Environmental and Occupational Health

This program is no longer accepting admissions. Please apply for Environmental Health Sciences instead.
School/College: Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health

Department Links: Degrees Conferred:
  • Ph.D. in Environmental and Occupational Health (pre-Fall 2015)
Other Degrees Conferred by the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health: Overview
The program in Environmental and Occupational Health offers graduate study leading to the doctoral degree. Program tracks include Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Safety, and Ecosystems, Cities, and Health. The faculty for this program are drawn from a number of departments and research units at UWM, affording the student an unparalleled opportunity for cross-disciplinary training and the performance of novel research projects. Laboratories and equipment are available across campus to promote innovative concepts in issues of environmental and occupational health.

When applying for admission, students should describe their interest in the field and any research preferences. Applicants are encouraged to review the research interests of the faculty and contact those faculty who are of interest.

Graduate Faculty

(Professors’ home departments, programs, or schools appear in parentheses)

Carvan, Michael III Ph.D., Texas A&M University (School of Freshwater Sciences)
Cisler, Ron, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (College of Health Sciences)
Florsheim, Paul, Ph.D., Northwestern University
McLellan, Sandra, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati Medical Center (School of Freshwater Sciences)
McRoy, Susan, Ph.D., University of Toronto (College of Engineering and Applied Science)
Schutz, Aaron, Ph.D., M.P.P., M.A., University of Michigan (School of Education)
Strath, Scott, Ph.D. University of Tennessee (College of Health Sciences)
Swartz, Ann, Ph.D., University of Tennessee (College of Health Sciences)
Tonellato, Peter, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Velie, Ellen, Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
Weinhardt, Lance, Ph.D., Syracuse University

Associate Professors
Auer, Paul, Ph.D., Purdue University
Cho, Young, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
Do, D. Phuong (Phoenix), Ph.D. The RAND Graduate School
Harley, Amy, Ph.D., M.P.H., Ohio State University
Huang, Chiang-Ching Spencer, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Kalkbrenner, Amy, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Klos, Lori, Ph.D., Cornell University (College of Health Sciences)
Laiosa, Michael, Ph.D., State University of New York, Upstate Medical University
Malcoe, Lorraine Halinka, M.P.H., Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
Miller, Todd, Ph.D., University of Maryland
Ngui, Emmanuel, Dr.P.H., M.Sc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Svoboda, Kurt, Ph.D., S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook
Walker, Renee, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh
Yan, Alice, Ph.D., University of Maryland

Assistant Professors
Hussein, Mustafa, Ph.D., The University of Tennessee
Laestadius, Linnea, Ph.D., M.P.P., Johns Hopkins University
Ma, Hongbo, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Meier, Helen, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Michigan
Simanek, Amanda, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Wang, Yang, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
Zheng, Cheng, Ph.D., M.S, University of Washington


Adjunct Associate Professor
Swain, Geoffrey R. MD, MPH, Medical College of Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health)

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Occupational Health

Applicants must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following program requirements to be considered for admission:
  1. A baccalaureate degree in a science discipline, including at least four laboratory courses and one statistics course.
  2. Submission of scores on the General Test portion of the Graduate Record Examination; test taken within last five years.
  3. Submission of at least three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s scholarship, research achievements and potential.
For students entering with an advanced degree, credit may be given for relevant coursework at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. The entering student is assigned a temporary advisor; a permanent advisor must be selected by the end of the first year of study. The major professor serves as the student’s research mentor and guides the student in an individual course of study and research design.

Course of Study
The Ph.D. in Environmental and Occupational Health requires 60 credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree. Coursework includes core courses as outlined below (20 credits), at least 12 credits of electives taken from the approved list or approved by the student’s advisor, and the remaining credits taken as research. As mentioned above, credit for relevant coursework at other institutions may be applied against this total. Initially the student’s advisor will approve course of study; this task will be performed by the student’s doctoral advisory committee after it is formed.

Core Courses (20 credits)
PH 801 Seminar in Public Health Research (3 credits)
PH 819 Social and Environmental Justice in Public Health (3 credits)
EOH 821 Advanced Survey of Environmental Health (3 credits)
EOH 822 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Environmental Disease (3 credits)
PH 841 Epidemiology (3 credits) or MCW EPI 11272 Environmental Epidemiology
PH 842 Biostatistics (3 credits) or MCW BIOST 04200 Biostatistics I
EOH 939 Seminar in Environmental and Occupational Health (1 credit); two semesters required

Electives are divided into three categories (molecular, organismal, population/environment). It is recommended that the student take courses in each category in order to obtain a comprehensive and integrated knowledge of the area of interest. At least 12 credits of electives must be completed that compose a coherent plan of study and provide a strong foundation in the student’s area of research. See the EOH Ph.D. Graduate Student Handbook for a list of approved electives.

The student must complete at least 30 credits required for the Ph.D. in residence at UWM in doctoral status. In addition, the student must complete at least 8 graduate credits in each of two consecutive semesters, or 6 or more graduate credits in each of three consecutive semesters, exclusive of summer sessions.

Ph.D. Advisory Committee
The student, in consultation with the Major Professor, will select four additional members to form a Ph.D. Advisory Committee. A minimum of three committee members must be EOH program faculty. See the Graduate School Doctoral Requirements page for more information on the doctoral committee.

Doctoral Preliminary Examination
The purpose of the doctoral preliminary examination is to assess the student’s preparation for independent research. The student must pass the preliminary examination within five years of initial enrollment to continue in the program.

Dissertator Status
Specific requirements which must be completed before a doctoral student qualifies for dissertator status are described on the Graduate School Doctoral Requirements page.

Students must prepare and successfully defend a dissertation reporting the results of their research. The original research findings embodied in this dissertation should be acceptable for publication in refereed journals.

Time Limit
The student must complete all requirements for the degree within 10 years of the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes is a list of classes offered by term.


Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.