PhD in Environmental Health Sciences (ENH)

The PhD program in Environmental Health Sciences prepares scientists for careers in research, environmental program management, and policy analysis.   Education and research in the identification, evaluation, and control of hazards to human health are emphasized in this program.  Students may concentrate on a wide variety of areas including exposure assessment, environmental chemistry, non-point source water pollution, risk assessment and management, environmental toxicology, and industrial hygiene.  Graduates are qualified to assume upper-level positions in the public or private sector in management, teaching, research, or consulting.  Graduates are particularly qualified for teaching or research positions in academic institutions that require sound research training

PhD Learning Objectives

The PhD in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences is an academic research degree.  In addition to understanding the advanced concepts of environmental health sciences, as they are related to environmental health, industrial hygiene, or environmental toxicology, graduates of this program are expected to develop skills that will enable them to identify and define questions of environmental health importance, design research studies to address these questions, and to complete a program of research that demonstrates abilities as an independent investigator.

 The general learning objectives of the PhD will allow students to:

  • critically analyze the environmental health literature, identify environmental health problems, and formulate research hypotheses to address these problems;
  • design original research for the evaluation of hypotheses;
  • conduct all aspects of the proposed research in a manner that will provide accurate data and prepare a comprehensive report of the research;
  • successfully defend the methods, results, and conclusions drawn from the research in a public forum; and
  • communicate new knowledge through the published literature.

 

In addition to the general learning objectives, students must demonstrate an understanding of the advanced concepts of environmental health sciences as they are related to environmental health, industrial hygiene, and environmental toxicology as evidenced by:

  • knowledge of the essentials of pathophysiology and toxicology and ability to apply these principles to the occurrence of diseases among human populations;
  • understanding of the dispersion of contaminants in the air, water, and land phases of the environment and how these contaminants affect human health;
  • understanding of the appropriate techniques necessary to collect and analyze environmental, medical and biological samples;
  • the ability to use chemical, biological, physical and biostatistical tools for evaluating exposure to environmental or occupational toxins;
  • the ability to quantitatively assess the probability that environmental agents or processes present a significant risk to human health or the environment; and
  • the ability to implement or use environmental policies, processes, and technology, to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment and on human health.

The PhD degree in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences has two foci:

  • Environmental Health Sciences Research
  • Industrial Hygiene

Admission:  Particular emphasis is placed upon students' interest and their commitment to research.  The PhD degree requires an original and carefully thought out research dissertation.  Students with previous experience and therefore specific ideas for research are particularly encouraged to apply.  The general departmental admission requirements apply to the PhD applicants; however, a previous master's degree is also required.  Those students who do not have a master's degree in an appropriate area of environmental health must meet the department's course requirements for the MSPH in environmental health and toxicology or industrial hygiene, depending upon the focus of the PhD dissertation research.

Curriculum:  

PhD students are expected to complete courses in 4 areas.  The department track  requirements, electives (or required courses specific to the student’s program), seminar and journal club hours, and research.  Other courses preparatory to dissertation research will be determined by the student in consultation with his/her academic advisor.

Two sets of general requirements are listed below. Students who are admitted to the PhD program with a BA or BS, or those that a master’s degree from a different specialty, will be required to complete a minimum of 72 hours.  Students entering with a related master’s degree will follow the schedule requiring 53-59 credit hours. The admissions committee will decide which schedule the student is required to follow. These are also the minimum number of required hours: additional coursework that the dissertation committee deems necessary, or additional research hours needed to complete the dissertation, may increase the total number of credit hours.

 

Coursework – BS, BA or unrelated master’s degree
   Credit Hours
PhD Departmental Core
18
BST 611
Intermediate Statistical Analysis I
3
EPI 616
Environmental Epidemiology (or equivalent)
3
ENH 700
Scientific Basis of Environmental Health
3
ENH 752
Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
3
ENH 770
Advanced Topics in Environmental Disasters
   3
GRD 717
Principles of Scientific Integrity
   3
Electives (15 or 6 hours) and/or IHY required courses (min. 9 hours)
   15
ENH 680
Field Interdisciplinary Studies
1
ENH 681
Worksite Evaluations
2
ENH 763
Aerosol Technology
3
ENH 701
Environmental Chemistry
3
Departmental Seminar and Journal Club
  minimum 8
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Research Hours   Variable
ENH 798 *
Doctoral Directed Research
minimum 7
ENH 799 **
Dissertation Research
minimum 24
   
   
Coursework - Related Masters Degree
Credit Hours
PhD Departmental Core
  18
BST 611
Intermediate Statistical Analysis I
3
EPI 616
Environmental Epidemiology (or equivalent)
3
ENH 700
Scientific Basis of Environmental Health
3
ENH 752
Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
3
ENH 770
Advanced Topics in Environmental Disasters
3
GRD 717
Principles of Scientific Integrity 3
IHY required courses
 
6
ENH 680
Field Interdisciplinary Studies
1
ENH 681 Worksite Evaluations 2
ENH 763 Aerosol Technology 3
Departmental Seminar and Journal Club
  8
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
ENH 790 Current Topics in Environmental Health Sciences Research 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Journal Club approved by committee 1
Research Hours   Variable
ENH 798* Doctoral Directed Research minimum 3
ENH 799**
Dissertation Research
  minimum 24
 
 
 
 

* Students must register for this course until the comprehensive/qualifying exam and the dissertation proposal is approved leading to admission to candidacy
** Students may enroll for this course after admission to candidacy and must enroll for a minimum of two semesters but must continue to enroll in this course each term until graduation.