Offered On Campus in Tucson
The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences is offered by the Department of Community, Environment, and Policy. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Environmental Health Sciences examines the critical link between environmental and occupational exposures and human health.
The degree prepares individuals to research, evaluate, and control health risks posed by chemical and biological contaminants and physical exposures (noise, heat, and radiation) in communities and occupational environments. Students will receive advanced hands-on training and experience in the application of epidemiological research methods, statistical analysis, exposure assessment, environmental modeling, toxicology, intervention design and behavioral sciences. Graduates of this program will apply theory and methods to public health research, evaluation, analysis, and decision-making.
The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences trains students for research careers and leadership roles in academia, government agencies, research institutes, consulting firms, and industry. The program is designed for individuals with a variety of backgrounds. Our faculty and students come from diverse backgrounds with advanced training in: medicine, geology, microbiology, engineering, architecture, nutrition, and policy.
Entry into the PhD program requires successful completion of a master's degree in a related field. The PhD program requires approximately three to five years for completion, including two to three years for coursework and one to two years for the dissertation. At least 45 credits are required for the major, plus a minimum of 18 dissertation units, and at least 9 units for a minor in another department. The course of study and dissertation will be developed by the student, their faculty advisor, and their committee.
Elective Courses (minimum 18 units)*
Students select courses in areas of emphasis:
Exposure Science and Risk Assessment; Climate and Health; Environmental Contaminant Modeling; and Occupational Health and Safety
*Students should contact their EHS Faculty Advisor for a suggested listing of elective courses. In addition, there are a great majority of other University courses that can serve as electives for the PhD in Environmental Health Sciences. Please consult with Faculty Advisor regarding other University courses which would fulfill the elective requirements.
Dissertation (minimum of 18 units)
Total Minimum Credit Requirements = 72 units
PhD Minor in Environmental Health Sciences Requirements
The PhD minor in Environmental Health Sciences is for majors outside Environmental Health Sciences and is administered by the Environmental Health Sciences Section in MEZCOPH.
A total of 15 course units are required as well as successful completion of written and oral questions during the PhD Comprehensive exam and successful defense of the dissertation. Consult the UA catalog for further details on the current course schedule and specific course requirements.
Total Minimum of 15 units required, including:
- EHS 502 Environmental Monitoring Methods (3)
- EHS 518 Introduction to Human Health Risk Assessment (3)
- EHS 584 Fundamentals of Industrial and Environmental Health (3)
- 2 additional courses (3 units each) approved by the EHS minor Faculty Advisor (6)
A list of EHS courses can be obtained from the EHS Program Director and are listed in the UA catalog under Environmental Health Sciences (EHS).
Transfer of Credits for the PhD Minor
Graduate credit earned at approved institutions may be counted toward fulfilling the PhD Minor requirements, if approved by the minor Faculty Advisor, the the Environmental Health Sciences Program Director and the student's Graduate Committee. All transferred credit must be at the graduate level with a grade of A or B. The Doctoral Plan of Study requires a listing of all courses the student seeks to transfer from another institution. See the Graduate College website for further details.
Typical time to completion: 3-5 years (2-3 years for coursework, 1-2 years for dissertation work) for full-time students. 5-8 years for part-time students.
Average time to completion: 4.19 Program
Steps to Completion (Full-time student timeline):
- Attend mandatory new student orientation
- Students are expected to serve as a Teaching Assistant at least once during their time in the program
- First year is devoted to course work
- Work with Faculty Advisor to form an initial Graduate Committee
- With the Graduate Committee, develop a tentative Plan of Study
- Each Spring, complete an Annual Progress Report with Faculty Advisor
- Second year is devoted to course work and forming Comprehensive Exam Committee
- Formalize Plan of Study by end of second year
- Second/third year formalize Committee Chair and Comprehensive Exam Committee
- Develop a Dissertation Research Proposal and gain Committee approval
- If necessary, begin process for human subjects approval for dissertation
- Take and pass Comprehensive Exams (written and oral)
- Form and formalize Dissertation Committee
- Third/fourth year, research, develop and write dissertation
- Fourth/fifth year, successfully defend dissertation and finalize revisions