The Federated Chapters of Epsilon Nu Eta stands for Elpis Neogenes Hpeirou, which is translated to mean "the hope of a new born earth." The Society is dedicated to having as members those who are, and to encourage others to become, "the hope of a new born earth."

Epsilon Nu Eta has several noble purposes: (1) to recognize and encourage leadership and scholarship in environmental health; (2) to coalesce into an organization of persons desiring to advance environmental health; and (3) to draw students and faculty together to share ideas and efforts. It is deliberately structured to require involvement of mature and experienced faculty in guiding the youthful and idealistic environmental health scholars.

Epsilon Nu Eta is not for everyone. It is an HONOR society. Membership in the organization is highly selective. An Honor Society must define and maintain a truly high standard of eligibility for membership and achieve sufficient status that membership is valued highly. The primary standard for membership is superior academic performance; yet to avoid a highbrow group, the society has two other standards: exemplary character, and contribution to the profession. The contribution of the profession may take the form of research, employment, or service as determined by local chapters.

Academic requirements of undergraduates: at least an overall 3.0 grade point average on all course work and rank in the top 25% of all undergraduate environmental health majors. For graduate students: at least a 3.5 grade point average on all graduate coursework attempted, and rank among the top 33% of all graduate environmental health majors.