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Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Department Overview

F461 Health Sciences

Environmental health focuses on identifying, evaluating, and controlling environmental conditions that may have an adverse impact on human health. Examples of problem areas requiring environmental health expertise are assuring adequate quality and quantity of food and drinking water, safe treatment and disposal of domestic and industrial waste materials, limiting or reducing air and noise pollution, limiting occupational exposure to hazardous substances and unsafe conditions, assuring safe and healthful housing, controlling the spread of insect- and rodent-borne illness, proper selection and use of pesticides, and understanding the effects of global changes in climate and the atmosphere on human health.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
F461D Health Sciences, Box 357234
(206) 543-4207
ehug@uw.edu

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in environmental health
  • A minor in environmental health

Bachelor of Science

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, calculus, statistics, English composition

Department Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to the major is competitive. Applicants must complete prerequisite coursework and an application to be considered. Completing the prerequisites and submitting an application do not guarantee admission. Applicants are admitted in two groups: Early Admission and Upper-Division Admission.
  2. Applications are due the third Friday of autumn, winter, spring, and summer quarters. Applications can be downloaded from the Environmental Health undergraduate program website at depts.washington.edu/ehug.
  3. Prospective students should apply during the quarter they plan to complete prerequisites for entry the following quarter. Ideally, students enter the major by or before the beginning of their junior year.
  4. Applications are evaluated on overall grades; performance in math, science, and composition courses; demonstrated writing ability; and understanding of and potential fit with the major.
  5. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with the program manager before submitting an application.
  6. Transfer students may use any transferable equivalent course(s) for prerequisite coursework. Consult UW Equivalency Guide or UW adviser to verity transferability of coursework.
Early Admission

Applicants must complete the following, with a minimum 2.0 grade in each course, to be considered for early admission:

  1. Minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA
  2. Minimum 30 college credits
  3. 5 credits of English composition
  4. CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162
  5. Either MATH 124 or MATH 144 or Q SCI 291 (MATH 112 does not satisfy this requirement)
Upper-Division Admission
Applicants must complete the following, with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course, to be considered for admission:
  1. Minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA
  2. 5 credits of English composition
  3. BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220
  4. CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162; CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239 or CHEM 223, CHEM 224
  5. Either MATH 124 or MATH 144 or Q SCI 291 (MATH 112 does not satisfy this requirement)

Degree Requirements

180 credits, as follows:

General Education and Basic Skills

93 credits as follows. Many of these courses overlap with major requirements shown below.

  1. Written and Oral Communications (12 credits): One five-credit English composition course from the University list; HCDE 333; 3 credits of additional W-designated coursework.
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (10 credits): Either MATH 124, MATH 144, or Q SCI 291 (MATH 112 does not satisfy this requirement); either STAT 311 (recommended), STAT 220, or Q SCI 381
  3. Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (20 credits): Minimum 10 credits required in each area
  4. Natural World (NW) (51 credits)
    1. Biology (15 credits): BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220
    2. Chemistry (26 credits): CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162, and CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239 (or CHEM 223, CHEM 224)
    3. Physics (10 credits): PHYS 114, PHYS 115, PHYS 117, PHYS 118 (or PHYS 121 and PHYS 122
Major Requirements

72-74 credits, as follows:

  1. Environmental Health Core (minimum 36 credits): ENV H 311, ENV H 405, ENV H 431, ENV H 432, ENV H 433, ENV H 472, ENV H 482 (2 credits minimum), EPI 320, MICROM 301, MICROM 302.
  2. Environmental Health Electives (9-11 credits): Minimum three courses chosen from ENV H 440, ENV H 441, ENV H 442, ENV H 445 (or ENV H 446), ENV H 448, ENV H 453, ENV H 460, and ENV H 473.

  3. 27 additional credits of approved electives
  4. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course required for the major
  5. Sufficient elective credits to reach total of 180 credits.

Minor

Minor Requirements: 29 credits as follows:
  1. Core Courses: 17 credits of the following: ENV H 311, ENV H 405, ENV H 431, EPI 320; STAT 220 or STAT 311.
  2. Approved Electives: 12 credits of electives from the approved departmental list. See website or adviser for details.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: In the Bachelor of Science program in Environmental Health, students learn to utilize tools of scientific inquiry to identify, prevent, and control environmental factors that can damage human health. As part of their training, students are introduced to basic principles of risk assessment, microbiology, epidemiology, sampling, and toxicology, and can choose to focus in one of three interest areas: biomedical sciences, health and environmental science, and environmental public health practice.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The department houses thirteen centers and institutes and twenty labs.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The department operates an internship program in cooperation with government agencies and private employers throughout the state. Each student intern works under the supervision of an experienced employee, with guidance from a faculty member. Internship placements are available throughout the year for variable amounts of academic credit.
  • Department Scholarships: None offered.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: UW Student Environmental Health Association

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
F461 Health Sciences, Box 357234
(206) 543-3199

The Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences offers three graduate degrees: Master of Science, Master of Public Health, and Doctor of Philosophy. The areas of emphasis are environmental and occupational hygiene (PhD), industrial hygiene and safetyoccupational and environmental exposure sciences (MS), environmental toxicology (PhD/MS), environmental health (MS), and occupational and environmental medicine or environmental and occupational health (MPH).

The PhD in environmental and occupational hygiene option focuses on the assessment of exposures, health effects, and control strategies in community and work environments. The program emphasizes expertise in exposure assessment to evaluate human health risks from chemical, physical, and biological agents. Research opportunities include: laboratory and field investigations of environmental exposures and health outcomes; air, soil and water pollution monitoring; ambient, indoor, and personal exposure modeling; evaluation of biomechanical stress factors and organization of the work environment; development of new instruments, biomarkers, and novel methods for assessing human exposures; and evaluation of effective control strategies for the prevention or reduction of illness and injury.

The MPH in environmental and occupational health provides an opportunity for students to focus on the recognition, assessment, and control of environmental and occupational hazards, the impact of these hazards on health and society, and approaches to regulations, enforcement, and policy development. It emphasizes development of skills essential to science-based public health practice. In addition to coursework, students complete a field practicum and research in any of the department's research facilities or in a field setting.

The MPH in occupational and environmental medicine is for individuals with an earned doctorate. The goal of the program is to provide training in the public health sciences with a focus on occupational and environmental health. The program provides didactic instruction and participation in field studies. Research efforts focus on understanding, preventing, and managing environmental and occupational disease, injury, and disability. Physicians also have the option of applying for a concurrent fellowship or residency in occupational and environmental medicine.

The concurrent MPH/MPA or MS/MPA degree programs with the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs seek to educate students who bring substantive public health knowledge and a strong policy and management orientation to their professional careers. With several courses that satisfy degree requirements in both programs, students are able to earn the two degrees in a shorter period of time than if the degrees were taken separately. Applicants must apply to both programs.

Admission Requirements for All Degrees

Prerequisites for admission to the MS occupational and environmental exposure sciences, environmental toxicology, and environmental health programs and the MPH environmental and occupational health program include a bachelor's degree in science or engineering with coursework in biology, chemistry, calculus, and physics. Applicants with non-science majors are considered if the prerequisite courses have been completed. Competitive applicants typically have strong grades and Graduate Record Examination scores, a statement of personal goals consistent with the program, and supportive letters of reference.

Prerequisites for admission to the MPH occupational and environmental medicine program include a doctoral degree (MD, DO or equivalent) with prior coursework in physics, chemistry, calculus, and biology. Concurrent UW residency applicants must satisfy additional prerequisites including graduation from a Class A medical school (United States, Canada, or equivalent) and completion of one year of approved internship. Three years in primary care specialty is also encouraged.

Prerequisites for admission to the PhD environmental and occupational hygiene and environmental toxicology programs include a bachelor's degree in science or engineering with coursework in biology, chemistry, calculus, and physics. A master's degree in a related field is recommended for Ph.D. environmental and occupational hygiene applicants. Selection of an applicant is also based upon an honors-level GPA, a statement of personal goals consistent with the program, supportive letters of reference, and high scores on the Graduate Record Examination.

International applicants are also required to submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL scores of 580 (237 computer) or higher are required for admission to the MS, MPH, and PhD programs.

Master of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Focuses on the recognition, assessment, and control of environmental and occupational hazards; the impact of these hazards on public health and society; and approaches to regulations, enforcement, and policy development. Nurses with a BN can opt for a special emphasis MPH track to train in the delivery of health and safety services to worker populations and communities.

Degree Requirements

63 credits, as follows:

  1. Core Requirements: EPI 511 (or EPI 512, EPI 513), BIOST 511 (or BIOST 517). MPH/MPA students are also required to take BIOST 512 (or BIOST 518), HSERV 510, and HSERV 511.
  2. Required Courses: ENV H 505 (or ENV H 514, ENV H 515, and ENV H 516), ENV H 453 (or ENV H 553 or ENV H 551), ENV H 570, ENV H 577 (or ENV H 572 or ENV H 543), ENV H 446 (or ENV H 490, or ENV H 541, or ENV H 545, or ENV H 552, or ENV H 548). Courses in environmental health not chosen can be taken as electives to satisfy course requirements. Students have a choice of either completing a thesis (ENV H 700) or a project (ENV H 598B).
  3. Electives (varies by track)
    1. Thesis Track: At least two additional 400- or 500-level departmental courses (minimum 6 credits) required to fulfill elective requirements.
    2. Project Track: Students who take 6-8 credits of ENV H 598A must take 3 additional 400-500 classes. Students who take 9 or more ENV H 598A credits must take two additional 400-500 level elective credits.
  4. Practicum: ENV H 599 (at least 120 hours)

Master of Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Gives physicians a better understanding of the clinical and scientific principles in environmental and occupational health. Training focuses on epidemiology, occupational and environmental hygiene, biostatistics, health services and environmental toxicology. A concurrent residency/fellowship program is available.

Degree Requirements

64 credits

Master of Science, Environmental Health

Students learn to identify sources of contamination in air, water, food, and soil, and on surfaces; how contamination is spread; strategies to prevent or control effects on human health or environmental quality; and the means of communicating risk information to the public and health professionals.

Degree Requirements

64 credits, as follows:

  1. Core Courses: ENV H 580, ENV H 581, ENV H 583, ENV H 700, BIOST 511 (or BIOST 517 or higher), EPI 511
  2. Required Courses: ENV H 505, ENV H 453, ENV H 541, ENV H 543 (or ENV H 577), ENV H 552, ENV H 594, ENV H 445 (or ENV H 446), ENV H 548, ENV H 545
  3. Representative Electives: 9 graded elective credits, approved by the student's academic adviser.

Master of Science, Occupational and Environmental Exposure Sciences

Students learn to quantify and manage human exposures to chemicals, air pollutants, aerosols, and physical agents found in a wide variety of community and occupational settings. The program emphasizes rigorous academic training, internships, career guidance, and practical skills needed for graduates to establish long-term careers as environmental health and safety professionals. A flexible curriculum offers options for either a thesis or professional portfolio alternative.

Degree Requirements

63 credits, as follows:

  1. Core Courses: ENV H 580, ENV H 581, ENV H 583, ENV H 700 (or appropriate section of ENV H 598, and ENV H 559, and appropriate section of ENV H 599) BIOST 512 (or BIOST 518, or higher), EPI 511. Higher level biostatistics and epidemiology courses can be substituted for BIOST 511 or BIOST 517, and for EPI 511. Students completing a project are required to take only BIOST 511 and are not required to take ENV H 583, but are required to complete an internship (ENV H 599).
  2. Required Courses: ENV H 551, ENV H 553, ENV H 557
  3. Learning Emphasis Required Courses:
    • Occupational Hygiene: ENV H 505, ENV H 555, ENV H 557, ENV H 560, ENV H 570
    • Ergonomics and Human Factors: ENV H 537, ENV H 549, ENV H 560, ENV H 566, ENV H 596
    • Health and Safety Management and Policy: ENV H 560, ENV H 577, ENV H 584, ENV H 599
    • Exposure Biomarkers: ENV H 505, ENV H 506, ENV H 554, ENV H 570, P BIO 506
  4. Electives: Electives must be taken to satisfy the degree requirement of 63 total credits.

Master of Science, Environmental Toxicology

Focuses on understanding the mechanisms of action of environmental chemicals and their effects on human health and in the environment. Research areas include chemical effects on organ systems (neurological, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory) and also developmental toxicology, environmental carcinogenesis, and dietary chemoprotection. The program also offers a strong focus on human risk assessment as well as in toxicological issues that cross ecological and human health disciplines.

Degree Requirements

63 credits, as follows:

  1. Core Courses: ENV H 580, ENV H 581, EHV H 583, ENV H 700, BIOST 511 (or BIOST 517, or higher), EPI 511.
  2. Required Courses: ENV H 514, ENV H 515, ENV H 516, ENV H 552, ENV H 577, BIOC 405, BIOC 406 (or BIOC 440, BIOC 441, BIOC 442), ENV H course in industrial hygiene or occupational medicine.
  3. Representative Electives: Toxicology students who take the two-quarter biochemistry series (BIOC 405, BIOC 406) must have an additional 9 graded elective credits. Students who choose the three-quarter biochemistry series (BIOC 440, BIOC 441, BIOC 442) must have an additional 3 graded elective credits. Electives must be approved by the student's academic adviser. Electives may include ENV H 511, ENV H 512, ENV H 531, ENV H 532, ENV H 533, ENV H 550, ENV H 553, ENV H 555, ENV H 567, ENV H 570, ENV H 584, ENV H 591, BIOL 411, BIOST 521, C MED 407, C MED 590, MICROM 441, MICROM 442, MICROM 518, PATH 444, PATH 544, PATH 555, P BIO 500-level courses, P BIO 505, P BIO 506, P BIO 507, PHCOL 401, PHCOL 402.

Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental and Occupational Hygiene

Students in this program learn to identify, evaluate, and manage health risks found in a wide variety of community and occupational settings, obtaining advanced research training in exposure assessment and control methods.

Degree Requirements

92 credits minimum, as follows:

  1. Core Sciences (11-12 credits): Sequence of three courses in one area, to be approved by adviser. Typical core choices are biochemistry, chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics, epidemiology, microbiology, or physiology.
  2. Biostatistics (3 credits): BIOST 512 (or BIOST 518 or higher)
  3. Epidemiology (4 credits): EPI 511 (or higher)
  4. Environmental and Occupational Health Seminar (6 credits): ENV H 580
  5. Dissertation (27 credits): ENV H 800
  6. Laboratory Rotations (6-9 credits): ENV H 595
  7. Required courses:
    1. Industrial Hygiene (6 credits): ENV H 553 and ENV H 555
    2. Toxicology (3 credits): ENV H 405 (or more advanced)
    3. Environmental Chemistry (3 credits): ENV H 552
    4. Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (3 credits): ENV H 570
    5. Electives (20 credits): 10 elective credits are unspecified and 10 must be in courses taught by occupational and exposure sciences or environmental health program faculty.

Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental Toxicology

Focuses on understanding the mechanisms of the action of environmental chemicals and their effects on human health and in the environment. Research areas include chemical effects on organ systems (neurological, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory) as well as developmental toxicology, environmental carcinogenesis, and dietary chemoprotection The program also offers a strong focus on human risk assessment and toxicological issues that cross ecological and human health disciplines.

Degree Requirements

104 credits minimum, as follows:

  1. Core Sciences (11-12 credits): Sequence of three courses in biochemistry.
  2. Biostatistics (3 credits): BIOST 512 (or BIOST518 or higher)
  3. Epidemiology (4 credits): EPI 511 (or higher)
  4. Environmental and Occupational Health Seminar (6 credits):ENV H 580
  5. Dissertation (27 credits): ENV H 800
  6. Laboratory Rotations (6-9 credits): ENV H 595
  7. Required courses:
    1. Toxicology (9 credits): ENV H 514, ENV H 515, ENV H 516
    2. Toxicology Seminar (9 credits): Of the 9 credits (minimum) of current topics courses, at least six credits must be in ENV H 591. The other credits can be chosen among other current topics courses offered by the Department of Environmental Health or other departments, with approval of student's advisory committee.
    3. Advanced Toxicology: 6 credits from approved list
    4. Physiology: 3 credits from approved list
    5. Electives (20 credits): Of the four (minimum) required electives, two must be departmental courses and two may be taken outside the department. The two departmental courses must be from two different non-toxicology programs. All elective credits must be approved by the studentís advisory committee.

Financial Aid

Support is available for many students in the form of traineeships or research assistantships, which include tuition. This support comes from federal and private sources awarded to the department or School.

Research Facilities

Specialized laboratories exist for research in industrial hygiene chemistry, optical remote sensing of chemicals, industrial ventilation, ergonomics, trace organics and heavy metals, environmental microbiology, electron microscopy, controlled exposure to environmental agents, and toxicology (including toxicogenomics and analytical cytology). Field research is facilitated through an extensive consultation-service program conducted by this department for labor and industry in Washington State.