Environmental Health Science and Policy - MPH

Program Contacts

Program Director

Kate Applebaum

 

Practicum Director

Peter LaPuma

 

Advisors & Advising Info

Mission

The mission of the Environmental Health Science and Policy MPH program is to educate individuals who are committed to public health protection to apply critical analytic skills to the development, implementation and evaluation of practices and policies aimed at preventing or minimizing the adverse impact of environmental and occupational hazards on human health.

 

Goals

Our graduates will possess a multidisciplinary knowledge base and skill set that will provide them a framework for addressing environmental and occupational health (EOH) issues. They will understand three distinct scientific foundations of environmental health in order to: 

  • Assess and control environmental and occupational exposures;
  • Understand the effects of these exposures on human health; and
  • Interpret epidemiologic and other research findings related to environmental risks.

Furthermore, graduates will be prepared to build on this science base in order to:

  • Analyze policy implications and participate in policy development, implementation and evaluation; and
  • Assess and manage environmental and occupational risks.

Competencies

Program-Specific Competencies

Upon Completion of the MPH Program in Environmental Health Science and Policy, students should possess the following functional competencies. 

  • Assess environmental and occupational exposures.

Students will be able to assess human exposures to environmental and occupational hazards for the purposes of evaluating human health hazards, conducting epidemiological research, and preventing and controlling hazards.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6121, 6126, 6127, 6131.

  • Prevent and control environmental and occupational hazards.

Students will be able to recommend appropriate interventions – such as engineering controls, behavior change, or material substitution – for reducing human exposures to environmental and occupational hazards.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6124, 6125, 6126, 6127, 6128, 6129, 6130.

  • Identify the adverse effects of chemical, biological, and physical exposures on human health. 

Students will be able to describe the structure and function of human organ systems and identify environmental and occupational agents that disrupt these systems to cause disease and injury.  Students will be able to identify the main mechanisms by which environmental and occupational agents gain access to and adversely affect human health, as well as factors which affect susceptibility to such adverse effects.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6123, 6124, 6125, 6127.

  • Interpret epidemiologic and other research findings related to environmental risks, and assist in designing and conducting research.

Students will be able to critically assess existing epidemiologic research, to assist in designing and carrying out appropriate studies for investigating EOH problems, to conceptualize data analysis to address study goals, and to utilize appropriate approaches to manage and analyze data.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6121, 6122, 6128, 6131, 6134.

  • Synthesize relevant information in order to analyze EOH policy implications and participate in policy development.

Students will be able to apply various risk assessment approaches.  They will be able to synthesize relevant information, including values, for the purposes of assessing risk and evaluating policy strategies to reduce and prevent environmental and occupational disease and injury.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6122, 6123, 6124, 6125, 6128, 6130, 6133.

  • Synthesize relevant information in order to assess and manage environmental and occupational risks.

Students will be able to apply various risk management and risk communication frameworks.  They will be able to synthesize relevant information, including values, for the purposes of assessing risk and evaluating management strategies to reduce and prevent environmental and occupational disease and injury.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6122, 6124, 6126, 6127, 6130, 6133.

  • Engage in public health communication and risk communication activities. 

Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively in professional and community settings on public health issues and on environmental and occupational health hazards.   Relevant courses:  PubH 6121, 6122, 6123, 6124, 6125, 6129, 6134.

  • Identify ethical issues in environmental health policy and practice.

Students will be able to discuss how scientific principles and societal values such as equity and environmental justice influence decision-making about environmental and occupational health problems in research, public health practice, policy, and management contexts.  Relevant courses:  PubH 6121, 6122, 6123, 6124, 6125, 6128, 6129, 6130, 6133.

Program Requirements

Graduate Credit Requirement.  45 graduate credits are required.

Course Requirements.  Successful completion of the Core Courses and the Program-Specific Courses are required.

  • Core Courses- 15 credits
  • Program-Specific Courses-  18 credits
  • Approved Electives- 4 credits
  • SPHHS Electives - 4 credits
  • Practicum & Culminating Experience- 4  credits

Grade Point Requirement.  A 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average is required.

Time Limit Requirement.  The degree must be completed within four years.

Transfer Credit Policy. Up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree may be transferred to the MPH. Up to 18 credits may be transferred to the MPH from the SPHHS Graduate Certificate.  Credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last 3 years with a grade point of 3.0 or better.

Culminating Experiences

Examples of EHS&P Culminating Experiences Completed since January 2011

  • Injury Rates at Massey Energy Coal Mines Compared to Rates at Coal Mines Operated by 4 Other U.S. Mining Companies
  • State Health Agency Workforce Shortages & Implications for Public Hlth: A Case Study of Restaurant Inspections in Louisiana
  • Work-Related Injuries: A Look at Performance of Duty Illnesses/Injuries for Firefighters and EMS Workers
  • Bedbug, Mice, and Rat Complaints and Pesticide Use among Washington DC Residents by Ward
  • Fatal Crashes Among Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Licensed in Self-Certification and Medical Certification States
  • A Comparison of the Benchmark Dose between Acute and Chronic Toxicological Studies
  • Assessing Noise Exposure in Locomotive Engineers
  • Ozone Concentrations and EMS Calls in the City of Alexandria, VA
  • Assessing Patterns of Disability among Sheet Metal Workers
  • Breewood Neighborhood Storm Water Runoff Characterization and Sensitivity Analysis
  • Children and Pesticides in Washington DC:  Regulation, Education and Communication
  • Predicting Health Impacts of Electricity Production:  A Comparison of Models
  • Solar Power Capacity on GWU Foggy Bottom Campus Rooftops
  • Comparing the Burden of Food- & Water-borne Diseases in 4 World Regions Using Informal Reporting Methods
  • Indoor Air Quality & Asthma: School Nurse Perspectives on Environmental Factors Affecting Children’s Health
  • Federal Worker Commuter Choices, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Implications for Public Health 
  • Roughed Up on the Road: Perceptions of Violence among New York City Taxi Drivers
  • Childhood Exposure to PAH Contaminated Soil on a Formerly Used Defense Site: Cancer and Non-Cancer Risk Assessment
  • Advisory Effectiveness and Subsistence Fishing - A Study to Analyze and Assess Subsistence Fishing of the Anacostia River
  • Heat Exposure Assessment of Utility Plant Workers at the National Institutes of Health
  • A Descriptive Analysis of Metal/Nonmetal Miners with Reported Hearing Loss, 1999 to 2010
  • Exploring Changes in Open Defecation Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa based on National Level Indices
  • Environmental Factors Associated with Atrazine in Shenandoah River Tributaries
  • Do Socio-Demographic Factors Modify the Relationship between Work Type and Leisure-Time Physical Activity?
  • An Electromagnetic Field Survey of Amtrak's Ivy City Facility Shop
  • Water Collection in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Do Increases in Access to Protected Sources Lead to a Decrease in Water Collection Times?  A Study of 19 Sub-Saharan African Countries
  • Dog Park Visits as a Risk Factor for Transmitting E. coli
  • Self-Reported Psychological Stress and Prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) among Beef Meatpacking Workers in Nebraska
  • Childhood Lead Levels in Fairfax County, VA

Program-at-a-Glance

 

School of Public Health and Health Services

Master of Public Health

Environmental Health Science and Policy

2013-2014
Program-at-a-Glance

Begin Planning Your Culminating Project 11-12 Months Prior to Program Completion

Required Core Courses

15 Credits

Required Core Course

Credits

Semester Offered

Grade

PubH 6001

Biological Concepts for Public Health

 

2

Fall, Spring, Summer I

 

PubH 6002

 

Biostatistical Applications for Public Health

 

3

Fall, Spring, Summer 10 wk

 

 

PubH 6003

 

Principles and Practice of Epidemiology

 

3

Fall, Spring, Summer 10 wk

 

PubH 6004

Environmental & Occupational Health in a Sustainable World

 

2

Fall, Spring, Summer I

 

PubH 6006

Management & Policy Approaches to Public Health

3

Fall, Spring, Summer 10 wk

 

 

PubH 6007

Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health

 

2

Fall, Spring, Summer 1

 

Total

Core Credits

15

 

 

Required Program-Specific Courses

18 Credits

Required Program Specific Course

Credits

Semester Offered

Grade

PubH 6121

Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology

 

3

Fall

 

PubH 6122

Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Policies, Politics, and Programs

3

Spring

 

PubH 6123

Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy

 

3

Spring

 

PubH 6124

Problem Solving in Environmental and Occupational Health

 

3

Summer 10 wk

 

PubH 6126

Assessment and Control of Environmental Hazards

 

3

Fall

 

PubH 6129

Problem Formulation in Environmental and Occupational Health

1

Fall

 

PubH 6131

Applied Data Analysis in EOH

 

2

Spring

 

EHS&P Program-Specific Electives

Select 4 credits from this list

 

PubH 6125

 

Introduction to Children’s Health and the Environment

 

2

 

Fall

 

PubH 6127

Applied Environmental Health Microbiology

2

Spring

 

PubH 6128

Global Environmental and Occupational Health

2

Fall

 

PubH 6130

Sustainable Energy and the Environment

2

Fall

 

PubH 6133

Social Dimensions of Climate Change and Health

2

Summer I

 

PubH 6134

Communicating Science for Public Health

2

Spring

 

 

Other Electives

 

Any SPHHS Graduate Course(s)

 

4

 

Fall, Spring, Summer

 

Practicum and Culminating Experience

PubH 6014.12

Practicum

2

See Advisor

 

 

PubH 6015.12

Culminating Experience

2

See Advisor

 

 

Total

45

 

 

 

Sample Schedule 1

Sample Schedule for 5-semester Completion (Fall start / May completion) - All course times are tentative

Semester

Cr

Course #

Course Name

Time

Fall 1st year

11 credits

2

1

3

3

2

PubH 6004

PubH 6129

PubH 6003

PubH 6002

PubH 6001

Environ & Occup Health in a Sustainable World

Problem Formulation in EOH

Principles and Practice of Epidemiology

Biostatistical Applications for Public Health

Biological Concepts for Public Health

Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Mon 5:10 – 6:00 pm

Tues 6:10 – 8:00 pm or Fri 3:10–6:00 pm

Weds 6:10 – 9:00 pm

Thurs 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Spring 1st year

10 credits

2

3

3

2

PubH 6007

PubH 6006

PubH 6123&

PubH 6131

Social & Behavioral Approaches to Public Health 

Management & Policy Approaches to PH

Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy&

Applied Data Analysis in EOH

-- plan Practicum --

Tues 4:10 – 6:00

To be scheduled

Mon 3:10 – 6:00 pm

Thurs 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Summer 1st year

5 credits*

2

3*

PubH 6014.12

Electives

Practicum+

Electives

-- plan Culminating Project & begin proposal --

 

Fall 2nd year

9-10 credits*

3

3

3-4*

 

PubH 6121

PubH 6126

Electives

Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology

Assessment and Control of Environmental Hazards

Electives*

-- complete Culminating Project proposal and begin work --

Mon 6:10 – 9:00 pm

Weds 6:10 – 9:00 pm (tentative)

 

Spring 2nd year

9-10 credits*

3

3

1-2*

2

PubH 6122

PubH 6124

Electives

PubH 6015.12

Protecting Pub Hlth & the Environment: Policies, Politics, & Programs

Problem Solving in EOH

Remaining Electives*

Culminating Project+   Complete by mid-May.   MPH!!!!!   Yay!!!

Thurs 6:10 – 9:00 pm

To be scheduled

* Additionally, you must complete:
4 credits of EOH Program-Specific Electives – Select two of these six courses, preferably during your last three semesters:
PubH 6125 Introduction to Children’s Health and the Environment 2  Fall, Weds 4:10 – 6:00 pm 
PubH 6127 Applied Environmental Health Microbiology   2 Spring, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6128 Global Environmental and Occupational Health  2 Fall, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6130 Sustainable Energy and the Environment   2 Fall, to be scheduled
PubH 6133 Social Dimensions of Climate Change & Health  2 Summer I, Mon & Weds, 3:45 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6134 Communicating Science for Public Health   2 Spring, Fri 4:10 – 6:00 pm
4 credits of Electives – With guidance from your advisor, complete 4 credits of electives in any combination (preferably during last three semesters).

+  Both the Practicum and the Culminating Experience require substantial lead time to plan.  Make sure that you complete Practicum training and start planning your Practicum the semester before you wish to conduct it.  Start planning your Culminating Experience 11-12 months before you plan to complete it.
&  Prior coursework in chemistry  (1 year, no lab) is a pre-requisite for PubH 6123.  If you do not have such coursework, you must take our FREE online science/chemistry foundations course, offered in July/August. Full time students should take this course before their first year.

Sample Schedule 2

Sample Schedule for 6-semester Completion (Fall start / August completion) - All course times are tentative

Semester

Cr

Course #

Course Name

Time

 

Fall 1st year

9 credits

2

1

3

3

PubH 6004

PubH 6129

PubH 6003

PubH 6002

Environ & Occup Health in a Sustainable World

Problem Formulation in EOH

Principles and Practice of Epidemiology

Biostatistical Applications for Public Health

Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Mon 5:10 – 6:00 pm

Tues 6:10 – 8:00 pm or Fri 3:10–6:00 pm

Weds 6:10 – 9:00 pm

Spring 1st year

10 credits

2

3

3

3

2

PubH 6001

PubH 6006

PubH 6123&

PubH 6131

Biological Concepts for Public Health

Management & Policy Approaches to PH

Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy&

Applied Data Analysis in EOH

-- plan Practicum --

Tues 4:10 – 6:00

To be scheduled

Mon 3:10 – 6:00 pm

Thurs 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Summer 1st year

5 credits*

2

2

1*

PubH 6007

PubH 6014.12

Elective

Social & Behavioral Approaches to Public Health 

Practicum+

Elective

-- start planning Culminating Project in late summer --

Mon & Weds 6:10 – 8:30, 6-week Sum I

Fall 2nd year

9-10 credits*

3

3

3-4*

 

PubH 6121

PubH 6126

Electives

Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology

Assessment and Control of Environmental Hazards

Electives*

-- develop Culminating Project proposal --

Mon 6:10 – 9:00 pm

Weds 6:10 – 9:00 pm (tentative)

 

Spring 2nd year

9-10 credits*

3

3

1-2*

PubH 6122

PubH 6124

Electives

Protecting Pub Hlth & the Environment: Policies, Politics, & Programs

Problem Solving in EOH

Remaining Electives*

-- work on Culminating Project --

Thurs 6:10 – 9:00 pm

To be scheduled

Summer 2nd year

2 credits

2

PubH 6015.12

Culminating Project+   Complete by end of August.   MPH!!!!!   Yay!!!

 

* Additionally, you must complete:
4 credits of EOH Program-Specific Electives – Select two of these six courses, preferably during last four semesters:
PubH 6125 Introduction to Children’s Health and the Environment 2  Fall, Weds 4:10 – 6:00 pm 
PubH 6127 Applied Environmental Health Microbiology   2 Spring, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6128 Global Environmental and Occupational Health  2 Fall, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6130 Sustainable Energy and the Environment   2 Fall, to be scheduled
PubH 6133 Social Dimensions of Climate Change & Health  2 Summer I, Mon & Weds, 3:45 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6134 Communicating Science for Public Health   2 Spring, Fri 4:10 – 6:00 pm
4 credits of Electives – With guidance from your advisor, complete 4 credits of electives, preferably during last four semesters.
+  Both the Practicum and the Culminating Experience require substantial lead time to plan.  Make sure that you complete Practicum training and start planning your Practicum the semester before you wish to conduct it.  Start planning your Culminating Experience 11-12 months before you plan to complete it.
&  Prior coursework in chemistry  (1 year, no lab) is a pre-requisite for PubH 6123.  If you do not have such coursework, you must take our FREE online science/chemistry foundations course, offered in July/August. Full time students should take this course before their first year.

Sample Schedule 3

Sample Schedule for 3-year Completion (Fall start / May completion; program can be further slowed further for August completion)  - All course times are tentative

Semester

Cr

Course #

Course Name

Time

Fall 1st year

6 credits

3

2

1

PubH 6003

PubH 6004

PubH 6129

Principles & Practice of Epidemiology

Environ & Occup Health in a Sustainable World

Problem Formulation in EOH

Tues 6:10 – 9:00 pm or Fri 3:10 – 6:00 pm

Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Mon 5:10 – 6:00 pm

Spring 1st year

7 credits

3

2

2

PubH 6002

PubH 6001

PubH 6007

Biostatistical Applications for Public Health

Biological Concepts for Public Health

Social & Behavioral Approaches to Public Health

Weds 6:10 – 9:15 pm

Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Thurs 3:10 – 5:00 pm

Summer 1st year

3 credits

3

PubH 6006

Policy & Management Approaches to Public Health

-- plan Practicum --

To be scheduled (10 week summer session)

Fall 2nd year

6 credits*

3

2

1

PubH 6126

PubH 6014.12

Elective*

Assessment and Control of Envir Hazards

Practicum

Elective

Mon 6:10 – 9:00 pm

 

Spring 2nd year

7 credits*

3

2

2

PubH 6123

PubH 6131

Electives*

Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy&

Applied Data Analysis in EOH

Electives*

Mon 3:10 – 6:00 pm

Thurs 4:10 – 6:00 pm

Summer 2nd year

3 credits*

3

 

Electives*

Electives*

-- Plan Culminating Project & begin proposal --

 

Fall 3rd year

5 credits*

3

2

 

PubH 6121

Electives*

Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology

Electives*

--Complete proposal & work on Culminating Project--

Weds 6:10 – 9:00 pm

Spring 3rd year

8 credits

3

 

3

2

 

PubH 6122

 

PubH 6124

PubH 6015.12

Protecting Public Health and the Environment:

        Policies, Politics, and Programs

Problem Solving in EOH

Culminating Project+  Complete by end of August.  MPH!!!!!   Yay!!!!!

Thurs 6:10 – 9:00 pm

 

To be scheduled

*Additionally, you must complete:
4 credits of EOH “Selectives” – Select two of these six courses, preferably during your last two years:
PubH 6125 Introduction to Children’s Health and the Environment 2  Fall, Weds 4:10 – 6:00 pm 
PubH 6127 Applied Environmental Health Microbiology   2 Spring, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6128 Global Environmental and Occupational Health  2 Fall, Tues 4:10 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6130 Sustainable Energy and the Environment   2 Fall, to be scheduled
PubH 6133 Social Dimensions of Climate Change & Health  2 Summer I, Mon & Weds, 3:45 – 6:00 pm
PubH 6134 Communicating Science for Public Health   2 Spring, Fri 4:10 – 6:00 pm
4 credits of Electives – With guidance from your advisor, complete 5 credits of electives in any combination, any time after your first two semesters.
+  Both the Practicum and the Culminating Experience require substantial lead time to plan.  Make sure that you complete Practicum training and start planning your Practicum the semester before you wish to conduct it.  Start planning your Culminating Experience approximately 11 months before you plan to complete it.
&  Prior coursework in chemistry (1 year, no lab) is a pre-requisite for PubH 6123.  If you do not have such coursework, you must take our FREE online science/chemistry foundations course, offered in July/August.  Part time students may take it prior to the first year, or may wait until the summer between years 1 and 2.

Past Program Guides

This is the current program guide for this program. Students should follow the course requirements from the year in which they entered the program. 

Past Guides: (PDFs include both information on the MPH and certificate programs)
 
Guides that are not available online can be accquired from the Academic Affairs Program Coordinator in the Dean's Office.