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PhD, Environmental Health Sciences

CONSERVE Water Sampling Visit by SPH Environmental Health Sciences students

Understand and mitigate of environmental hazards to promote human health and well-being

The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences explores the human impacts of environmental hazards (air, water, soil and food) on human health in the context of sociocultural, economic, work and family environments.

Perfect for...

  • An individual interested in a terminal research degree for academic, federal or state careers in environmental public health
  • Persons with overlapping interests in engineering, medicine, health policy, agriculture, epidemiology, computer modeling, chemistry, microbiology, or geography

Career Paths

  • Employee at a state department of health
  • Federal agency environmental leader
  • Academic researcher
  • Industry researcher

Program Overview

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.

See all Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health graduate student resources.

For more information, see the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health Flyer.

≤ 200K
deaths in the US attributed to fine particle (PM 2.5) air pollution each year

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 PhD 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 PhD 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.

69 credits including faculty rotations and dissertation.

Course Module Course Name Credits
MIEH600 Foundations of Environmental Health 3
MIEH700 Advanced Environmental Health 3
MIEH720 Principles of Toxicology 3
MIEH740 Environmental Health Risk Assessment 3
MIEH771 Exposure Assessment of Environmental Hazards 3
SPHL602 Foundations of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 4
SPHL603 Public Health Data Laboratory 1
EPIB651 Applied Regression Analysis 3
MIEH609 Methods in Environmental Health 3
SPHL611 Public Health Ethics or SPHL612 Research Ethics 1
MIEH688 Seminar in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health: Current Topics in Environmental Health 3
MIEH899 Doctoral Dissertation Research 12
SPHL600 Foundations of Public Health 3
Specialization courses 15

*In order to meet the academic standards of MIAEH, Students must achieve a grade of B- or higher in all required courses (ie: all MIEH and SPHL courses). Failure to meet this requirement will result in the need for a student to retake a course in which they earn a C+ or lower.

Course Type Course Title Credits
Core Courses MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health 3
Core Courses MIEH 700 Applied Environmental Health 3
Core Courses MIEH 720 Principles of Toxicology 3
Core Courses MIEH 740 Risk Assessment 3
Core Courses MIEH 771 Exposure Assessment of Environmental Hazards 3
Core Courses SPHL 602 Foundations in Epidemiology and Biostatistics 4
Core Courses SPHL 603 Public Health Data Laboratory 1
Core Courses EPIB 651 Biostatistics II 3
Supporting Courses MIEH 609 Methods in Environmental Health (1 or 2 rotations)** 3 to 6
Supporting Courses SPHL 611 (Public Health Ethics), or SPHL 612 (Research Ethics), or equivalent course 1
Supporting Courses MIEH 688 Environmental Health Seminar** 3
Supporting Courses Course(s) that will expose the student to coure concepts in public health if not having prior MPH.  This could include SPHL 600 or other courses that cover foundational areas of public health required for accreditation. 1 to 6
Supporting Courses KNES 771 Grant Writing or Equivalent 3
Specialization Area 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 or 15
Dissertation MIEH 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research 12

Core Courses (23 credits): Students could waive out of some of these courses with coursework taken at UMD or in previous master's programs.

Supporting Courses (11-19 credits): Students would not be able to waive out of all rotations or seminar requirements.  Rotations can in physical labs or with faculty conducting non-laboratory based research.  At least 1 rotation must be outside of the student's focus area.

Specialization Area (12-15 credits): Students would not be able to waive out of any of the 12 to 15 credits required for the specialization area.  No more than 6 credits of MIEH 898 can be taken as part of the specialization area.