Public Health, MPH (Environmental and Occupational Health)

Master of Public Health Degree with a Concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Fully Online
  • 42
  • $597.00
  • $597.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health degree program is designed for students and working professionals looking to broaden their training in environmental health, occupational health, toxicology and related fields. 

The online Public Health, MPH (Environmental and Occupational Health) concentration provides students with: 

  • The opportunity to explore how the physical environment affects one's health
  • Basic knowledge in ecological, environmental, toxicology and agricultural and occupational health
  • 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 such as pollution, air health, water quality and home/work environments

Career Outlook: The environmental and occupational health industries offer the opportunity to work in an array of fields. The wide variety of careers in these industries may often involve a substantial amount of fieldwork. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the Occupational Health and Safety Technician occupation is projected to grow 9% in the U.S. by 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Potential career paths include:

  • Occupational and environmental health and safety professionals
  • Air quality specialist
  • Environmental health professional
  • Environmental sanitation engineer
  • Public education outreach
  • OSHA compliance officers
  • Disaster management professionals
  • Groundwater protection
  • Environmental health program specialists
  • Safety officers
  • Director of health institutes

Concentrations: Students have the option to declare a concentration when applying for admission to the Master of Public Health program, or when establishing a plan of study. The concentration is reported on the student’s transcript.

Areas of concentration in the Master of Public Health program:

  • Maternal and Child Health (42)
  • Health Services Administration & Policy (42)
  • Health Promotion (42)
  • Epidemiology (42)
  • Environmental and Occupational Health (42)
  • Emergency Preparedness (42)
  • Biostatistics (42)

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    The student must 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. Taken the TOEFL

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  3. A written personal statement

    The personal statement should be single-spaced, one page in length and describe the applicant’s: interest in and potential for contributing to the field of public health, career objectives and a self-assessment of personal skills and general preparation for succeeding in a public health graduate program.

  4. 3 letters of recommendation

    Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to academic, practice and/or research abilities. Ideally, recommenders are recent professors, researchers or employers. Recent graduates (last 1-3) years should include faculty references among their 3 references. Employer and supervisor letters or recommendation are appropriate for those who may have graduated or have been employed in the workforce for several years, or for those who are a member of the armed services.

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. International Transcripts. All non-US transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) using their ICAP Course-by-course evaluation service.

  7. Resume or CV that includes employment history, professional experience/skills and volunteer/service experience.

  8. Note: The GRE requirement for the MPH program Fall 2021 application has been waived. However, applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are strongly encourage to submit GRE test scores if available.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete the online application. Use "School Designation" section in online application to select program and area of concentration you wish to apply.
  2. Submit application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 594Environmental Exposure Assessment3
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.
CPH 598Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene3
This course provides fundamental knowledge to the graduate student, or fellow who may be interested in pursuing a career in occupational health and safety. The course is also designed for safety, health, environmental and management personnel who have industrial hygiene effort, anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control. Topics include chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the workplace.
CPH 597Principles of Toxicology3
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.
CPH 590Elements of Industrial Safety for Health Sciences3
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, hazard/risk communications. No previous experience or coursework in safety is required. Prerequisite: ENV 892/ CPH 503 or equivalent introductory environmental health sciences course, instructor permission.
CPH 514Planning and Evaluation3
This course is designed to prepare graduate students, professional students or fellows to apply multi-level evidence-based policy and program approaches to improve public health. The course will guide students through planning and evaluating the impact of public health strategies based on the reach, effectiveness, scalability, implementation quality, and sustainability of these approaches in complicated and complex systems.
CPH 500Foundations of Public Health3
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.
CPH 504Epidemiology in Public Health3
The objective of the course is to understand the application of surveys 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.
CPH 539Public Health: Leadership & Advocacy3
This course incorporates public health leadership theory and practices, which are grounded in biomedical and social science and sanctioned by public law. Politics of communities and organizations is also included. Advocacy is emphasized as a key tool to secure funding and to help assure that local, state, and federal policy makers will adopt, implement, and maintain important public health regulations, policies and programs.
CPH 529Capstone Experience3
The purpose of this course is to complete the capstone project. The capstone addresses a topic of public health significance and is evidence that the student can integrate skills and competencies from across the curriculum to conduct public health research and/or practice. Prior to registering for the course, students must identify a Capstone Chair from their department and form a committee to select foundational and concentration competencies to design a capstone experience appropriate to their educational and professional goals. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 36 credit hours that includes all required MPH core and concentration courses; formed capstone committee; proposal approved by capstone committee.
CPH 528Applied Practice Experience 3
The purpose of this course is to provide all students with an applied, scholarly and mutually beneficial experience in a public health practice setting. This experience augments academic course work meets community needs and provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply at least five foundational public health competencies. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of public health principles, values and practice. All partner organizations must be approved by the Office of Public Health Practice. Applied practice experiences may involve governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings or appropriate university-affiliated settings. To be appropriate for applied practice experience activities, university-affiliated settings must be primarily focused on community engagement, typically with external partners. University health promotion or wellness centers may also be appropriate.
CPH 503Public Health Environment & Society3
An introduction to environmental factors (including biological, physical and chemical factors) that affect the health of a community. The main focus 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.
CPH 506Biostatistics3
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; not intended for Ph.D. students enrolled in the Biostatistics Graduate Program

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Note: In addition to the per credit hour fees outlined above the College of Public Health charges a $200 Technology Fee each semester a student is enrolled.

Risto Rautiainen, Ph.D.

Risto Rautiainen's research interests include agricultural and occupational health and safety, intervention effectiveness research, injury epidemiology, agricultural safety engineering, health and safety training, education, and outreach, the economics of occupational health and safety and risk management. He is the principal investigator of the NIOSH-funded Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and directs the community engagement portion of UNMC's IDeA-CTR grant.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJun 01
  • Spring SemesterOct 01
Council on Education for Public Health