PhD in Environmental & Occupational Hygiene

About the PhD in Environmental & Occupational Hygiene

Our department offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental & Occupational Hygiene (EOH) (view/download the brochure here). This degree option trains scientists and professionals to recognize, evaluate, and prevent exposures that may increase the risk of disease or injury. Our doctoral students work with faculty members to research a variety of health problems and identify, quantify, reduce, or eliminate hazards on the job and in communities. Research topics include biological, chemical, and physical hazard assessment and controls; respiratory, reproductive, and chronic diseases; epidemiology of occupational and environmental cancers; bio-monitoring and medical surveillance; and occupational or environmental health policy. Students gain a comprehensive knowledge of health and safety principles, strong technical skills, and practical experience. 

Research Opportunities

Students work with faculty and staff engaged in ongoing research and service activities, such as those involved with the Field Research and Consultation Group (Field Group). The Field Group responds to the occupational safety and health needs in Washington State, and also provides learning experiences and research opportunities to students in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. In addtion to the field group, DEOHS faculty are involved with research that supported by a wide range of research centers and institutes affiliated with the department. Students also have access to state-of-the-art laboratories.

Visit our Student Research Page to learn more about the wide range of research projects undertaken by former PhD-EOH students. Choose a year, then click on the arrow next to "OPTION SHORT NAME" to sort by degree option. Projects completed by students in this degree option are indicated by the short name "EOH." 

Funding Opportunities

Tuition and salary support is often available for students in the PhD-EOH degree option. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis. See the Student Funding Overview Page for more information. 

A Commitment to Diversity

Our department recognizes the value of diversity in both our own institution and the broader field of environmental and occupational health. We strive to provide an educational environment that encourages participation by students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including under-represented minority, first-generation college and economically disadvantaged students. 

Degree Requirements

The PhD-EOH degree course of study covers a diverse range of topics. These topics are selected to be responsive to the needs of students, professionals, and employers in the rapidly evolving field of environmental and occupational health. Degree requirements include DEOHS core courses, degree option specific courses, and electives. A minimum of 99 total credits is required to complete this degree. In addition to course requirements, doctoral students are required to complete a number of degree milestones. Taken together, the coursework and milestones ensure that, upon satisfactory completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, students will be able to demonstrate the competencies detailed on the School of Public Health competencies page.

DEOHS Core Courses
BIOSTATISTICS Requirement (Choose One):
BIOST 512 1 orMedical Biometry II (WIN, 4 credits)
BIOST 518 1Applied Biostatistics II (WIN, 4 credits)
EPI 511 2Introduction to Epidemiology (AUT, 4 credits)
ENV H 501Foundations of Environmental Health (WIN, 4 credits)
ENV H 505 Fundamentals of Environmental and Occupational Toxicology (SPR, 4 credits)
ENV H 551Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants (AUT, 4 credits)
RISK ASSESSMENT Requirement (Choose One):
ENV H 543 orQuantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (SPR, 3 credits)
ENV H 572 orEnvironmental Risk and Society (AUT, 3 credits)
ENV H 577Risk Assessment for Environmental Health Hazards (AUT, 3 credits)
ENV H 580Environmental and Occupational Health Seminar  (AUT/WIN/SPR, 6 quarters of 1-credit each = 6 credits)
Degree Option requirements
TBDCore science courses from a single discipline 3 (11 credits)
ENV H 552Environmental Chemistry of Pollution (SPR, 4 credits)
ENV H 553Environmental Exposure Monitoring Methods (WIN, 4 credits)
ENV H 555Instrumental Methods for IH Measurement (WIN, 3 credits)
ENV H 595 4Research Rotation (ALL QTRS, 3 credits)
TBDAdditional elective courses as needed to reach 99 minimum total credits
ENV H 583 5 andThesis Research Proposal Preparation (1 credit) AND
ENV H 800Doctoral Dissertation (27 total credits)
  1. Students can substitute a higher level BIOST course for BIOST 512 or 518. 
  2. Students can substitute a higher level EPI course for EPI 511.
  3. 11 credits of core science courses from a single discipline that together provide in-depth specialist knowledge in a field relevant to the chosen course of study. Course selection must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor.
  4. Two rotations (6 credits) required for students with a previous master’s degree, three (9 credits) otherwise.
  5. ENV H 583 requires that students take 2 credits of ENV H 600 (Independent Study) concurrently. 

PhD Degree Milestones

In addition to the required coursework described above, doctoral students complete the milestones listed below, typically at the point in their studies indicated in parentheses.  

  • Research Rotations (Year 1)
  • Research Rotation Talk (Year 2)
  • PhD Qualifying Examination (End of Year 2)
  • Establishment of Advisory Committee (Year 3)
  • General Examination (Year 4)
  • Final Examination (Dissertation Defense) (Year 5)

Contact Us

For more information about the PhD-EOH degree option, please contact Trina Sterry, Manager of Student & Academic Services, at or 206-543-3199.