Environmental Health

Chemicals in household products. Air pollution. Pesticide exposures. New and reemerging infectious diseases related to climate change. Contemporary life exposes people around the world to a wide variety of environmental health risks every day. Environmental exposures are among the leading contributors to the global burden of disease, significantly influencing the health of vulnerable populations in the developed and developing world.

The Department of Environmental Health will prepare you to meet these challenges through research, policy analysis, and community engagement. You’ll gain solid grounding in epidemiologic and toxicological research to assess chemical, physical, biological, and social risk factors. Your education will also include training in legal and economic topics relevant to environmental and public health. Students may want to discuss degree options with the Admissions Office and Environmental Health faculty. The MPH degree, for example, is a practice-based degree, while the MS provides students with a strong foundation in research skills.

Cutting-edge research projects and facilities

An advantage of attending a major research university is the opportunity to assist in important faculty research. Current projects include studies of exposure to flame retardants, the effects of exposure to multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors on health in low-income communities, Gulf War Illness, and the BU Superfund Research Program. The Sherr and Schlezinger labs use state-of-the-art cellular and molecular technologies in exciting areas of basic and applied scientific research. The Exposure Biology Research Group performs in-depth field investigations of environmental and occupational exposures and uses biological markers to determine possible exposure-disease pathways. Whether you’re a master’s or doctoral student, you’ll find studies that match your academic and professional interests.

A large network of fieldwork partners

Many of our students engage in community-based research projects with our faculty in and around Boston. Several studies involve collaboration with government agencies, other universities, or Boston Medical Center.

Degree Programs

The department participates in our interdisciplinary school-wide degree programs. Degrees include:

To learn about application requirements, please see our Admissions section.