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Public Health, MPH Concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health

Man in safety equipment inspecting a factory.

Program Description

The Master of Public Health with concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health online degree program provides:

  • Basic knowledge in ecological, environmental, agricultural and occupational health, as well as toxicology
  • A broad understanding of relevant problems in the various areas of ecological health, environmental health, occupational health, and safety or toxicology, with particular emphasis on agriculture
  • The ability to apply this information to important problems in these areas.

This area of study is designed to meet the needs of individuals who work in public health and who desire to broaden their training in environmental health, occupational health, toxicology, and related fields.

Special Accreditation

Council on Education for Public Health accreditation logo

In addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska campuses, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health is also accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes CEPH as the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health.


Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students may be required to write papers, complete projects, conduct research, and communicate with professors. Students may work independently on assignments and with coworkers on group projects, do case presentations, take quizzes and exams, just as students on campus are required to do.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$560.00$25.00$30.00$4.00$619.00
3 credit hour$1,680.00$75.00$90.00$12.00$1,857.00
Note: The per credit hour 'technology fee' is referred to as a 'Distributive Learning fee' by the UNMC College of Public Health. In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $150.00 COPH Technology Fee each semester they enroll in courses. Students are also required to complete a background check. The fee for the background check is $35.00.

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is a 45 credit hour, specialized professional master's degree program designed to prepare graduates for work in public health.

The Environmental and Occupational Health concentration prepares students for working in environmental health, occupational health, toxicology, and related fields.

Program of Study:

  • 21 credit hours core coursework focused on the areas of knowledge basic to public health
  • 12 credit hours concentration coursework
  • 6 credit hours elective courses
  • 6 credit hours of a combined practicum/capstone experience
Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Foundations of Public Health

CPH 500
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work.

Health Behavior

CPH 501
The purpose of this course is to study the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students will develop an understanding of the determinants of health behavior, the models and theories that provide a framework for predicting health behavior, and the strategies employed to bring about behavioral changes for health and disease prevention in individuals and groups.

Health Services Administration

CPH 502
This is a survey course designed to be an introduction to the management of health services organizations and systems in the United States. Specifically, this course will introduce students to the types of health services organizations and health systems in the United States, the context surrounding the administration of these organizations and delivery of health care services, and the skills needed to manage a health services organization within this setting.

Public Health Environment and Society

CPH 503
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to environmental factors, including biological, physical, and chemical factors, which affect the health of a community. The main focus of the course will be the effects of exposures that have been associated with human health and environmental problems in the Midwest, specifically water and air pollutants related to animal feeding operations, arsenic in ground water, pesticides, herbicides, lead, and radiation. The effects of global warming, ergonomic problems in the meat packing industry, and occupational and environmental problems in health care will also be discussed.

Epidemiology in Public Health

CPH 504
The objective of the course is to understand the application of survey and research methodology in epidemiology, especially in the community setting. Theoretical aspects will be taught as an integral part of understanding the techniques of study design and community survey. Concepts to be covered include measure of disease occurrence, measures of disease risk, study design, assessment of alternative explanations for data-based findings, and methods of testing or limiting alternatives. Students will be expected to address an epidemiological question of interest to them, first developing the hypothesis and conducting a literature search, then developing a study design and writing, in several stages, a brief proposal for the study.

Applied Research in Public Health

CPH 505
This course will assist students to develop the basic skills to conduct applied research to address contemporary problems in public health. The course will emphasize proposal writing, data collection, research design, statistical analysis, computer application, and writing of research reports. Unique problems associated with data collection in public health settings such as public health departments, neighborhood health centers, and community-based organizations will be addressed. Both quantitative and qualitative research designs will be explored. Considerable emphasis is placed on evaluation of public health research published in scholarly publications. A research proposal/capstone service- learning proposal is written as one of the course requirements.

Biostatistics I

CPH 506

Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate statistics course or permission of instructor.

This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies.

Elements of Industrial Safety for Health Sciences

CPH 590

This course is an introduction to safety in the general work environment, with emphasis on selected OSHA safety regulations, human costs of injuries, safety programs and management, field trip work observations, risk assessment, and hazard/risk communications. No previous experience or coursework in safety is required.

Prerequisites: ENV 892/CPH 503 or equivalent introductory environmental health sciences course; instructor permission.

Principles of Occupational and Environmental...

CPH 593

Principles of Occupational and Environmental Health

This course is designed to allow students to develop an understanding of the human health outcomes associated with environmental and occupational exposures. Students will learn how key issues in environmental health and environmental and occupational medicine are approached from a public health perspective.

Prerequisites: ENV 892/CPH 503 or equivalent introductory environmental health sciences course; instructor permission.

Environmental Exposure Assessment

CPH 594

The course will allow students to develop their understanding and knowledge of exposure assessment methods and the application of these methods to substantive issues in occupational and environmental health. The course emphasizes methodological principles and good practice, and highlights the many similarities and some interesting differences between occupational and environmental health.  

Prerequisites: ENV 892/CPH 503 or equivalent introductory environmental health sciences course; BIOS 806/CPH 506 or equivalent introductory biostatistics course; instructor permission.

Principles of Toxicology

CPH 597
This course will introduce students to the principles and methods that are used to determine whether an adverse effect is a result of exposure to a specific agent. A primary purpose of toxicology is to predict human toxicity, and human health risk assessment relies heavily on toxicological data obtained from animal studies. This course covers basic mechanisms of toxicity as they pertain to whole organisms, organ systems, and specific toxic agents.

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

View a complete list of College of Public Health faculty >

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must:

  1. Have successfully completed the following courses: two semesters of biology, two semesters of chemistry, one semester of physics, and one semester of college-level math
  2. Provide official transcripts reflecting an earned bachelor's degree, with a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the last 60 undergraduate or the last 18 graduate/post-baccalaureate credit hours completed
    Note: If official transcripts or mark sheets of college-level work are not in English or in the standard U.S. grading scale they must be sent to a credential evaluation service for evaluation.
  3. Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within the last five years are required of all applicants. Many factors are considered in evaluating an individual's application, but many successful applicants will have verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing GRE scores at or above the 40th percentile
    Note: Acceptable alternatives to the GRE are DAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT or PCAT  


Application Checklist

  1. Apply online using the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS)

    Note: The SOPHAS application may take several hours to complete. It is best to prepare your information in advance and set aside time to complete the process. You will be required to complete the following information, or submit the following items:
      • Applicant information
      • Additional information
      • Academic history - i.e. tests (UNMC College of Public Health GRE Code is 0695), colleges and universities attended, coursework, curriculum vitae/resume
      • Personal statement
      • References (three letters of recommendation)
      • School designation (see below)
      • SOPHAS application fee
      • Applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not earned a degree in the United States must submit official TOEFL scores earned within the two years preceding the desired term of entry

Paper-based TOEFL 500 or higher Computer-based 213 or higher Internet-based 80 or higher

SOPHAS School Designation

SOPHAS contains a section "School Designations". You will use this section to declare the program and area of concentration you wish to apply to, as well as your second choice.

Click on "Update Designations" in the top left hand corner of the screen. Choose "University of Nebraska, College of Public Health" from the first drop down menu.

Next, choose the program and concentration you would like to elect for your first choice from the second drop down menu.

Click the "search" button. Select the program and click "submit".

You will repeat this process to indicate your second choice program and concentration. You will have the opportunity to rank concentrations on SOPHAS.

Application Deadlines

Term Domestic Application International Application
Fall Semester June 1 April 1
Spring Semester October 1 September 1


Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
College of Public Health
Phone: 402.552.9867

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