PhD – Environmental Health Sciences


The program in Environmental Health Sciences offers graduate study leading to the doctoral degree. 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 Health Sciences.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are held regularly. You can find upcoming dates and RSVP for a session here.

Contact us for more information about our degree programs, and one of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.


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.

All applicants must complete the required online application. Applicants must meet Graduate School requirements and 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.

A masters degree is not a prerequisite for admission. For students entering with an advanced degree, credit may be given for relevant coursework at the discretion of the Faculty Advisor assigned after admission into the program.
Apply by January 5th for consideration of admission in the Fall semester. Materials postmarked by January 15th will be considered.
Candidates for admission may be invited to a PhD Interview Day in February 2016. Invited candidates are responsible for travel costs to attend the PhD Interview Day in-person at the ZSPH building, 1240 N 10th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205. Those who cannot attend in-person will be offered interviews during that day and time via Skype or another video conferencing service.


The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences requires 64 credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree. In addition to the PhD Common Core Coursework, credits include required concentration coursework (16 credits), “S”electives (at least 12 credits), and the remaining credits taken as research. Electives are divided into three categories: molecular, organismal, population/environment. See the below table for a list of EHS PhD Track requirements.

PhD Common Core Coursework

Course Number Course Title Credits
PH 801 Seminar in Public Health Research 3
PH 819 Social and Environmental Justice in Public Health 3
PH 704 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology 3
PH 702 Introduction to Biostatistics 3
Required EHS Concentration Coursework (16 credits)
PH 705 Principles of Public Policy and Administration 3
PH 743 Environmental Risk Assessment 3
PH 750 Environmental Health Seminar (1 credit, taken twice) 2
PH 821 Advanced Survey of Environmental Health 3
PH 822 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Environmental Disease 3
BIO SCI 750 Scientific Writing 2
Molecular Level “S”electives  
PH 775 Mechanisms of Infect Disease 2
BIO SCI 529/ 650 Molecular Biology of Micro-Organisms 3
BIO SCI 540 Microbial Diversity and Physiology 3
BIO SCI 564 Eukaryotic Gene Regulation 3
BIO SCI 700 Principles in Molecular Biology 4
CHEM 601 Biochemistry: Protein Structure and Function 3
CHEM 602 Biochemistry: Cellular Processes 3
CHEM 604 Biochemistry: Metabolism 3
CLS 590 Public Health Nutrition and Food Politics 3
CLS 615 Cellular and Molecular Toxicology 3
CLS 733 Molecular Epidemiology 3
 Organismal Level “S”electives 
PH 745 Developmental Toxicology 3
BIO SCI 401 Immunology 2
BIO SCI 556 Developmental Neurobiology 4
INDENG 580 Ergonomics 3
INDENG 780 Advanced Ergonomics- Low Back Pain 3
INDENG 783 Advanced Ergonomics- Upper Extremity 3
   Population Level “S”electives
PH 709 Public Health Informatics 3
PH 721 Introduction to Bioinformatics 3
PH 741 Environmental Health Microbiology 3
PH 762 Environmental Epidemiology 3
AUP 662 Land Use Planning for Urban Redevelopment 3
AUP 771 Transportation Policy and Planning 3
AUP 791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning 3
AUP 792 Using Urban Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planning 3
AUP 794 Internet geographic Information Systems (GIS) 3
XXX ### Industrial Hygiene 3
GEOG 520 The Physical Geography of the City 3
FRSHWTR 506 Ecotoxicology 3
INDENG 786 Applied Biostatistics in Ergonomics 3
GEOG 880 Challenges to Urban Sustainability 3
GEOG 945 The Internal Structure of the City 3

Primary Faculty

Kalkbrenner, Amy, Ph.D., MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Public Health)
Laiosa, Michael, Ph.D., State University of New York, Upstate Medical University (Public Health)
Ma, Hongbo, Ph.D.
Miller, Todd, Ph.D., University of Maryland (Public Health)
Svoboda, Kurt, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook (Public Health)

Click on the Environmental Health Sciences Faculty member for information on their laboratory and research. For a complete list of Graduate Faculty in the Environmental Health Sciences PhD program, visit the Graduate School’s website.