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Concentration in Environmental Health

Environmental Health Concentration

The goal of the concentration in Environmental Health is the development and training of senior-level professionals who have sufficient understanding of the biomedical and behavioral sciences; epidemiology and biostatistics; legal, economic, and social issues; engineering and management technologies; management concepts; and communication skills. Courses will prepare students  to provide leadership and management to multidisciplinary environmental and health security issues.

Graduates of the program should be able to analyze and assess complex environmental or health security risks, emergencies, and problems, and offer sound guidance and advice for the reduction of these risks and the resolution of environmental or health security problems. They will also work toward becoming practitioners who can: [1] comprehend and integrate the many dimensions of environmental health sciences, [2] define the disciplines that can best be applied to a problem, [3] make sound and critical judgments, and [4] interpret their recommendations clearly in the decision-making processes of policy formulation in industry, government, or academia. Graduates are expected to communicate and convey information effectively to the public. The Environmental Health Concentration contains the Environmental Health Track and the Health Security Track.

The DrPH Environmental Health Concentration comprises two tracks:

  • Environmental Health Track 

  • Health Security Track

Scroll below to see the competencies and curricula for both tracks. When applying to the Environmental Health concentration, applicants will need to select both the concentration and a track.

Environmental Health concentration students must complete at least 26 credits of courses within one track per the requirements listed below. Students also complete at least two credits of  TBD Graduate Seminar in Environmental Health to fulfill the 28 concentration credits

DrPH Environmental Health Track

The Environmental Health Track provides students with the skills necessary to: [1] assess the needs for occupational and environmental health services at regional, national, and international levels, and [2] develop related policy and regulatory frameworks. This Track equips students to serve as cutting-edge practice leaders on the forefront of dynamic and evolving environmental and occupational health challenges.

Environmental Health Track Competencies 

1. Analyze and address the science and current issues related to environmental and occupational health.
2. Explain how environmental and occupational health sciences can be integrated to improve public health practice.

Evaluate environmental and occupational health risks by applying toxicology, and risk analysis (i.e., risk assessment, risk communication, and risk management) to improve environmental and occupational health outcomes.

4. Design, advocate and provide leadership for effective environmental and occupational health
5. Assess environmental and occupational health related illnesses and risks based on human physiology and human-environment interactions.

Environmental Health Track Curriculum

The Environmental Health Track curriculum addresses critically-relevant applied domains at the interface of occupational and environmental health practice - including toxicology, environmental & occupational health law, risk sciences & public policy, and human physiology. The Track also offers students a broad array of electives to choose from, ranging from micro-level domains such as molecular epidemiology and molecular toxicology, to macro-level foci such as environmental justice and risk & decision science.

DrPH Health Security Track

The Health Security Track prepares students to tackle high-profile public health emergencies around the globe, such as COVID-19, Mpox, Zika virus, and Ebola. Health emergencies have severe consequences that extend beyond illness and death; they have generational impacts on societies and economies. With risk factors for the emergence of domestic and international health security threats increasing (e.g., globalization, environmental change, urbanization, mass displacement, terrorism, and biotechnology), there is good reason to expect that health security threats (e.g., emerging infectious diseases, laboratory accidents, and deliberate events) will continue to emerge and may increase in scope, frequency, and severity. In this Track, students will gain skills and training to be ready to prevent, detect, and respond to these and other health security threats.

Health Security Track Competencies

1. Apply risk assessment principles to program planning, implementation, and goals, particularly in the context of emergency response and health security problems.
2. Evaluate major health security threats, and characterize the human, social, economic, and political risks they pose to societies.
3. Analyze major US and international initiatives to prevent, detect, and respond to health security threats, and assess those areas of health security where preparedness is strongest and where additional progress is needed.
4. Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to enhance health security and prevent or mitigate health security threats.
5. Synthesize and communicate important health security information in a way that increases the likelihood that political leaders and policy-makers to take appropriate action.

Health Security Track Curriculum

The Health Security Track curriculum addresses the evaluation and implementation of programs and policies that promote prevention of, preparedness for, and response to public health emergencies. Students will complete courses in global and US health security, biotechnology, One Health, risk assessment, risk communication, and decision science. Track courses include both conceptual and methodological components of health security scholarship and practice. In addition to the required courses, students have the opportunity to take elective courses as part of the track, enabling them to pursue areas of specific interest within the health security field.


Concentration Directors

Daniel Barnett
Environmental Health and Engineering

Daniel Barnett, MD, MPH '01, studies emergency preparedness, response, and recovery to identify approaches for optimizing population health in emergencies and disasters.