MPH: Environmental Health Track

Environmental Health Track

The EH track employs an interdisciplinary approach to investigate and improve environmental and community health risks and provide evidence for health policies to mitigate these risks. Students in the ECH track integrate knowledge across disciplines to examine the “environment” in its broadest sense. The concept of place, including the natural, built, and social environment plays a central role in understanding environmental and community health. From climate change to chemical exposures to crime, students from a variety of backgrounds collaborate to study the health of communities.
Students in the ECH track develop a strong methodological background in research methods and spatial analysis, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students develop and interpret research to define, analyze, prevent, and control adverse influences of the environment and community on human health.

Track Specific Competencies

  • Demonstrate methodological expertise in a discipline relevant to the study of environmental health, including: statistics, epidemiology, toxicology, risk assessment, and policy and regulation.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and expertise in at least one substantive area relevant to environmental health such as: health effects of air pollution, flame retardants, climate change/weather, water pollutants, vapor intrusion, or consumer products.
  • Demonstrate understanding of human physiology and pathophysiology

All students in the Environmental Health Track complete PHP2070, Public Health Community Service Internship.  The internship includes a core curriculum as well as a field experience tailored to the student’s public health interests and future career goals. 

All students are required to complete a thesis.  Students work with faculty advisors to design a thesis project appropriate to their interests and career path in environmental health.

Core Curriculum Courses
Students in all tracks are required to complete the MPH Core Courses, which can be found here :

Environmental Health Track Specific Requirements
Environmental Health Core –Students must take both MPH core environmental health courses.  One will meet the MPH core environmental health requirement, and the other will meet the track requirement.
PHP1700, Current Topics in Environmental Health
PHP2220E, Topics in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology

Geographic Information System:
SOC2612, Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences

With permission, students may take one of the following courses as a substitute: 
PPAI1700J, GIS and Public Policy
GEOL1320, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Applications 

Human Physiology
PHP2130, Human Biology for Epidemiology
BIOL1820, Environmental Health and Disease 

The total course requirement is 13, including both core requirements and electives.  Each student works out an individualized elective plan, with the support of faculty advisors.  Students may choose additional electives from the approved MPH elective list (see appendix).  Additional elective options may be possible with the approval of the academic advisor and the MPH Program Director.  Suggested electives particularly relevant to this track include:

Note that some electives require permission of your advisor and the MPH Program Director.

The total course requirement is 13, including both core requirements and electives.  Each student works out an individualized elective plan, with the support of faculty advisors.