University of California, Riverside

Environmental Sciences

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

  • Research in the Department of Environmental Sciences focuses primarily on human interactions with the environment. We offer graduate studies in the following broad research areas:
    • Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology:

      Graduate studies in environmental chemistry and toxicology focus on the sources, physical and chemical transformations, and removal processes for gaseous and particulate chemicals (primarily organic compounds of anthropogenic and biogenic origin) in the clean and polluted atmosphere. Laboratory studies and ambient measurements are directed towards developing an understanding of processes affecting atmospheric chemistry and air quality at local, regional, and global scales, which have associated impacts on human and environmental health.

    • Environmental Microbiology:

      Graduate studies in environmental microbiology encompass the study of microbial processes in natural and agricultural ecosystems and the effects of microorganisms on environmental processes and environmental quality. Research topics include fundamental research on microbial physiology, genetics, and ecology as related to the environment, to applied research on microbial effects on the fate and transport of pollutants, anthropogenic effects on microbial communities, fate and transport of human pathogenic microorganisms in the environment, and the application of microorganisms and microbial assays as indicators of soil and water quality.

    • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Policy:

      Graduate studies in economics and policy focus on the human aspects of environmental problems. Coursework emphasizes training in the traditional areas of environmental and natural resource economics, including welfare theory, externalities, pollution control, resource extraction, and non-market valuation, but also incorporates elements of sustainability and environmental management. Research topics could include the environmental impacts of agriculture, transportation and urban sprawl, land use in developing countries, international trade and the environment, and methodological advances in non-market valuation, to name just a few. Training in this field enables a student to analyze and address a wide variety of environmental policy issues from a quantitative perspective.

    • Soil and Water Sciences:

      Graduate studies in soil and water science offer comprehensive training in the chemistry, physics, biology, and ecology of soils, surface waters and wetlands. Students can specialize in a variety of different areas, including soil and aquatic chemistry, hydrology, limnology, soil-plant relations, biogeochemistry, bioremediation and phytoremediation, soil genesis, soil mineralogy and geomorphology.

    • Environmental Sciences and Management:

      The Environmental Sciences and Management field area is designed to serve students seeking interdisciplinary training in environmental research. Students enrolled in this field area will be expected to pursue a rigorous research plan that involves research in one or more of the following areas: science, management, or policy. Students will have the opportunity to select study committees from a spectrum of environmental disciplines.

  • To pursue these studies, graduate students can receive Masters or Ph.D. degrees in any graduate program in which departmental faculty participate, including:
  • To obtain application information, or to have any questions you may have answered, simply contact the faculty member(s) you are interested in working with directly, send an email request to the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at, or write directly to:
    • Graduate Student Affairs Office
    • Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
    • 1140 Batchelor Hall
    • University of California, Riverside 92521
    • (951) 827-2441

    Application information and forms are also available at UCR’s Graduate Division website:

  • Deadlines:
  • General information about graduate admissions to the University of California can be found at the following site:

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Environmental Sciences
Geology 2460

Tel: (951) 827-5116
Fax: (951) 827-4652