The PhD program can last from 2-5 years; students normally take courses during their first or second year in preparation for the Qualifying Examination. In the first year, depending on the nature of their masters program, doctoral students will work closely with their academic advisers to ensure they have mastered the material discussed in the EHS core courses. Courses taken are chosen in consultation with the student's academic adviser, and students should have an early discussion of this issue with their advisers. Students must develop expertise in their major (Environmental Health Sciences) as well as two minor fields, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental law, policy, or molecular cell biology. One of the student's minor fields must be outside of EHS.
Doctoral students are expected to carry at least 3 units of directed research in each of the first two semesters and increased units in subsequent semesters. Part of this research effort will be devoted to the development of two minor fields as well as a dissertation prospectus in preparation for the qualifying exam. Students are encouraged to take courses outside the School of Public Health to enhance their understanding of other disciplines that may be important to their research areas.
This program requires a Graduate Group Examination, Qualifying Examination, and formal approval and acceptance of your dissertation. A committee of three Berkeley Academic Senate members will guide you in research and judge the merits of your dissertation. Your principal research advisor is generally the chair of this committee and it is expected that you will be in close touch with your advisor throughout the process of formulating the dissertation project and carrying it through to completion.