Environmental and Occupational Health

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What is environmental health?

According to the National Association of City and County Health Officials, environmental health is defined as "the discipline that focuses on the health interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters a safe and healthful environment."

If you choose to get a graduate degree in Environmental Health, there are a variety of areas you may choose to focus on, including:


  • air quality
  • food protection
  • radiation protection
  • solid waste management
  • hazardous waste management
  • water quality
  • noise control
  • environmental control of recreational areas
  • housing quality
  • vector control

What will my academic program be like?

In addition to classroom work, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience by working alongside faculty members on research projects. All students in the College are required to do a special project to explore and develop their classroom knowledge through research and a field experience to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Students may choose a field experience site within the United States, or they may opt to visit an international destination. Students in the Environmental Health program have studied in places such as Panama, Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

What type of background should an environmental health student have?

Your undergraduate academic degree will ideally be in one of the sciences or in engineering, e.g. physics, computer science, chemistry, biology or environmental engineering. However, a degree in statistics or anthropology is excellent preparation for pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental Health.

However, there’s more to a degree in Environmental Health than an analytical background. Environmental Health students should feel passionate about improving the quality of the environment and making a positive impact on the world.

Where do graduates of the Environmental Health program typically work?

Our students work in a variety of fields. Some are running labs or health departments. Others may opt to go into academia or work for a government agency such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or even take a job as an Environmental Health Officer in the Armed Forces or Public Health Service. Some students also choose to attend medical school.

How much money can I make?

This will depend on several variables, including how much experience you have and where you choose to work. According to the 2006-07 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of environmental scientists in May 2004 were as follows:

Federal Government      $73,530
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $51,190
Architectural, engineering, and related services $49,160
Local government $48,870
State government $46,850

How do I get started?

Follow this link to access application materials
http://publichealth.usf.edu/degreereqs.html<

For more information on the MPH, MSPH, or PhD in Environmental Health, visit:
http://publichealth.usf.edu/envhealthmph.html
http://publichealth.usf.edu/envhealthmsph.html
http://publichealth.usf.edu/eohphd.html