MPH Functional Certificate: Environmental Health

A central determinant of population health is the environment, which includes drinking water, air, food, and housing quality, as well as the influences of climate change on communities. In this certificate, the complex interactions of environment with population health are examined. Health disparities associated with unequal exposures to consumer product chemicals, air pollutants, heat, microorganisms, and noise are a few of the many environmental hazards that need to be identified, assessed, and controlled in order to reduce the global burden of disease.

This 16-credit certificate provides students with the research and tools for understanding and evaluating the toxicology and health effects of environmental hazards and the risks associated with exposure to them. Students collect primary environmental data, learn methods for assessing hazard exposures, and are introduced to geographic mapping techniques for understanding relationships and patterns in exposure and disease (GIS).

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Collect and analyze environmental data and articulate the characteristics of major chemical, physical, and biological hazards.
  • Interpret measured or modeled concentrations or doses of hazards compared with risk-based and non-risk-based criteria and guidelines.
  • Evaluate the influence of susceptibility based on a hazards’ biological mode of action, and vulnerability on health risks for major environmental determinants of human disease.
  • Identify defensible intervention and prevention strategies to improve health through reduction in exposures to environmental hazards.
  • Critically assess literature related to environmental impacts on health, analyzing the strength and validity of the hypothesis, study design and methods, results, conclusions, and public health significance of primary research studies.

Course Requirements

  • SPH EH 705 Toxicology for Public Health (2 cr)
  • SPH EH 707 Physiology for Public Health (2 cr)
  • SPH EH 730 Methods in Environmental Health Sciences (4 cr)
  • At least one from the following:
    • SPH EH 757 Environmental Epidemiology (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 804 Field Methods in Exposure Science (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 866 Risk Assessment Methods (4 cr)
  • Choose 4 credits from the courses below or from the list above:
    • SPH EH 713 Essentials of Genetic Technologies and the Future of Public Health
    • SPH EH 720 Climate Change and Public Health (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 735 Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 745 Wastewater and Health/Sustainable Sanitation (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 750 Water Quality (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 805 Environmental Health Science, Policy, and Law (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 811 GIS for Public Health Data Analytics (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 872 Environmental Data and Exposure Modeling (4 cr)
    • SPH EH 875 EH Case Studies (4 cr)
    • SPH PH 731 Analytical Methods and Management Strategies for PH Decision Making (4 cr)
    • SPH PH 737 GIS for PH Decisions (2 cr)
    • SPH PH 825 Analysis of Emerging Infections Using the One Health Approach (4 cr)

Integrative Learning Experience

The ILE involves writing a policy memo for a defined stakeholder group. The student will work on a case study either based on one in a project-based class (e.g., Exposure Assessment, Epidemiology, Risk Assessment, GIS) or an idea developed independently. In either case, the topic must be approved by the certificate director.