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Concentration in Environmental Health

Environmental Health Concentration

The goal of the DrPH Environmental Health concentration is the development and training of senior-level professionals with 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 to provide leadership and management to multidisciplinary environmental issues.

Graduates of the program should be able to analyze and assess complex environmental risks, emergencies, and problems, and offer sound guidance and advice for the reduction of these risks and the resolution of environmental problems. They will also work toward becoming practitioners who can comprehend and integrate the many dimensions of environmental health sciences, define the disciplines that can best be applied to a problem, make sound and critical judgments, and 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 concentration comprises two tracks: the Environmental Health track and the Health Security track.

Concentration Co-directors

The DrPH Environmental Health concentration co-directors are:

Paul Locke, DrPH

Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH

Please click their links to learn more about their research interests, departmental and center or institute affiliations, and contact information.

The DrPH Environmental Health Concentration comprises two tracks:

  • Environmental Health Track 

  • Health Security Track

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


DrPH Environmental Health Track

The DrPH Environmental Health track training emphasizes the skills necessary to assess the needs for occupational and environmental health services at regional, national and international levels, the development of policy and the regulatory framework.

Environmental Health Track Competencies 

1. Analyze the state of the science and current research and policy issues related to environmental and occupational health.
2. Explain how environmental and occupational health sciences can be used to improve public health practice at local, state, national and international levels.
3. Evaluate environmental and occupational health programs and policies by applying toxicology, biostatistics, epidemiology, risk assessment, risk communication, and risk management principles to program planning, implementation and goals.
4. Design, advocate and provide leadership for effective environmental and occupational health interventions using law, regulation and policy at local, state, national and international levels.
5. Assess and communicate environmental and occupational health risks based on scientific, ethical, environmental justice and community-based principles.

Environmental Health Track Curriculum

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 28 credits of track-specific courses. Courses taken to fulfill foundational requirements may not be applied to fulfill track requirements.

Course Requirements for the DrPH Environmental Health Track (min. 28 credits)

Course # Title Credits
180.628 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Law 4
183.631 Fundamentals of Human Physiology 4



Fundamentals of Occupational Health OR

Occupational Health Management



317.600 Introduction to the Risk Sciences and Public Policy 4



Risk Policy, Management and Communication

Prerequisite: 317.600 Introduction to the Risk Sciences and Public Policy



187.610 Public Health Toxicology 4
550.630 Public Health Biology 3




340. 701.11

Social Epidemiology OR

Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology OR

Epidemiology in Evidence Based Policy AND

Epidemiologic Applications of GIS





DrPH Health Security Track

The DrPH Health Security track prepares students to tackle high-profile public health emergencies, such as the such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the global spread of Zika virus and the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa. Each of these events has had severe consequences—from public health outcomes that have extended beyond the illness and deaths directly caused by these viruses, to 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 the occurrence of health security threats (e.g., emerging infectious diseases, laboratory accidents, and deliberate epidemics) will continue to occur and may increase with time. In this track, students will gain skills and training to be ready to prevent, detect, and respond to these health security threats.

Health Security Track Competencies

1. Identify major health security threats; characterize the human, social, economic and political risks they pose to societies; and demonstrate the importance of public health to national security.
2. Apply risk assessment principles to program planning, implementation and goals, particularly in the context of emergency response and health security problems.
3. Examine the origin and evolution of major US and international organizations and 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 enables political leaders and policy-makers to take appropriate action.

Health Security Track Curriculum

Students are required to take the following required courses (19 credits) and at least 9 credits of electives to arrive at a minimum total of 28 credits. Courses taken to fulfill foundational requirements may not be applied to fulfill track requirements.

Course Requirements for DrPH Health Security Track (min. 28 credits)

I. Required Courses: take all of the following courses (19 credits)

Course # Title Credits
317.600 Introduction to the Risk Sciences and Public Policy 4
317.610 Risk Policy, Management and Communication 3
180.634 Public Health Emergencies: Risk Communication and Decision Science 3
180.623 Infectious Disease Threats to Global Health Security 3
180.624 Biotechnology and Health Security 3
185.600 One Health Tools to Promote and Evaluate Healthy and Sustainable Communities 3

II. Elective Courses: select from the following courses (min 9 credits)

Course # Title Credits
187.610  Public Health Toxicology 4
221.613  Introduction to Humanitarian Emergencies 3
317.605  Methods in Quantitative Risk Assessment 4
221.639 Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies  3
317.615  Topics in Risk Assessment 2
120.603  Molecular Biology of Pandemic Influenza 3
300.650 Crisis and Response in Public Health Policy and Practice  3
180.670 Introduction to Public Health Emergency Preparedness 3
180.627 Lessons Learned in 1918 Pandemic Flu 1
180.630 Chemical and Biological Weapons Threats: Science, Public Health, Policy 3
260.606 Major Global Infectious Diseases: Prospects for Control  2
301.692   The Role of Community-Based Organizations (CBOS) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS) in Improving Global Public Health  3
221.615 Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.) 5
340.668 Topics in Infectious Disease Epidemiology 3
340.765  Professional Epidemiologic Methods: Epidemiologic Intelligence and Population Health Assessments 2
223.684 Vector-Borne Diseases in the Tropics 4
340.658 Critical Reading of Epidemiologic Literature 1
340.636 Epidemiology in Evidence-Based Policy 2
340.666  Foundations of Social Epidemiology 3