Career opportunities: State/federal environmentalist, food safety specialist, environmental research associate, built environment specialist, environmental health specialist, academic
Professionals trained in environmental health study the impact of our surroundings on our health. They understand how environmental risk factors can cause diseases like asthma, cancer, and food poisoning. Environmental health professionals make up approximately half of public health personnel and the field accounts for about half of public health expenditures. Students interested in environmental health typically have a background in biological or physical sciences, engineering, nursing, medicine, and veterinary medicine. Prior experience in chemistry, biology, statistics, and Microsoft Excel software is desirable. Those who graduate with an MPH in environmental health find challenging positions in federal, state, and county departments of health and environmental protection, other federal agencies, consulting and research companies, academic institutions, and industry.
The MPH in environmental health is part of the Department of Environmental and Global Health. Many faculty who teach in the concentration have research laboratories in the Emerging Pathogens Institute or the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology. Some faculty members hold joint appointments in other UF colleges, including the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Medicine. The program offers depth in the effects of chemical exposure and biological agents on human health and the environment. Required concentration core courses include general toxicology, human health risk assessment, risk communication, and exposure assessment. Environmental health courses draw on the extensive expertise of the University of Florida faculty and the unique ecology of our state.
If you are interested in the environmental health concentration, please contact Amanda Kastner.
Environmental Health Curricula
Additional information on the curriculum, including plans of study, can be found in the MPH Student Handbook.
- Standard 48-credit/42-credit MPH Curriculum, Environmental Health Curriculum
Environmental Health Core Courses
- PHC 6937 Environmental Toxicology Applications in Public Health
Prereq: working knowledge of bio, physiology, and biochem
- PHC 6424 Environmental Policy and Risk Management
- PHC 6702 Exposure Measurement and Assessment
Prereq: calc, stats & some chem, physics and/or bio
- PHC 6937 Environmental Ecology of Human Pathogens
- PHC 6764 Global Health and Development I
Upon completion of the MPH program, students with a concentration in environmental health should have mastered the following competencies:
- Examine the direct and indirect human and ecological health effects of major environmental agents
- Develop a quantitative risk assessment framework for environmental hazards
- Evaluate and advocate for current environmental policies
- Apply approaches for assessing environmental exposures, including exposure assessment design and methods
- Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and appropriate communication when engaged in public health practice and research
Internship/Applied Practice Experience
The purpose of the MPH internship/APE is to (1) apply the skills learned across the MPH curriculum and within environmental health specifically, and (2) to enhance the student’s understanding of environmental health and public health in real-world applications and settings. During the internship the student will:
- Carry out a project representative of expected work in the field of environmental health
- Demonstrate competence in research/practice/evaluation relevant to environmental health
- Gain exposure to an organization’s environment, culture and purposes
- Develop professional judgment, understand research ethics, and make new professional contacts
- Clarify public health/environmental health career goals
More information about the Applied Practice Experience can be found here.
Students must complete an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) through completion of a capstone project that demonstrates their ability to define an issue, apply methods appropriate to their concentration, and produce results. These final activities of the MPH program are intended to encourage students to understand their projects in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates.
More information about the ILE and capstone can be found here.
Interested in the other concentrations offered in the MPH program? Explore more options on the Concentrations page.