Environmental Health Sciences Degree Programs

Fast Track Master of Public Health (5th Year Program)

The Fast Track Master of Public Health Program allows motivated undergraduate students to begin coursework for a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree while still completing their undergraduate degree requirements. We welcome students from any major to consider the Fast Track MPH program and will provide academic advising to assist students in planning their graduate coursework, which students can begin once they have completed 60 undergraduate credit hours (including 36 at UAB).

Eligibility: UAB students in any major are eligible for this program if they meet eligibility requirements; there are no course prerequisites for admission to the MPH program. 

To be considered for the Fast Track Program, students must have:

  • Between 60 and 90 hours of undergraduate coursework completed
  • Minimum 3.25 institutional GPA
  • Recommended GRE Scores
    • Verbal: 147
    • Quantitative: 150
    • Analytical Writing: 3.5
    • Note: Applicants with a 3.5 GPA or higher are not required to take the GRE and should consider the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master (ABM) program instead  
  • Completed admission application through the UAB Graduate School website
  • An official copy of current UAB undergraduate transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from the current academic advisor and the remaining two from current or previous college course instructors. Electronic submission is preferred; however, referees can mail a letter in a sealed envelope.
  • An interview with the Departmental Program Director (at the discretion of the department)
  • A career statement describing their interests and goals and 
  • A one-page CV/resume of academic activities including awards and community service

Interested students can apply by going to the UAB Graduate School website and selecting the Apply to Graduate School Online link. The Program that you are applying to is Public Health Fast Track (MPH). Please include your concentration of interest in the application essay section.

Program Concentrations: The following MPH concentrations are available in this program:

  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Care Organization
  • Health Care Policy
  • Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership
  • Population Health

Course of study: Undergraduate students can complete most of the core MPH requirements prior to finishing their undergraduate degree. Upon graduation, students will complete their departmental requirements, electives, PUH 697 (Internship), and PUH 695 (Public Health Integrative Experience). Options for completion of core MPH courses include: 
 

Junior Year:
Fall: Core Class (BST 601, ENH 600 online, HCO 600, EPI 600) or EPI 610
Spring: Core Class (BST 601 online, ENH 600, HB 600, HCO 600 online)
Summer: Core Class Online (ENH 600, EPI 600, HB 600, HCO 600)
Senior Year:
Fall: Core Class (BST 601,ENH 600 online, HCO 600, EPI 600) or EPI 610
Spring: Core Class (BST 601 online,ENH 600, HB 600, HCO 600 online)
Summer: Core Class Online (ENH 600, EPI 600, HB 600, HCO 600)
Final Semesters
Fall: Departmental Courses: 12 hours
Spring: Departmental Courses: 12 hours 
Summer: Internship: 3 hours and PUH 695: 1 Hour

Master of Public Health in Environmental & Occupational Health

Master of Public Health in Environmental & Occupational Health

Program Description:  Environmental health professionals must be able to recognize, evaluate, and control environmental and occupational risk factors that may lead to disease. The Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health is intended to study the links between environmental and occupational stressors and human health from exposure and toxicant action to science-based risk assessment and policy development. We train students to recognize and assess environmental and occupational exposures, determine the toxicity risk to the humans, and design and properly communicate strategies to reduce risk and help set appropriate policy. Students will also be able to develop strategies and management policies for the prevention of occupational injury and disease. The mandatory internship is intended to introduce the students to real life experience in environmental and occupational health and to give them tools necessary for problems solving in the field.

Graduates will be able to do the following upon completion of the program:

  • Specify approaches for assessing environmental hazards.
  • Communicate scientific information in public and professional venues.
  • Describe critical factors of exposure assessment studies.
  • Explain how environmental factors impact human health.
  • Explain how environmental justice impacts health.
  • Demonstrate practical knowledge of environmental regulations
  • Employ risk assessments approaches
  • Describe regulatory programs and agencies that influence environmental and occupational health issues.

Admission:  Applicants should have a strong academic record and meet the minimum requirements for admission to the School of Public Health.

Curriculum:  In addition to the MPH core requirements, students take 23 hours of Environmental & Occupational Health track and elective courses and a 3 hour internship for a minimum of 43 credit hours. Please click here for the curriculum planning sheet, and here for handbooks.

Online Master of Public Health in Environmental & Occupational Health

Online Master of Public Health in Environmental & Occupational Health

Program Description:  The online degree is ideal for those students who may not have time to attend a bricks-and-mortar classroom. Covering the same content as the standard degree, this MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health will allow students to rigorously study the links between environmental stressors and human health from exposure to toxicant action and to science-based risk assessment and policy development. We train students to recognize and assess exposures, determine the toxicity risk to the humans, and design and properly communicate strategies to reduce risk and help set appropriate policy. Students will also be able to develop strategies and management policies for the prevention of occupational injury and disease. The mandatory internship may be conducted at the professional's workplace, but the activities during the internship must be differentiated from routine work activities and be properly supervised and documented.

Graduates will be able to do the following upon completion of the program:

  • Specify approaches for assessing environmental hazards.
  • Communicate scientific information in public and professional venues.
  • Describe critical factors of exposure assessment studies.
  • Explain how environmental factors impact human health.
  • Explain how environmental justice impacts health.
  • Demonstrate practical knowledge of environmental regulations
  • Employ risk assessments approaches
  • Describe regulatory programs and agencies that influence environmental and occupational health issues.

Admission:  Applicants should have a strong academic record and meet the minimum requirements for admission to the School of Public Health.

Curriculum:  In addition to the MPH core requirements, students take 23 hours of Environmental Health & Toxicology track and elective courses and a 3 hour internship for a minimum of 43 credit hours.   Please click here for the curriculum planning sheet, and here for handbooks.

Master of Science in Public Health in Industrial Hygiene (IHY)

Master of Science in Public Health in Industrial Hygiene (IHY)

Program Description:  The Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) curriculum with a concentration in Industrial Hygiene will provide students with an option to focus on industrial hygiene topics and provide an intensive research experience. Industrial hygiene professionals must be able to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control occupational hazards that may lead to disease.  They may also require expertise in designing and conducting studies to assess the potential exposures to various chemical and physical  agents which present a risk to workers, and to define safe limits for human exposures.  The research aspect of this curriculum is conducted under the requirements of the UAB Graduate School, and includes: formation of a research committee, defense of a research proposal, conduct of the research, preparation of a formal thesis, and presentation and defense of the thesis. The industrial hygiene program works with the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, one of the 18 Education and Research Centers supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Graduates will be able to do the following upon completion of the program:

  • Recognize workplace risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders and understand general methods for controlling them.
  • Apply experiences learned in practicums to industrial hygiene practice.
  • Apply fundamental concepts of industrial hygiene theory and practice.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in industrial and occupational exposures and controls.
  • Design, conduct, and evaluate research studies. 
  • Describe critical factors of exposure assessment studies.
  • Explain how environmental factors impact human health.
  • Specify approaches for assessing environmental hazards.
  • Employ risk assessment approaches.
  • Describe regulatory programs and agencies that influence environmental and occupational health issues.
  • Explain how environmental justice impacts health.
  • Communicate scientific information in public and professional venues.
  • Conduct a literature review on an ENH topic.
  • Write a research proposal appropriate for degree.
  • Perform supervised research appropriate for degree.
  • Write a manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal based on own research.

Admission:  Applicants should have a strong academic record and meet the minimum requirements for admission to the School of Public Health.  Students without previous experience, but who have a strong commitment to Industrial Hygiene, may be admitted. In addition to the general admissions requirements for the School of Public Health enrollees should have some background in math and science and a strong commitment to conduct research (laboratory or field based) as the MS level.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health Sciences

Program Description:The PhD in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences is an academic research degree. The doctoral program prepares scientists for careers in academia, research, environmental program management, risk assessment, and policy. Didactic training and research in the identification, evaluation, and control of environmental and occupational hazards to human health are emphasized in this program.  Students may concentrate on a wide variety of areas including industrial hygiene, exposure assessment, toxicology, environmental chemistry, air and water pollution, risk assessment, and management. In addition to understanding the advanced concepts of environmental health sciences, graduates of this program are expected to develop skills that will enable them to identify and define questions of environmental health importance, design research studies to address these questions, and to complete a program of research that demonstrates abilities as an independent investigator. Graduates are qualified to assume upper-level positions in the public or private sector in research, management, teaching, or consulting.

Graduates will be able to do the following upon completion of the program:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and capacity to apply environmental health concepts.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of literature and identify gaps in environmental and occupational health.
  • Develop an environmental or occupational health dissertation research proposal with detailed plan for developing the method and analyses.
  • Communicate, verbally and in written form, to the scientific community, stakeholders, and the public, scientific information on environmental and/or occupational health.
  • Develop advanced knowledge on environmental and occupational exposure and the effect on the human body.
  • Understand the main issues in the environment regarding natural and man-made disasters.
  • Specify approaches for assessing, preventing, and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
  • Present and defend your dissertation in a public forum.

Admission:  Particular emphasis is placed upon students' interest and their commitment to research.  The PhD degree requires an original and carefully thought out research dissertation. Students with previous experience and therefore specific ideas for research are particularly encouraged to apply.  The general departmental admission requirements apply to the PhD applicants; however, a previous master's degree is preferred.  Those students who do not have a master's degree a related field must take additional 15 hours of courses to meet the learning objectives for the MSPH in environmental health and toxicology.  Applicants should have a strong academic record and meet the minimum requirements for admission to the School of Public Health.

Curriculum: PhD students are expected to complete courses in 4 areas:  department track requirements, electives, seminar and journal club hours, and research.  Other courses preparatory to dissertation research will be determined by the academic advisor and/or dissertation committee in consultation with the student.

Two sets of general requirements are listed in the links below. Students who are admitted to the PhD program with a BA or BS, or those that a master's degree from a different specialty, will be required to complete a minimum of 72 hours. Please click here for the curriculum planning sheet, and here for handbooks.   Students entering with a related master's degree will follow the schedule requiring 59 credit hours. Please click here  for the curriculum planning sheet.  The admissions committee will decide which schedule the student is required to follow. These are also the minimum number of required hours: additional coursework that the dissertation committee deems necessary, or additional research hours needed to complete the dissertation, may increase the total number of credit hours.

Environmental Health Courses and Descriptions

Environmental Health Courses (ENH)

ENH 600. Fundamentals of Environmental Health Sciences.  This introductory course is designed to teach public health graduate students the fundamental concepts of environmental health science, the scientific research methods used to study the interaction between human health and the environment, and basic issues in the management of occupational and environmental health problems. Prerequisites: Admission into the MPH program or permission of instructor.  College level biology and/or chemistry strongly recommended.  This course is also available online.  3 hours 

ENH 601. Environmental Chemistry.  Chemical concepts applied to pollutant behavior in biosphere; absorption, leaching, evaporation.  Mechanisms of chemical modification in environmental, photochemical processes, redox systems, hydrolysis; metabolic transformation of selected pesticides, air contaminants, and hazardous chemical wastes are also discussed. Prerequisite: General Chemistry and Calculus recommended.  3 hours 

ENH 610. Environmental Disasters.  Examines the worldwide problem of toxic disasters, particularly those involving invisible agents (chemicals, infectious disease agents, radiation). Theory, case studies, field experience, and current scientific research are reviewed, and the public health, environmental, human services and public policy implications of toxic disasters are discussed.  This course is only offered online.  3 hours 

ENH 611.  Environmental & Occupational Exposure Assessment.  This lecture course is intended to develop an understanding and appreciation of environmental exposure assessment and its role in providing the tools and information for toxicology, epidemiology, and risk management. The course material introduces the general concepts of first recognizing environmental exposures to chemicals in human populations, and then using sampling techniques to assess exposures.   This course is also available online.  3 hours 

ENH 612.  Assessing & Managing Environmental Risks.   Examination of the methods used in developing environmental policy, with a focus on how toxicology and exposure measurements are used in environmental risk assessment and management.  Students will learn the risk assessment process from identifying hazards, assessing exposure, and characterizing the risks, as well as identifying means to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policies from social and economic perspectives.  This course is only available online. Prerequisite: ENH 650 or permission of instructor.   3 hours 

ENH 621. Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene.  Industrial hygiene principles of anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards found in the work environment, including chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic. Development, application, and limitations of occupational health guidelines and standards. This course is only available online.3 hours 

ENH 624. Control of Occupational Hazards.  General concepts of industrial hygiene controls. Principles of the application of general dilution and local exhaust ventilation. Factors affecting performance of personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., respirator and protective clothing) and selection of appropriate PPEs for specific exposures. This course is also available online. 2 hours 

ENH 625. Industrial Hygiene Case Studies.  Integration students' basic knowledge in industrial hygiene through consideration of real work-place situations.  Step-by-Step analysis of case reports covering occupational health and safety problems in representative industrial situations. Sequential presentation of overview of working conditions, survey strategies, interpretation of results, and recommendations. This course is also available online. 2 hours  

ENH 626. Physical Agents.  Sources, effects, and control of occupational and environmental noise, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, vibration, pressure, and temperature extremes. Review of regulatory and consensus standards and introduction of measurement equipment and techniques. This course is also available online. 2 hours 

ENH 635:  Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases: Causes and Prevention.  Food and water safety are essential to maintain human health.  The CDC estimates that about 1-in-6 in the US succumb to a foodborne illness each year. The high incidence of foodborne and waterborne diseases warrants an intentional study of the pathogens and chemicals responsible for this incredible number of illnesses and significant burden to the medical system. Students will understand the agents that cause disease, disease pathogenesis combined with host and comorbid factors, methods of transmission, surveillance, and prevention.  This course is only available online.  3 hours 

ENH 650.  Essentials of Environmental and Occupational Toxicology and Diseases.  Serves as introductory graduate level course that focuses on multiple aspects of toxicology and disease processes associated with environmental and occupational exposures.  Students learn basic terminology and concepts of environmental and occupational toxicology as well as occupational and environmental disease recognition, management and prevention.  Emphasis is on scientific foundations rather than on addressing topical issues.  The general course orientation is towards basic principles, organ system physiology, diseases and prevention.   This course is also available online. 3 hours.

ENH 660. Fundamentals of Air & Water Pollution.  An integrated introduction to air and water pollution, including its sources, transport, and effects.  Focus will be on measurement and characterization of air pollution and the bio-assessment of water quality. Regulatory control of pollutants and the technical aspects of engineering controls will also be given emphasis.  This course is also offered online.  3 hours 

ENH 661. Environmental Sampling and Analysis Lab.  This course is designed to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the principles and practice of air and water sampling.  The course will focus on contaminant gases, vapors, suspended particulate material and dissolved chemicals in water. A basic understanding of chemistry and physics is prerequisite.  This course is also available online. 2 hours 

ENH 670. Fundamentals of Occupational Safety.  Basic principles of safety and loss control; emphasis on prevention of losses of people, property, and products in work place. Developing competence in human-factors engineering, fire prevention, physical and behavioral science, product safety, and science of accident prevention.  This course is only offered online. 3 hours 

ENH 680. Interdisciplinary Field Studies.  Site visits to industries throughout Alabama to observe processes and interact with occupational health personnel.  Seminars held with occupational health nursing, industrial hygiene, and safety and ergonomics students to exchange information on latest developments and enhance interdisciplinary interaction. This course is also available online with permission of instructor. Prerequisite: ENH 621 or Permission of Instructor. 1 hour 

ENH 681. Interdisciplinary Worksite Evaluations.  To assist students in developing critical thinking and analytical skills, provide them with experience in applying discipline-specific knowledge in a broad occupational health and safety context, and provide experience in working in interdisciplinary teams.  The course consists of an overview of survey methodology and information sources, with emphasis on job safety analysis, a review of the occupational site or process to be evaluated and a report of the identified hazards and recommended controls.  This class is available online with permission of instructor. 2 hours

ENH 691. Current Topics in Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety Seminar.  Development of communication skills through objectively reviewing scientific presentations in the environmental and occupational health field; preparing and delivering presentations to a professional audience.  This course is available online.  1 hour 

ENH 697. Internship.  Field experience under joint direction of a public health faculty member and qualified specialist working in selected aspects of public health. This course is also available online for students in the oinline program. Pass/No Pass.  3 hours

ENH 698. Master's Directed Research, Environmental Health.  Independent study with guidance of appropriate faculty.  Pass/No Pass. 1 - 9 hours 

ENH 699. Project Research, Environmental Health.  Research for project under direction of research project committee.  Pass/No Pass. 1 - 9 hours 

ENH 700. Scientific Basis of Environmental Health.  This is an overview course that is intended to provide doctoral students with a broad understanding of the scientific principles on which environmental health is based within the context of the interaction of human activities and ecosystems, and the reciprocal impact of those interactions on human health and global ecology.  Course will be graded by letter.  3 hours 

ENH 701. Environmental Chemistry.  This advanced course covers physical and chemical processes that determine the dynamic nature of the atmosphere and interrelations with water and soil.  It also covers measurement methods and data analysis regarding observed concentrations of many key compounds.  The course also covers chemical aspects of current environmental change issues, as well as reviews risk assessment as applied to tropospheric air quality. Course will be graded by letter. Prerequisites: ENH 601 is preferred.  Other courses emphasizing thermodynamics, kinetics and transport phenomena can be used with permission of instructor.  3 hours 

ENH 705. Special Topics (Readings) in Environmental and Occupational Health.  Following topics taught on request on individual basis. 1 - 9 hours each Radiological Health, Air Pollution, Systems Safety, Advanced Toxicology, Environmental Monitoring, Noise Control, Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Techniques of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology, Environmental Justice and Racism. 

ENH 710. Grant Proposal Writing in Biomedical Sciences.  This course will train second-year graduate students in the intricacies of writing research proposals in the biomedical sciences. Pass/No Pass.  1 hour 

ENH 752:  Biochemical & Molecular Toxicology.  This advanced course focuses on the cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms of toxicant action in humans.  Specific toxic agents to be discussed will vary based on student and instructor interest, and students are encouraged to focus on agents specific to their research interests.  This course is taught partly as an independent study/directed readings, with some lecture material.  Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.  3 hours 

ENH 763. Aerosol Technology.  Defines properties and behavior of aerosols from industrial hygiene and environmental perspectives.  Reviews fundamental particle descriptions and critical fluid properties affecting particle behavior.  Methods of defining particle size and particle behavior.  Methods of defining particle size and size distribution and theories of particle kinetics and their application to particle disposition and collection. Prerequisite.  3 hours 

ENH 770. Advanced Topics in Environmental Disasters and Public Health.  Examines emerging public health challenges posed by incidents involving chemicals, radiation and biological agents.  Students are provided with the opportunity to undertake guided research on current topics in the field and discuss their findings with graduate students and faculty members.  Course will be graded by letter. Prerequisites: ENH 610.  3 hours 

ENH 781: Journal Club. The purpose of this course is to provide a forum in which students become comfortable critically reviewing recent refereed publications in the fields of environmental and occupational health, and industrial hygiene.    Students will also be expected to become comfortable answering and asking questions in a scientific setting.  1 hour 

ENH 790. Seminar: Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research.  Interactive forum in which graduate students and faculty discuss dissertation research projects and topics related to the field of Environmental Health Sciences research through the presentation of journal articles.  Course is designed to develop oral communication skills for presenting scientific material to peer groups.  Presentations by graduate students are followed by discussion and questions.  Pass/No Pass. 1 hour 

ENH 796. Environmental Health Sciences Research.  Lab Rotations. Course will be graded by letter.  Permission of instructor required to register.  3 hours 

ENH 798. Doctoral Directed Research, Environmental Health.  Independent study with guidance of appropriate faculty. Pass/No Pass.  1 - 9 hours 

ENH 799. Dissertation Research, Environmental Health.  Research for dissertation under the direction of the dissertation committee. Pass/No Pass.  1 - 9 hours 

 

UAB has many degree programs (both on-campus and online) that can lead to professional licensure or certification (PLC).  Licensure requirements vary from state to state and by professional organization.  UAB is working to develop an online, publically-accessible database, to assist in providing this state-by-state information.  In the meantime, if you are interested in learning about potential professional licensure requirements in your state for a specific degree program, please contact the UAB State Authorization office at stateauth@uab.edu or call Dr. Lisa Reburn (205) 934-3258.