Master of Public Health in the Field of Environmental Health Science and Policy

Program Director K. Applebaum
Practicum Director P. LaPuma

Mission

The mission of the master of public health (M.P.H.) in the field of environmental health science and policy degree program is to educate individuals who are committed to public health protection to apply critical analytic skills to the development, implementation, and evaluation of practices and policies aimed at preventing or minimizing the adverse impact of environmental and occupational hazards on human health.

Goals

Our graduates will possess a multidisciplinary knowledge base and skill set that will provide them a framework for addressing environmental and occupational health (EOH) issues. They will understand three distinct scientific foundations of environmental health in order to: 

  • Assess and control environmental and occupational exposures;
  • Understand the effects of these exposures on human health; and
  • Interpret epidemiologic and other research findings related to environmental risks.

Furthermore, graduates will be prepared to build on this science base in order to:

  • Analyze policy implications and participate in policy development, implementation, and evaluation; and
  • Assess and manage environmental and occupational risks.

Upon Completion of the Master of Public Health program in the field of environmental health science and policy, students should possess the following functional competencies. 

Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Critically assess existing epidemiologic research.

  • Summarize goals, design, methods, and results of published research. 
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • Identify biases and evaluate the extent to which they threaten study validity.
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6131Applied Data Analysis in Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Apply statistical principles to interpret epidemiologic data. 
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6131Applied Data Analysis in Environmental and Occupational Health

Design appropriate studies for investigating EOH problems.

  • Identify appropriate resources and databases to plan and conduct studies. 
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
  • Given a research question, identify appropriate study design, choose appropriate study populations, describe relevant exposure assessment methods, identify appropriate data collection instruments and processes, and describe procedures for protecting human subjects. 
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards

Conceptualize and carry out data analysis to address study goals.

  • Conceptualize research questions. 
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6131Applied Data Analysis in Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Utilize appropriate approaches to manage and analyze data. 
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
PUBH 6131Applied Data Analysis in Environmental and Occupational Health

Exposure Assessment and Control

Assess environmental and occupational exposures.

  • Describe the principle of operation, capability, and limitations of assessment instrumentation. 
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Assess severity of potential hazards and select the appropriate instrument and measurement method. 
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Interpret exposure measurements to assess the severity of a chemical, physical, or biological hazard.
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Compare exposure data against established occupational & environmental health standards and guidelines.
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic exposure assessments.  
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology

Recommend strategies to prevent and control environmental and occupational exposures.

  • Recommend appropriate control strategies, such as; environmental health interventions, protective equipment, behavior change campaigns, to mitigate health hazards. 
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards

Toxicology

Identify the adverse effects of chemical, biological, and physical exposures on human health.

  • Apply key concepts in toxicology including:  dose-response relationships; absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics; acute and chronic effects. 
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
  • Describe the biological basis for the adverse effects of toxicants on specific organs and tissues and identify specific compounds that interact with specific organs.
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
  • Describe biological basis for the systemic effects of toxicants (e.g., carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, developmental toxicity) and identify specific compounds that elicit these effects.
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy

Interpret toxicological research findings in the context of human health risk assessment.

  • Explain key aspects of toxicological tests as well as their strengths and weaknesses. 
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
  • Explain how risk assessment is used to translate toxicologic information for regulatory decisions including:  evaluating a body of data and applying weight of evidence approaches; calculating and using the reference dose (RfD); calculating and using of cancer slope factors. 
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy

Policy

Synthesize scientific evidence in order to inform EOH policy and reduce and prevent environmental and occupational disease and injury.

  • Describe the authority and approaches of U.S. public and environmental health agencies. 
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
  • Apply the risk assessment, risk management, and Source-to-Effect frameworks. 
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
  • Explain the role of scientific, economic, ethical, and political interests in development and implementation of human health and environmental health policy.
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy

Conduct policy analysis relevant to EOH problems.

  • Discuss the control of public health hazards on a global basis. 
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Analyze approaches to environmental or occupational health policy development.
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
  • Analyze the role of environmental and occupational health policies and politics in promoting sustainability. 
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs

Risk Management

Synthesize relevant information in order to assess and manage environmental and occupational risks.

  • Given a specific context, design a plan to collect relevant information to fully characterize EOH hazards and related human health effects.
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
  • Evaluate data and other information to characterize potential EOH hazards, sources of those hazards, potential for human exposure, and potential or actual health effects.
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
  • Recommend possible approaches to reduce the risk and/or impact of exposure to EOH hazards, and evaluate these approaches with regard to ethical issues, technical feasibility, resource requirements, and policy context. 
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
  • Communicate with relevant stakeholder groups about environmental and occupational health issues and recommendations, using appropriate terminology and data. 
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH

Identify ethical issues in environmental health policy and practice.

  • Discuss how scientific principles and societal values such as equity and environmental justice influence decision-making about environmental and occupational health problems in research, public health practice, policy, and management contexts.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 45 credits, including 15 credits in core courses, 18 credits in program specific courses, 8 credits in elective courses, and 4 credits in practicum/culminating experience.

Required core courses (15 credits):
PUBH 6001Biological Concepts in Public Health
PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology
PUBH 6004Environmental and Occupational Health in a Sustainable World
PUBH 6006Management and Policy Approaches to Public Health
PUBH 6007Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health
Required program-specific courses (18 credits):
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6122Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6126Assessment&Control/Env Hazards
PUBH 6131Applied Data Analysis in Environmental and Occupational Health
Program-specific electives (4 credits):
Two of the following
PUBH 6127Germs: An Introduction to Environmental Health Microbiology
PUBH 6128Global Environmental and Occupational Health
PUBH 6130Sustainable Energy and the Environment
PUBH 6133Social Dimenensions in Climate Change and Health
Electives (4 credits):
Any SPH graduate course
Practicum and culminating experience:
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience (taken twice for one credit)

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 45 graduate credits
  2. Course requirements: Successful completion of core and program-specific courses
  3. Grade point requirement: 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average
  4. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within four years.
  5. Transfer credit policy: Up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree may be transferred to the Master of Public Health program. Up to 18 credits may be transferred to the Master of Public Health from the SPH graduate certificate. Credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last 3 years with a grade point of 3.0 or better.