About Environmental Health Sciences
As a division of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences focuses on identifying — and preventing — adverse health impacts of physical, biological, and chemical agents in the environment. These agents may exist in the community or workplace, or even be endogenous exposures in the exposome. We are interested in the quantitative evaluation of environmental and occupational hazards and related risks, as well as innovative interventions to reduce exposures, particularly high exposures affecting more vulnerable populations. An interdisciplinary field, environmental health science draws on virtually all the natural sciences, as well as engineering, epidemiology and biostatistics to assess complex, often simultaneous exposures, investigate the mechanisms of biological response, and estimate the magnitude of health risks related to environmental contaminants. We are committed to providing rigorous training for students interested in either professional or research careers. Explore our website, and be sure to follow the links that more fully describe the variety of activities based in the division.
Ellen A. Eisen
Head of the Environmental Health Sciences Division
Why Environmental Health at Berkeley?
Our students study, learn and practice environmental health in one of the most innovative and vibrant academic settings in the world: the University of California, Berkeley. UC Berkeley has long held the distinction of being the best public university in the nation. The world-class campus offers students a dazzling faculty, excellent laboratories, the highest level of research, and one of the largest library systems in the nation. The distinguished faculty of UC Berkeley includes 7 Nobel Laureates, 235 Academy of Arts and Sciences members, 144 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 32 MacArthur Fellows, 4 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 357 Guggenheim Fellows -- more than any university in the country.
EHS students broaden their academic experience by forming connections with top Berkeley faculty across disciplines, from engineering to molecular and cell biology to nutritional sciences.
Faculty and students in the Environmental Health Sciences Division research, teach and learn how human populations—especially the most vulnerable members of society, such as young children, pregnant women, and the poor—are affected by environmental exposures, ranging from microbial and chemical contamination of water, air and other media, to climate change, industrialization and unplanned urbanization. We develop and apply cutting-edge methods, build research collaborations across global and domestic institutions, and lead major research centers and projects around the world.
EHS faculty have internationally recognized expertise in addressing pressing global challenges in health and the environment, including through the design and conduct of environmental epidemiological studies; the development of biological markers (such as changes in DNA) that can serve as indicators of human exposure to environmental contaminants; the estimation of the burden of disease attributable to environmental factors; and the projection of the health of populations in the face of environmental change.
Environmental Health Sciences faculty educate, challenge, mentor, and inspire tomorrow’s leaders in environmental health.
Our research is further strengthened by collaborations with world-class faculty across the UC Berkeley campus, through partnerships with other top research institutions in the US and around the world, and through the research contributions of EHS students.
Graduate students in the Environmental Health Sciences division are trained to become leaders in research or professional practice at the interface of environment and health. EHS students take courses that examine the health impacts of physical, chemical, and biological agents in the environment and workplace, and learn to develop strategies to measure and control major environmental health problems both locally in California and in settings around the globe. EHS faculty guide students to develop a deeper understanding of environmental health issues through both laboratory and field research, and to rigorously evaluate and control environmental hazards. During their time in the graduate program, both professional and research oriented students have opportunities to apply their academic training to solve environmental health problems in real-world settings.
Careers in Environmental Health
Excellent career opportunities are available for graduates of the Environmental Health Sciences program. Our students are highly competitive for environmental health positions in government, the private sector and academia. EHS graduates go on to careers in environmental protection, industrial hygiene, sustainable development and toxicology, to name just a few examples. Graduates of the Ph.D. program have taken positions in top academic institutions, both public and private, and are themselves contributing to leading-edge research in the environmental health sciences. M.S. and M.P.H. graduates often work for industry or government, contributing to solutions to pressing environmental health concerns.
Banner photo: Alan Nyiri