Environmental Health Science and Policy - MPH


Environmental Health Science & Policy - MPH




The mission of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) Environmental Health Science and Policy program is to educate individuals who are committed to improving public health through reducing risks posed by environmental and occupational hazards. Graduates from this program learn to apply critical and analytic skills to better understand how environmental and occupational exposures impact human health. Our graduates bring these skills into the world in order to develop, implement, and evaluate environmental health practices and policies.

In addition, the MPH in Environmental Health Science and Policy degree coursework enhances students' capacity to think critically and creatively. At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MPH Environmental Health Science and Policy program because they are essential for future environmental and occupational health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Environmental Health Science and Policy graduates can:

  • Assess and control environmental and occupational exposures.
  • Understand the effects of these exposures on human health.
  • Interpret epidemiologic and other research findings related to environmental risks.
  • Analyze policy implications and participate in policy development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Assess and manage environmental and occupational risks.

Flexible Programming

To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Environmental Health Science and Policy students to take up to 15 credits online.

Request information for MPH@GW

Program Prerequisites

There are no specific pre-requisites for entering the Environmental and Health Policy master’s program, other than a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. For accepted students who did not take science courses as part of their undergraduate degree, we offer an Introduction to EOH class to provide a foundation that will prepare them for the degree requirements.

This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in the connection between the natural world, human activities and human health. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations and those who wish to eliminate preventable health concerns are great candidates for this MPH.

MPH Core Requirements

PUBH 6000 | MPH Applied Practice Experience (0 credits)
PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6009 | Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6021 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 1: Leading Self and Teams in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6022 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 2: Managing Organizations & Influencing Systems in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6023 | Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE) (0 credits)


PUBH 6137 | Culminating Experience  (1 credit)
PUBH 6138 | Culminating Experience (1 credit)



EHSP Requirements

PUBH 6121 | Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6122 | Protecting PH & the Environment: Policies, Politics & Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6123 | Toxicology: Applications for PH Policy (3 credits)
PUBH 6124 | Risk Management and Communication (3 credits)
PUBH 6126 | Assessment & Control of Environmental Hazards (3 credits)
PUBH 6131 | Quantitative Methods in Environmental and Occupational Health (3 credits)



EHSP Electives

A total of 8 elective credits are required. These may come from any graduate level PUBH course (PUBH 6000+) offered through either the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) or through other departments at the School.

Below are the list of electives offered through EOH and examples of other relevant elective courses offered through other departments.

For additional examples of electives in common interest areas, please visit here.

For the most up to date list of electives please reference the program guide, SPH Course Descriptions.

Environmental & Occupational Health Electives

PUBH 6128 | Global Environmental and Occupational Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6130 | Sustainable Energy & Environment (2 credits)
PUBH 6132 | Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Low-Income Countries (2 credits)
PUBH 6135 | Researching Climate Change and Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6140 | Global Climate Change and Air Pollution (2 credits)
PUBH 6144 | Environmental and Occupational Health Data Development and Modeling (2 credits)
PUBH 6199 | Veterans Deployment & Environmental Health (TOPICS) (1 credit)
PUBH 6199 | ANY TOPICS course in EOH (credits vary)

School-Wide Electives

PUBH 6054 | Community Engagement & Advocacy (2 credits)
PUBH 6238 | Molecular Epidemiology (1 credit)
PUBH 6239 | Epidemiology of Foodborne & Waterborne Diseases (1 credit)
PUBH 6262 | Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (1 credit)
PUBH 6263 | Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (1 credit)
PUBH 6271 | Disaster Epidemiology (1 credit)
PUBH 6275 | Essential Public Health Laboratory Skills (2 credits)
PUBH 6299.10 | Topics in Epi-Epidemiology in Litigation (1 credit)
PUBH 6305 | Fundamentals for Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6315 | Introduction to Health Policy Analysis (2 credits)
PUBH 6325 | Federal Policymaking & Policy Advocacy (2 credits)
PUBH 6514 | Preventing Health Disparities (2 credits)
PUBH 6612 | Food & Water Systems in Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6613 | US Food Policy & Politics (2 credits)


Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the student records department [email protected].

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research prior to beginning the practicum.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Program Guides

Past Program Guides

Students in the MPH in EHSP program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.

To view sample schedules and learn about the core competencies developed within the program, see the degree program guide.

Students in GW’s MPH programs gain practical skills and knowledge by completing a practice experience, or practicum. It is important for MPH Environmental Health Science and Policy graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Thanks to GW’s prime Washington, DC location, the university can offer its students a wealth of internship and practicum opportunities. In fact, the school has been ranked #1 in internships by the Princeton Review. Students in the Environmental Health Science and Policy MPH degree program use the practicum to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

MPH students also complete a culminating experience (CE) project.

Your Practicum

In the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, the Applied Practice Experience (practicum) is a course designed to engage students in a practice activity—a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice. It might include activities such as conducting literature reviews, writing proposals, or collecting and analyzing data.

The Practice Activity for the MPH Environmental Health Science and Policy degree may not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. This is to ensure that students learn and apply new skills in the context of public health. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, it must be work for which the student is not remunerated.

Read more about EOH practica and internships here and here.

Where Our Students Do Their Practica

U.S. Chemical Safety Board
Children’s Environmental Health Network
U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate Change Program Office
Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Headquarters, Office of Research & Development, Office of Water)
U.S. Global Change Research Program
U.S. Green Building Council
National Institutes of Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Water Environment Research Foundation
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

For a longer, comprehensive list of where EOH students do their practica, click here.

Practicum Profiles

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research & Development

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water

U.S. Global Change Research Program

U.S. Green Building Council

Culminating Experiences Put It All Together

The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the Practice Activity. The CE requires students to identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate hypotheses to address that issue. The CE for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health will include a major written paper such as a review or applied research project. 

The culminating experiences of a number of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's MPH students and alumni have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

You can read a story about a few students’ culminating experience (CE) presentations here.  

Culminating Experiences Topics and Publications

You can read a story about a few students’ culminating experience (CE) presentations here.  EHSP students complete two kinds of CEs:  systematic reviews and research projects.  Some previous CE research topics in both categories completed by students in the Environmental Health Science and Policy MPH program include:

Systematic Reviews

  • Assessment Methods for Environmental Impact of Small Molecule and Biologic Pharmaceutical Production: A Systematic Review
  • Climate Change, Natural Disasters, and Suicide: A Systematic Review The Effect of Anatase Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles via Intranasal Instillation on Oxidative Stress in Mice Brain: A Systematic Review
  • Evaluating Strain Variations in Clostridium difficile Infections (CDI): A Systematic Review
  • Evaluation of Exposure Assessment Methods Used to Quantify Occupational Exposure to Carbon Nanomaterials: A Systematic Review
  • Occupational Exposure to Cleaning Products and Asthma Risk in Healthcare Workers and Professional Cleaners: A Systematic Review
  • Pathogen Infections and Type 1 Diabetes: A Systematic Review
  • Systematic Review of Associations Between Particulate Matter (PM2.5 PM10) and Cancer Risk

Research Projects

  • The Association of Obesity and Race on Semen Parameters Among Men from the Greater Washington, D.C. Area
  • Rates of Compliance with the Universal Lead Screening Mandate: A spatial analysis of Healthy Housing and Lead Poisoning Surveillance System data in DC
  • Injury Rates at Massey Energy Coal Mines
  • Fast Food: A Potential Source of Exposure to Phthalates and Bisphenol A Among a Nationally Representative Sample of the US Population 
  • State Health Agency Workforce Shortages & Implications for Public Health (published in Environmental Health Perspectivesstory about research and its widespread news coverage)
  • An Assessment of Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated With the Use of Water, Sand, and Chemicals in Shale Gas Production of the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale (published in Journal of Environmental Health, story about the research) 
  • Work-Related Injuries
  • Bedbug, Mice, and Rat Complaints and Pesticide Use among Washington DC Residents
  • Urinary Bisphenol A and Semen Quality, the LIFE Study (published in Reproductive Toxicologystory about publishing the research)
  • 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
  • Preparing for Extreme Heat Events: Practices in Identifying Mortality (published in Health Securitystory about the research[KB1] )
  • 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
  • Fall Safety among Construction Workers at the New Milken Institute School of Public Health Building Site  (story about this research)
  • Breewood Neighborhood Storm Water Runoff Characterization and Sensitivity Analysis Children and Pesticides in Washington DC
  • Predicting Health Impacts of Electricity Production
  • Solar Power Capacity on GWU Foggy Bottom Campus Rooftops
  • Indoor Air Quality & Asthma
  • 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
  • Advisory Effectiveness and Subsistence Fishing
  • Heat Exposure Assessment of Utility Plant Workers at the National Institutes of Health
  • A Descriptive Analysis of Metal/Nonmetal Miners with Reported Hearing Loss
  • Environmental Factors Associated with Atrazine in Shenandoah River Tributaries
  • Water Collection in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Dog Park Visits as a Risk Factor for Transmitting E. coli
  • Assessing the Microbial Risks Associated with Animal Wastes from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
  • Water Quality Assessment of Streams Impacted by Large-scale Poultry Operations


A multitude of opportunities exist for Environmental Health Science and Policy program graduates as the prevalence of preventable disease grows, the population ages, and natural disasters occur with increasing frequency.

Our MPH alumni are working throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area, country, and world. They are employed in local, state, and national government offices, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as by intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank. Other employers include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations such as the FracTracker Alliance and the Infectious Disease Society of America, and private companies including Astra Zeneca and Merck. Some graduates go to consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton and the Cadmus Group. Others find professional success in healthcare, including MedStar Washington Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. More of our graduates are showing an interest in continuing on to a PhD program if they are interested in research, or going on to medical school or law school.

Where Our Graduates Go

Action in Community Through Service
Astra Zeneca
Booz Allen Hamilton
Cadmus Group
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
CorVel Corporation
CRDF Global
CropLife America
District of Columbia Department of Health
FracTracker Alliance
Georgetown University
Global Watch Group
Health Quest Diagnostic Laboratory
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
ICF International
Immaculate Conception
Improve International
Infectious Disease Society of America
JLL/Bristol Meyer Squibb account
MedStar Washington Hospital
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Pan-American Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
Rural Coalition
United Nations Environment Program
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Global Climate Research Program
U.S. Green Building Council
U.S. Federal Reserve Bank
U.S. Public Health Service
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
World Bank

Alumni Profiles

CDW, a leading multi-brand technology solutions provider to business, government, education and healthcare organizations

Environmental Health Analytics/World Bank

National Institutes of Health’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

U.S. Federal Reserve Bank 

U.S. Global Climate Research Program 

U.S. Green Building Council

Organizations You Are Prepared to Help

Federal Regulatory Agencies


Other Federal Agencies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board
Walter Reed Medical Center
Federal Reserve
US Air Force
US Navy
Department of Energy (DOE)

IGOs, NGOs and other Non Profits

Institute of Medicine (IOM)
World Bank
American Public Health Association (APHA)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
World Vision
Rural Coalition

Labor Unions

American Federation of State
County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Government Employees
American Nurses Association

Consulting and Research Opportunities

Sandler Occupational Medicine Associates
Water Environment Research Foundation
World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program (Mt Sinai)
Mid-Atlantic Medical Research Centers
Booz Allen Hamilton

Health Care, Pharmaceuticals, Other Private Sector

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Hewlett- Packard


Students pursuing an MPH in Environmental Health Science and Policy have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in research, governmental, and clinical settings. The many areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in the Environmental Health Science and Policy Master of Public Health program include occupational hazards, climate change, impact of environmental agents on populations, and effects of environmental toxins.

View a complete list of faculty in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.