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New 5-Year Accelerated BS to Master’s Program in the Environmental Health Sciences

Home of the UA College of Public Health in Tucson, AZThe Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona is now offering a five-year accelerated Bachelor of Science to Master of Public Health degree option in the Environmental Health Sciences, an applied field focusing on protecting people from exposure to environmental agents.

Students with an interest in the Environmental Health Sciences will experience the scope of public health in the bachelors program and focus on gaining environmental and occupational health (EOH) expertise in the master of public health (MPH) program. The combined, structured degree enables students to carefully choose electives that prepare them for the advanced courses and provide a broader exposure to EOH in five years instead of the six years that would be required to complete the degrees separately.

The decision to create the accelerated BS/MPH program in Environmental Health Sciences was based on demand. “When a number of highly talented students expressed an interest in pursuing our MPH degree, we created the 3 + 2 program which allows us to provide more guidance to students interested in an advanced degree,” said Mary Kay O’Rourke, Ph.D., associate professor of public health and section chair of environmental health sciences.

EOH specialists focus on the exposure of people to physical, biological and chemical hazards in the environment or workplace and their impact on health. Undergraduate students have the option to focus on either industrial hygiene (exposures in a workplace setting) or a broader environmental exposure health track. The accelerated program covers the same information and addresses the same competencies as the two separate focus areas.

“This program eliminates one year from training and saves students a full year worth of tuition while providing high quality education and preparation to enter the work force,” said Douglas Taren, Ph.D., associate dean for Academic Affairs.

The program requires a GPA of 3.3 for entry. O’Rourke says that students with an interest in the environment and its relationship to health or an interest in protecting the health of the public and workers make ideal candidates for the program.

“Many people have an interest in the environment. It is important to realize that environmental or occupational exposures can impact our health and we can alter our behaviors or the environment to prevent disease and improve personal and population health. There are many environmental programs. This program helps people understand and protect themselves and others from environmental assaults,” said O’Rourke.

For more information about the accelerated BS/MPH degree program in the Environmental Health Sciences, please contact Amy Glicken in the Office of Student and Alumni Affairs at: (520) 626-3201 or

The University of Arizona