Graduate Academic Programs

Doctoral Degree Program (PhD)

Environmental Health Major

Description of Program

The mission of this program is to educate the next generation of environmental health professionals to understand the influences and effects of environmental factors on human health and disease with a focus on rural communities; to prepare health scientists to conduct and share through scholarly pursuits the results of original lab-based research; to emphasize the scientific, technological, policy, and management skills needed to address environmental, toxicological and occupational health concerns; and to advance the discipline of environmental health. The goal of this doctoral program is to educate future professionals who are highly qualified as independent investigators, academicians, and practitioners of environmental health.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for this degree are prescribed by an advisory committee for each individual student. Common requirement components include:

  • Research Skills – Typically 9 credits of course work providing required skills to conduct research, such as statistical analysis.  These credits to not count toward the 90 credits required in the major, minor, electives, and dissertation portions of the degree.
  • Major – 30 credits minimum
  • Minor – 12 to 15 credits
  • Electives –  0 to 28credits (may include second major or minor)
  • Dissertation – 20 to 30 credits
Special Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to enhance skills by participating in research activities independently or in collaboration with faculty members and other graduate students. Assistantships are available through our school for students admitted to doctoral degree programs on the Bloomington campus, and many doctoral students also gain experience in teaching various health topics in different settings. Students are strongly encouraged to publish research results in professional peer-reviewed journals and present their research at local and national conferences. Fellowships and scholarships are available to highly qualified students.


Graduates with PhDs in environmental health pursue careers in all sectors of the workforce including academia, government and industry. Professionals trained in environmental health, including those in toxicology, occupational health and risk assessment, will see job opportunities grow over the next several decades due to an increase in retirements and challenges in the chemical, physical, built and social environments. The increasing societal trend towards improving human health has led analysts to conclude that the job market for PhD-level individuals in environmental health and toxicology will continue to grow.

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