How to Apply

How to Apply

Application to the HFE Program is through either:


  • Applicants must meet the entrance requirements of the Department to which they are applying

  • All students are enrolled full-time and the M.S. degree takes 2 years to complete

  • In consultation with the Program Director, Dr. Harris, Students prepare a curriculum that meets their needs based on their academic background and the requirements of their Department

  • In addition to meeting the graduation requirements for the Department from which they are graduating, students must also complete additional courses required of the Ergonomics Training Program (see table below)

  • All Master’s students must also complete an original research project or a capstone project 

Application to the Doctoral Program is through one of the following departments:

If entering with a baccalaureate degree:

  • Your academic  program includes 1 major field of study and 2 minor fields
  • Approximately 16 semester units of predominantly graduate level course work in the major field 
  • Minimum 8 units of upper division and graduate courses in each of the minors (exclusive of seminars and research)
  • There are no formal unit requirements, however

If entering with a master's degree

  • Your academic program includes 1 major and 1 minor field of study
  • At least 14 semester units of graduate level course work in the major area
  • 9 units of upper division or graduate coursework in the minor area (exclusive of seminars and research) 

Brief overview of application steps for Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

  1.  Review Graduate Admissions Requirements for Degree of interest and Program of interest here 

  2. Reach out to program director(s) for programs you are interested in

  3.  Complete Graduate Admissions Requirements accordingly for Degree of interest and Program of interest

  4.  Review Graduate Admissions Dates and Deadlines

  5.  Apply to SOPHAS here with the following items: 

    1. CV or Resume

    2.  Statement of Purpose

    3. Personal History Statement

    4. Three Letters of Recommendation (letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically)

    5. One set of official transcripts from each institution you have attended

    6. Official GRE test score sent to SOPHAS only, if applicable (code 4227)

    7. Official TOEFL test score sent to SOPHAS, if applicable (code 5688)

    8. Include your Berkeley Graduate Reference number in the SOPHAS application

    9. Pay SOPHAS application fee (fee waiver exists)

  6.  Submit application to UCB Graduate Program here with the following items:

    1. Unofficial transcripts, Official TOEFL score sent to UC Berkeley, if applicable (code 4833)

    2.  Include your SOPHAS Application ID number in the UC Berkeley application

    3. Pay UC Berkeley application fee (fee waiver exists)

Frequently Asked Questions - NIOSH Traineeships

Does NIOSH fund international travel for trainees?

All proposed international travel using NIOSH funds require a pre-approval request and subsequent approval from our sponsor, NIOSH/CDC prior to any purchases intended to be paid with NIOSH funds. To request an international travel exception from NIOSH/CDC, you must provide a complete budget breakdown, narrative of reason for traveling, what, where and when you will be presenting, along with Program PI and COEH leadership approval. If trainees have questions regarding travel logistics once approval has been secured, please contact the COEH Business...

Does NIOSH provide travel funds for trainees? (UC Berkeley Trainees*)

For UC Berkeley Trainees Specifically: Travel funds may be awarded through the NIOSH training grant but must be discussed and approved by the NIOSH Program PI and COEH leadership. Flights purchased independently, and not through the UC travel system following approval from all necessary parties will not be reimbursed per university travel policies. For more information visit the 2023-2024 NIOSH Trainee Guidebook.

Can a part-time student receive NIOSH support?

Part-time students, as defined by the institution in which they are enrolled, can receive Tuition and Fees from a NIOSH traineeship, but not a stipend.

Will NIOSH pay the fees for adding and dropping courses?

No. NIOSH will only pay fees to which all students are subject.

Is income from a NIOSH traineeship taxable?

The stipend portion of a traineeship award may be taxable, depending on trainee’s tax situation and other school expenses. It is advisable for trainees to obtain IRS Publication 4, Student’s Guide to Federal Income Tax and IRS Publication 520 on gift aid and tax requirements. The University does not issue a W-2 or 1099 and does not withhold taxes on traineeships.

Can a student receive funding from two federal sources?

Generally, trainees cannot be supported simultaneously on two federal funding sources, except in certain instances. The rule is: compensation may not be paid from a (federal) research grant which supports the same research that is part of the trainee’s planned training experience as approved in the training grant application. (NIH Guide for Contracts and Grants, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1/6/84). However, if both sources are federal training grants, and the combined support from both does not exceed the stipend ceiling, a student can receive funding from two federal sources.

How much support does a student receive from a NIOSH traineeship?

It varies, depending upon how much money each NIOSH-approved program receives in a given year, and how many students are enrolled. Support can include out-of-state tuition (first year only), fees, health insurance, travel, and a maximum stipend set by the federal government. Appointments for stipends can be made only to full-time students.

Is there a maximum number of years allowed for receiving federal support?

Yes. The maximum number of years an individual can receive NRSA (National Research Service Award) support (including NIOSH traineeships and NIH Fellowships from all schools attended) is: five years pre-doctoral and three years post-doctoral (for both institutional and individual awards), unless a waiver is granted.

Can a student be employed by the university while receiving a traineeship?

Yes, but students receiving a stipend (plus T&F) during the academic year may be limited to how much they can work. In the summer, employment will be supplemented only up to a GSR appointment at 100% (Northern California ERC policy).

When should the online eRA Commons platform be completed by NIOSH Trainees?

The Appointment of Trainee form (PHS # 2271) should be completed by each trainee on the online eRA Commons platform (online interface governed by the National Institutes of Health) and the program in which trainee is enrolled no later than 30 days after the beginning of the appointment. Information and Instructions for Completing Statement of Appointment is available at the following link:

For what length and period of time can traineeship appointments be made?

The minimum trainee appointment time is nine months for MPH and MS trainees. The minimum trainee appointment time is twelve months for PhD trainees. Exceptions are possible–for example, when a trainee graduates mid-year. The student’s appointment period does not have to coincide with the time period of the grant. It is possible to appoint a PhD trainee for 12 months beginning in any month of the grant year as long as the appointment ends within the 5-year grant period. Only the beginning date must fall within the grant period.

Who is eligible for a NIOSH traineeship?

Must be a US citizen or permanent resident alien (green card holder). The Northern California ERC is currently funded to support students in Industrial Hygiene, Ergonomics, and Epidemiology at UC Berkeley, Agricultural Safety and Health at UC Davis and Occupational Health Nursing and Occupational Medicine at UC San Francisco.

Is there any advantage to becoming a California resident?

Yes. Because of limited funding, the Northern California ERC will pay for out-of-state fees only for the first year. Therefore, it is important for out-of-state students to begin establishing California residency as soon as possible in their first year. It takes about one year to complete. Reach out to your NIOSH affiliated university of attendance who handles student affairs within your program for further details.

More questions?

Email the Program Director: