Doctoral 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.

The deadline to apply for Fall 2018 is January 7, 2018. All applicants must complete the required online application using School of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS). 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.

Applicants may request a GRE waiver or substitution in the following situations:

  • Holding a terminal degree (e.g., PhD, JD, PharmD, MD); please note that terminal degrees from foreign institutions must be post-baccalaureate
  • Completion of an alternative standardized test (e.g., MCAT, LSAT, GMAT)

Note that a waiver must be requested and granted by admissions staff at the Zilber School of Public Health. Contact regarding GRE waivers and substitutions.

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 7th for consideration of admission in the Fall semester. Materials postmarked by January 7th will be considered.

Candidates for admission may be invited to a PhD Interview Day in February 2018. 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 on that day via Skype or another video conferencing service.


Required Core PhD Courses (12 credits)

PH 702 Introduction to Biostatistics, 3 cr
PH 704 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology, 3 cr
PH 801 Seminar in Public Health Research, 3 cr
PH 819 Social and Environmental Justice in Public Health, 3 cr

Required EHS Track Coursework (17 credits)

PH 705 Principles of Public Policy and Administration, 3 cr
PH 743 Environmental Risk Assessment, 3 cr
PH 750 Environmental Health Seminar (1 credit, taken twice)
PH 821 Advanced Survey of Environmental Health, 3 cr
PH 822 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Environmental Disease, 3 cr
BIO SCI 750 Scientific Writing, 3 cr

Molecular Level “S” Electives

Organismal Level “S” Electives

Population Level “S” Electives

Additional Courses (total elective credits must equal at least 12)

Note that PH 990 credits must equal at least 24 credits to graduate

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.

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., University of Georgia
Miller, Todd, Ph.D., University of Maryland (Public Health)
Svoboda, Kurt, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook (Public Health)

Click here for a complete list of Zilber School of Public Health faculty.