Environmental and Occupational Health Science, Master of Science (0473)



Program Coordinator

Ritchie D. Taylor, ritchie.taylor@wku.edu, (270) 745-8975

The graduate program in Environmental and Occupational Health Science is designed to provide graduate education for careers focused on the protection of human health and prevention of health hazards in occupational and natural environments.  A key component of the program is to understand how exposure to environmental and occupational hazards occurs, and discovering ways to reduce and control the risk of exposure.  This interdisciplinary field focuses on environmental hazards to human health, assessment of exposures, mechanisms of environmental response, control of risks associated with environmental hazards, and improving occupational health.  Program requirements will provide students a foundation of advanced studies that will increase their skills and knowledge for protecting human health and the environment.  This program is designed for working professionals and students desiring opportunities with industry, consulting firms, government agencies, and other environmental and occupational health science professions.

Program Admission

In addition to Graduate School admission requirements, admission requires the equivalent of an undergraduate major in environmental health science including supporting courses in science and mathematics. Exceptions may be made for students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines; however, additional courses may be required.

Admission may be granted to applicants that fulfill one of the following conditions: 1) GAP score of 550 and minimums of 139 for the GRE Verbal Score and 139 for the GRE Quantitative Score; 2) a cumulative GPA from a U.S. accredited university of at least a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale; or, 3) a cumulative GPA of greater than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the Environmental Health and Safety graduate certificate program. 

International students must attain a minimum of 550 on the written TOEFL, a minimum of 213 on the computerized TOEFL, a minimum of 79 on the Internet TOEFL, or a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (36 hours)

Required Courses
PH 520Biostatistics for Public Health3
PH 582Epidemiology3
PH 584Principles of Environmental Health3
EOHS 570Industrial Hygiene3
EOHS 572Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology3
EOHS 577Environmental Toxicology3
PH 599Thesis Research/Writing 16
or PH 546 Graduate Internship
Select 12 hours from the following: 212
EOHS Electives
Research Methods
Watershed Management and Science
Environmental Management and Risk Assessment
Air Quality Management
Solid and Hazardous Wastes
Public Health Management of Disasters
Worksite Health Promotion Electives
Health Promotion in the Workplace
Program Planning in Public Health Practice
Education and Communication Techniques in Public Health Education
Health Behavior
Total Hours36

Students who select PH 599 complete a thesis according to the requirements of WKU Graduate School. A committee of at least three (3) faculty members will direct each thesis. Students will be required to develop a proposal, defend the proposal, complete thesis research, write the thesis document, and then present the thesis to faculty and students. Additionally, each student will orally defend their thesis before their graduate committee.

Students who select PH 546 complete an internship experience of 400 hours. As part of this option, each student must develop a portfolio that details the internship experience. Each portfolio will follow a rubric of required elements. The graduate advisor, in conjunction with the EOHS internship coordinator, must approve the internship. Internships will require that the student keeps a daily log of activities, compiles weekly summaries, and documents the major objectives associated with the internship. The portfolio will include all internship documentation and the final presentation for the internship. Students completing the internship are required to make an oral defense of their portfolio to their graduate committee and present their work to faculty and students. Each portfolio must follow a rubric of required elements.


Courses may be selected from the list above or from other disciplines, given that the course is pertinent to the program of study.  The graduate advisor must approve all elective courses.