Master of Public Health

MPH Environmental Health Sciences


Why study Environmental Health Sciences?

Environmental Health Sciences MPH students learn the biological, chemical, and structural components of public health and how to put current research into practice. Students’ experiences incorporate environmental health theories with cross-cutting public health competencies such as communication, public health biology, systems-thinking and leadership.

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.


Environmental Health Sciences MPH (46 credits)

All students enrolled in the MPH program take a common set of core classes. The core curriculum consists of at least 20 credit hours, including at least three credits Field Experience and a two-credit capstone seminar. In addition to the common core, students complete the required coursework in one of five specialization tracks. Students must maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or better in order to progress through the program.

MPH Required Common Core Courses (at least 24-25 credits)

PH 702: Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
PH 703: Environmental Health Sciences (3 credits)
PH 704: Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 705: Public Health Policy and Administration (3 credits)
PH 706: Perspectives in Community and Behavioral Health (3 credits)
PH 708: Health Systems and Population Health (3 credits)
PH 733: Overview of Qualitative Methods for Public Health (1 credit)
PH 740: Special Topics in Public Health: Intro to Qualitative Research (1 credit)
PH 790: Field Experience in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 791: Leadership in Public Health (1 credit)
PH 800: Capstone in Public Health (2 credits)

Required Courses (11 credits)

PH 701: Public Health Principles and Practice (3 credits)
PH 743: Environmental Risk Assessment (3 credits)
PH 750: Seminar in Environmental Health Sciences (1 credit)
PH 762: Environmental Epidemiology (3 credits)

Built Environment “S” elective – Choose one

ARCH 790:Special Topics: (LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Assessment for Environmental, Economic, and Social Impact) (3 credits)
GEOG 520: The Physical Geography of the City (3 credits)
GEOG 880/URBPLAN 880: Urban Sustainability (3 credits)
GEOG 945: The Internal Structure of the City (3 credits)
IE 580 Ergonomics (3 credits)
URBPLAN 791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning (3 credits)

Other classes as approved by advisor.

Please note: All courses subject to change. Please consult the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information.

Chemical Environment “S” elective- Choose one

PH 741: Environmental Public Health Microbiology (3 credits)
PH 744: Environmental Toxicology (3 credits)
PH 745: Developmental Toxicology (3 credits)

Other classes as approved by advisor

Biological Environment “S” elective- Choose one

PH 741:Environmental Public Health Microbiology (3 credits)
PH 745:Developmental Toxicology (3 credits)
PH 775: Mechanisms of Infectious Disease (2 credits)

Other classes as approved by advisor

Elective – Choose one additional course

from the Built, Chemical, or Biological “S” electives listed above or other classes as approved by advisor.

Environmental Health Sciences track competencies

  1. Describe/understand the direct and indirect human health effects of major physical, chemical and biological factors from both natural and built environments.
  2. Describe genetic, physiological and overall human health effects of primary environmental hazards resulting from both chronic and acute exposures.
  3. Describe/understand how animal models are utilized to address societal issues that intersect between basic science and public health.
  4. Describe approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to both human and ecological health.
  5. Perform a risk assessment of an environmental health agent.
  6. Identify, locate and use appropriate reference materials.
  7. Comprehend the primary scientific research literature, and obtain information directly from experts in the field of environmental health sciences.
  8. Analyze data statistically and conceptually, interpret results, make conclusions, and describe the relevance of such results to public health problems/issues.
  9. Communicate and disseminate complex scientific and public health information simply and accurately in both written and spoken word, in both informal and formal interactions, targeted appropriately and respectfully to audiences of diverse backgrounds.
  10. Interact and collaborate with individuals and organizations across the spectrum of public health disciplines.


Many Environmental Health Sciences graduates work for health institutions at the city, state, or national level. Other opportunities exist in jobs looking at the intersection of the built environment and human health, like the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Job growth for environmental specialists is higher than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.



Faculty expertise in: Prenatal exposure to dioxin and related contaminants and the impact on children’s immune system health; environmental and human health effects of anthropogenic chemicals, such as engineered nanomaterials; factors that regulate human exposure to naturally occurring or anthropogenic toxins in water or wastewater; and nicotine toxicity and the developmental biology of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Learn more about our research here.

Become a leader for the public’s health.