of swarms.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Engineering Science Program

Visit Program Website

Engineering Science Chair

Scott Moura, PhD

625 Davis Hall


Engineering Student Services Advisor

Olivia Chan

Phone: 510-642-7594



Undergraduate Staff Advisor

Jessica Zhang

750 Davis Hall



Back to Top