Graduate Programs in Building Science at UC Berkeley

The Building Science Group at UC Berkeley aims to influence practice and improve the performance of buildings by educating future members of the building professions.

Building Science at the University of California, Berkeley, is dedicated to the energy efficiency and environmental quality of buildings. Its underlying premise is that energy-use patterns and environmental quality are related, and that this relationship contains great opportunities to improve the built environment.

The intellectual objective of graduate research in building science is uncovering the processes by which a building affects its occupants, evaluating the human/economic/energy consequences of the effects, and incorporating this knowledge in new procedures to design more acceptable buildings. A secondary objective is to prepare the student for a career involving building science, by having them participate in important funded research ongoing at Berkeley, and by engaging them in the activities of the professional societies where research is presented, debated, and put into forms that influence design practice. Coursework is largely decided on an individual basis through consultation between the student and his or her advisor. In general, each student will be required to develop competence in a range of building science topics that border the main topic of interest. M.S. and Ph.D. students often participate in research projects conducted by the faculty for external sponsors. Thesis research can be structured in many ways, but must be based on an appropriate combination of theory, modeling, and/or testing in the laboratory or field.

The Building Science Group

The Building Science Group is part of the Department of Architecture, and is composed of five faculty (Edward Arens, Gail Brager, Luisa Caldas, Stefano Schiavon, and Susan Ubbelohde), five full-time researchers in the Architecture Department, 10-20 graduate students at a given time (Ph.D., M.S., and M.Arch.), and a number of visiting scholars.

Applying to the Building Science Program at UC Berkeley

Applications to the M.Arch, M.S. and Ph.D. programs are all due in December for admission to the Fall semester of the following year.  For details about program requirement and application forms, please see the College of Environmental Design admissions page.

For More Information

For specific questions about the building science programs please email us at:

Building science students work on projects of relevance to industry.

Students benefit from collaboration with research staff, faculty, and industry leaders.