Students in the PhD program in Environmental Health Sciences master an essential core of knowledge in environmental and occupational health, epidemiology and biostatistics. Elective courses and rotations with faculty field studies and laboratories offer students the knowledge and skills needed to specialize within the broader area of environmental health and become independent researchers.

Find out more about the admissions process and deadlines.

View the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health Flyer.

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The Ph.D. program in Environmental Health Sciences consists of a minimum of 46 credit hours of graduate courses depending on the incoming student’s previous coursework. In particular, students without an MPH degree will require additional coursework as required by the public health accrediting body (CEPH). Graduate courses include (1) core courses within environmental health, epidemiology and biostatistics; (2) supporting courses in environmental health research, ethics, public health, and grant writing; (3) specialized courses selected within the research foci; and (4) dissertation credits. Program requirements for a Ph.D. degree also include successful completion of a written and oral comprehensive exam, oral defense of a written dissertation research proposal, and a minimum of 12 credits of Ph.D. dissertation research, written dissertation, and a final dissertation defense. The program can be completed on either a full- or part time basis. It is anticipated that students will complete more than the minimum number of credits.

The curriculum for the Environmental Health Sciences Ph.D. program is designed to provide an essential core of knowledge in environmental and occupational health, together with elective courses that offer students the background needed to specialize within this broad area.


Upon graduation a student should be able to: 

1. Synthesize environmental health knowledge, including explaining and analyzing key theories, principles, methods and controversies, and identify opportunities to advance the field of environmental health. 

2. Develop testable hypotheses that will advance the field of environmental health.

3. Design and conduct research studies, analyze data and test hypotheses that advance the science of environmental health. 

4. Effectively communicate results of environmental health research to the scientific community. 


  Course Credit
Core Courses (24 cr.*) MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health 3
MIEH 700 Applied Environmental Health 3
MIEH 720 Principles of Toxicology 3
MIEH 740 Risk Assessment 3
MIEH 771 Exposure Assessment of Environmental Hazards 3
SPHL 602 Foundations in Epidemiology and Biostatistics 4
SPHL 603 Public Health Data Laboratory 1
EPIB 651 Biostatistics II 3
Supporting Courses (11-19 cr.*) MIEH 609 Methods in Environmental Health 3 to 6
SPHL 612 Research Ethics, or equivalent 1
MIEH 688 Environmental Health Seminar 3
Specialization Area (12-15 cr) The specialization area would be created by and tailored to each student. If the student takes 2 lab rotations, s/he would take 12 credits of specialization. If s/he takes 1 lab rotation, s/he would take 15 credits of specialization. 12-15
Dissertation MIEH 899 Dissertation 12

* Students could waive out of some of these courses with coursework taken at UMD or in previous master's programs.


After passing the written and oral qualifying examinations the student will be admitted to candidacy and the examining committee will serve as the dissertation committee. The candidate will then write a dissertation research proposal in consultation with the committee, submit the written proposal to the committee at least 2 weeks prior to a scheduled oral defense of the proposal, and finalize the proposal following the oral defense. An approved proposal is required before completion of the dissertation, which will also be presented in writing and defended orally before the dissertation committee. Specific guidelines are provided for the completion of the dissertation, and procedures for the dissertation defense and examining committee are as specified in the Graduate School Catalog.