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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the M.P.H. or Dr.P.H. degree, students will possess core understanding of the fundamental areas of knowledge in public health and obtain professional specialization. The purpose of these degrees is to acquire a broad understanding of the core areas of public health and its related disciplines with particular emphasis in a selected field of study and to integrate and apply this knowledge in addressing public health problems. In addition, M.P.H. students acquire common basic skills and competencies for public health professionals. The School of Public Health objectives listed below will be met through the entire program of study, including the SPH breadth courses. The EHS learning objectives described at the end of this section will be met through the EHS core courses. 
School of Public Health Objectives for M.P.H. Students

  • Identify and define parameters of public health problems.
  • Collect data relevant to a public health problem.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in determining effective use and analysis of data and statistical methods for public health problems as applied, for example, in epidemiology, health management, program planning, program evaluation, and policy analysis.
  • Describe the interrelationships of scientific, economic, political, social, ethical, and personal interplay with public health problems and issues.
  • Demonstrate leadership and communicate public health information, policy, positions, and program justifications effectively in writing and orally.
  • Advocate for public health issues and resources.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence with persons and groups from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrate ethical standards in practice, research, data collection and storage and program management.

School of Public Health Objectives for Dr.P.H. Students 
The Dr.P.H. degree is a professional degree conferred by the School of Public Health in recognition of a candidate's command of a comprehensive body of knowledge in the field of public health and its related disciplines and proven ability to initiate, organize, and pursue the investigation of significant problems in public health practice. Through this program, graduates will:

  • Acquire broad knowledge of public health, including an understanding of the essential relationships between public health and societal agencies whose actions affect the health of people.
  • Analyze issues and problems in public health using critical evaluation, applied research methodology, and statistical methods.
  • Understand public health policies and practices through the study of how programs are implemented in institutions and society, and of those subjects that support decision making in public health such as organizations, financial management, strategy, information systems, and ethics.
  • Develop a vision and philosophy for professional leadership in public health.

Environmental Health Sciences Objectives 

The EHS educational objectives are to develop an understanding of the human health impacts of physical, biological, and chemical agents in the environment and workplace and to explore the means of their recognition and control. A two year M.P.H. program emphasizing interdisciplinary training in the environmental health sciences prepares students to:

  • Articulate the basic process of identifying important environmental health questions.
  • Describe how chemical, biological and physical agents are tested for acute, subchronic and chronic health effects including reproductive, developmental and carcinogenic effects, and interpret toxicological data in terms of relevance to human health.
  • Utilize epidemiological data, with due regard to statistical validity, in the assessment of the nature and degree of impact of hazardous agents on the health of human populations.
  • Describe how humans are exposed to chemical, physical and biological agents in the workplace and environment.
  • Explain the ways in which environmental agents interact with biological systems.
  • Identify the appropriate strategies for assessing exposures.
  • Identify the appropriate strategies for prevention and control of exposures.
  • Analyze risk management decisions, demonstrating knowledge of the scientific components of risk assessment and areas of uncertainty.
  • Identify the most important disease burdens with major environmental risk factors and the environmental risk factors that produce the most disease burden.
  • Organize information and data, prepare technical reports and give oral presentations on environmental contaminants and the impacts on human health.
  • Write and express orally plans and technical results to the non-technical community.
  • Describe current legislation and regulation regarding environmental health issues.
  • Demonstrate the ability to locate and comprehend literature in environmental and occupational epidemiology, toxicology, exposure assessment and risk assessment

Required Courses

For a list of course requirements, please consult the student handbook.


All EHS students are assigned a faculty advisor according to their intended course of study and expressed areas of interest. Advisors may be changed by mutual consent. Students are expected to meet with their advisors at the beginning of each term and are encouraged to do so more often.
Group advising sessions will be held occasionally during the academic year. Students are encouraged to attend these sessions to learn more about general academic policies, recommended courses, and other developments in EHS.