Individualized Track: Environmental Health Sciences

Here you can:

Tackle urgent health
challenges like
climate change and
disaster response

Harness your passion for improving public health.
At DEOHS, you can:

farmworkers in the sun
Investigate the risks outdoor laborers face with rising temperatures (the PhD dissertation of Miriam Calkins, pictured above).

Tyler working
Study pathogenic bacteria in coastal waters to protect the health of people and the environment.

Magali taking air samples
Use innovative technology to map exposure to traffic pollution and its possible link to dementia.

Why study Environmental Health Sciences (Individualized Track)?

Students in our Individualized Track have the opportunity to customize their education. With a core set of environmental health skills, they are well-prepared to create sustainable communities where everyone has access to clean air, clean water, safe food and safe workplaces.

As a student in the Individualized Track of Environmental Health Sciences, you will:

  • Choose to earn your MS, MS Applied or PhD degree.
  • Take common core courses introducing foundational concepts and skills, including: risk assessment, management and communication; assessment and management of exposures to environmental hazards; core principles of toxicology; and how to use a One Health approach to address complex challenges.
  • Learn about the policies and practices that prevent or control environmental hazards in a variety of settings and choose additional courses on topics that align with your specific interests, selecting from a wide array of courses in environmental and occupational health.
  • Complete a culminating experience (thesis, project or dissertation) showcasing your ability to integrate the skills you have learned to address an environmental or occupational health problem.

I chose DEOHS because of the department's strong focus on solutions-based, interdisciplinary climate and health research. The department has helped me build relationships with academic, government and nonprofit partners who help us conduct research projects that directly address climate-related threats to Pacific Northwest communities.

Claire Schollaert,
PhD, Environmental and Occupational Hygiene
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Our faculty and research


Disasters exacerbate existing inequities and vulnerabilities. We can use information generated by disaster research to inform improvements to everyday health systems and services through the lens of community resilience.

Dr. Nicole Errett,
DEOHS Assistant Professor and Co-founder, the Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience
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Research spotlight

Five people (four in N95 masks) pose with cardboard picture frame cutouts saying "#ColorOutSmoke" and "I [heart] MY AIRSHED."

Population health grants boost wildfire and climate research

Three DEOHS teams awarded new pilot grants from UW Population Health Initiative

A young boy in a gray sweater breathes into a device measuring lung function, and a woman next to him in a black sweater demonstrates how to breathe while checking a computer monitor.

Fighting children's asthma at home

Indoor air cleaners and education reduced symptoms and hospital visits for rural children with asthma, according to UW study

A toddler girl stands outside in a park with fallen leaves.

The lifelong health impacts of business as usual

Climate change is already damaging the health of the world’s children and threatens lifelong impact, says DEOHS co-author of Lancet report


Career pathways

Our Environmental Health Sciences graduates find careers in a range of private, public, nonprofit and academic positions. Recent DEOHS graduates work as:

  • Project Manager for the King County Hazardous Waste Program.
  • Research Consultant at the University of Washington.
  • Environmental Scientist at King County, Washington.

Alumni profile

The mentorship and training I received at UW DEOHS was key to preparing me for my current research-oriented career path. I gained a variety of skills that ultimately qualified me to advance to my current focus in environmental reproductive epidemiology. I feel grateful to be able to work in this exciting field.

Ryan Babadi,
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Environmental Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
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