Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Public Health Degree (MPH), Environmental Health Major

Description of Program

Students in this concentration gain technical skills for the development, implementation and evaluation of practices that seek to identify, prevent or minimize the adverse impact of environmental and occupational hazards on human health. Students complete coursework related to the assessment and control of environmental and occupational exposures, the effects of these exposures on human health, principles of toxicology, and toxic regulations and policies. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to communicate environmental health risks to the public, analyze the impact of environmental assaults and exposures to susceptible populations, and manage environmental and occupational risks.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 43 graduate credit hours is required for this program.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor. Prerequisite courses may be prescribed for students lacking sufficient background for graduate study in public health.

Master of Public Health Degree Requirements (43 credits)

MPH Degree Common Course Requirements (22 credits)

Complete each of the following public health core courses (15 cr.):

  • SPH-B 589 Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 651 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-P 510 Organization and Administration of Public Health Programs (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 541 Environmental Health (3 cr.)

Complete each of the following required public health courses. (7 cr.):

  • SPH-V 696 Field Experience in Public Health (4 cr.) (prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.0)
  • SPH-V 698 MPH Culminating Experience (3 cr.)

Environmental Health Concentration (21 credits)

Complete each of the following courses (12 cr.):

  • SPH-V 542 Principles of Toxicology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 545 Exposure Assessment and Control (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 546 Risk Assessment, Policy and Toxic Regulations (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 548 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (3 cr.)

Complete nine credits of graduate-level electives selected in consultation with the student's advisor. (9 cr.):

Special Opportunities

Graduates with environmental health degrees are more likely to get hired soon after graduation. There is a national shortage of trained environmental health professionals. The number of environmental health threats continues to grow: E-coli outbreaks, West Nile Virus, devastating events such as September 11th, & Hurricane Katrina, bring about environmental health threats that calls for an increase in the number of people trained to address these issues. We need more people to choose a career in environmental health to protect human health and the environment.


Environmental health professionals are everywhere and hold a variety of job titles. Below are just a few of the settings in which you could work:

  • State, county and city health agencies
  • Environmental consulting companies
  • Private corporations
  • Federal government
  • International organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Academia (colleges and universities)

An environmental health specialist is a general term for someone who inspects environmental health systems to make sure they are in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. These regulations are set by the government to keep citizens safe and healthy. Responsibilities often include:

  • Reviewing permits
  • Collecting and interpreting data
  • Investigating complaints
  • Monitoring
  • Educating
  • Performing inspections

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