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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 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 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, and 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

In addition to two credits of TBD DrPH Environmental Health Concentration Seminar, students are expected to complete a minimum of 26 credits of track-specific courses. Courses taken to fulfill foundational requirements may not be applied to fulfill track requirements.

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.  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

In addition to two credits of TBD DrPH Environmental Health Concentration Seminar, students are expected to complete a minimum of 26 credits of track-specific courses. Courses taken to fulfill foundational requirements may not be applied to fulfill track requirements.

Concentration Directors

Daniel Barnett
Associate Professor
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.