M.P.H. Concentration: Environmental and Occupational Health

Environmental and occupational health is “the exposure science” and the backbone of public health work around the world.

A woman in a hard hat gestures to a ground of students listening.

Environmental and occupational health in action: Students visit a wastewater treatment facility.

It is a multidisciplinary field encompassing biology, chemistry, toxicology, biomedical engineering and even meteorology.

With a concentration in environmental and occupational health, you can protect our workplaces and industries, our homes, our air, our water, soil and food from harmful conditions. If you love science and you’re good at seeing "the big picture," SLU has a great hands-on program plus a team-based experience that replicates how you’ll work after graduation.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

In addition to the admission criteria for all M.P.H. programs, the following is needed for admission to the M.P.H. in EOH program:

  • A bachelor's degree that includes at least six credit hours of college-level coursework in chemistry, biology and physical sciences is preferred.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full. You can submit GRE scores up to three months after your initial application. Apply using the centralized application services SOPHAS.org and HAMPCAS.org, or apply directly to Saint Louis University.

Joint Concentration Options

The joint concentrations require just six additional credit hours and can still be completed in two years. Blending concentrations enables you to combine your interests and provides additional skills that future employers will value. You can choose these additional joint concentrations at SLU (all require 54 credit hours):

Concentration Competencies

SLU's strong jobs placement rates are based on its competencies-based training, collaborative faculty and a team-based learning environment.

If you concentrate your public health studies in environmental and occupational health, you will be able to:

  • Explain the reciprocal relationship between the condition of the environment and the health of its inhabitants.
  • Identify and describe human hazards in terms of physical, chemical, or biological properties and the potential health consequences of human exposure.
  •  Measure and quantify exposure to environmental and occupational agents and determine associated health risks of exposure.
  • Suggest mechanisms to control exposure and mitigate or manage risk (engineering, behavioral, policy, etc.).
  • Assess the impact of environmental and occupational agents on populations and explain how that information is used to establish laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Communicate technical concepts, findings, and proposals to the public and to other health professionals.

What Our Faculty Investigate

  • Applied environmental chemistry
  • Biomarkers
  • Exposure assessment
  • Lead and allergen removal
  • Poisoning prevention and abatement

Internship

Students who choose this concentration have held internships at organizations, including:

  • St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical

Careers in Environmental and Occupational Health 

Our students with a Master of Public Health with a concentration in environmental and occupational health have graduated to become environmental health policy analysts, government research scientists and chemical product stewardship specialists, among others.

You may work for an environmental health-related agency within  the federal government, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry.