Environmental sciences and engineering graduate program moves up in U.S. News rankings

March 27, 2020

The graduate program in environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health is number 15 in the category of Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering according to the 2021 Best Graduate Schools rankings, published on March 17 by U.S. News and World Report. This is up two spots from the previous year’s rankings.

The Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE), which will be celebrating its centennial in 2021, was the first of such in the nation to be established within a school of public health. At the graduate level, the program offers masters and doctoral degrees for students interested in research and professional practice in areas such as climate change and one health, safe and sustainable water resources, human exposure and health effects, air quality and atmospheric processes, and policy and engineering solutions. ESE students have strong quantitative skills with backgrounds in the physical and life sciences, engineering and policy. The department has over 2000 practicing alumni who are working globally and locally to reduce environmental risks and protect public health.

Dr. Barbara Turpin

Dr. Barbara Turpin

“After experiencing the impacts of three major hurricanes within 12 months, it is easy to remember that climate change will have a major impact on public health,” said Barbara Turpin, PhD, professor and department chair of environmental sciences and engineering. “This includes impacts on air pollution, water availability and quality, toxic releases, food and nutrition, infectious and non-communicable diseases, migration and conflict. The impacts will especially test the resilience of marginalized communities. I am grateful to be a part of a department of environmental and health scientists, engineers and policymakers located in a top school of public health, where students and alumni are encouraged to work together to provide holistic, intersectional responses to mitigate and prepare for pressing environmental challenges such as these.”

The U.S. News rankings are an annual evaluation of professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, including specialties in each area. The Best Graduate Schools rankings in these areas are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. As prospective students research course offerings and weigh schools’ intangible attributes, the information on the U.S. News website can help applicants compare concrete factors, such as student-faculty ratio and job placement success upon graduation.

The full rankings are available here.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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