Academic & Research Training Programs

As a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-funded Education and Research Center (ERC), the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS) exists specifically to train future occupational health professionals through our interdisciplinary programs. Housed in the University of Washington Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine, the NWCOHS supports graduate students pursuing MS, MPH, and PhD degrees in Exposure Sciences/Industrial Hygiene, Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, and Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In addition to these three core disciplines, the NWCOHS also trains students in Occupational Health Services Research. In 2015, two new programs, Construction Management Health & Safety and Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface, were added to NWCOHS training programs.

Industrial Hygiene

The Exposure Sciences (ES) program trains MS and PhD professionals and scientists in the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazardous exposures in the workplace. The IH/ES component of the NWCOHS supports trainees enrolled in either an ES MS or a PhD degree program. The MS curriculum is primarily a practitioner-oriented degree, and is based on a three-quarter core course sequence in exposure sciences while maintaining core material addressing workplace hazards. The PhD degree builds upon the basic principles of exposure sciences, with a strong emphasis on research-based education. PhD and MS students may obtain a traditional research thesis; MS trainees have the additional option of replacing the thesis with a portfolio including practical experience and an applied capstone project.

Occupational Health Nursing

Students in the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) Program are enrolled in one of two graduate degree options – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science through the UW School of Nursing, or Master of Public Health (MPH) through the UW School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Training emphasizes a socio-ecological view of population health through which employment and work experiences are understood to operate as social determinants of worker health. Recognizing that multi-level societal factors influence industry presence, job opportunities, and working conditions, OHN trainees are provided an orientation to worker health that goes beyond learning about measures to control workplace hazards or the clinical management of occupational injury and illness. Consideration of worker population characteristics is stressed as a key dimension to occupational health and safety.

Occupational Medicine Residency

Students are supported by NWCOHS through the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency/Fellowship (OEM) program. The OEM is a two-year, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) certified training program for physicians, leading to board eligibility in Occupational Medicine (certification through the American Board of Preventive Medicine). Most trainees complete the Occupational and Environmental Medicine MPH program. The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency at the University of Washington provides training of physicians specializing in the prevention and management of workplace illness and injuries; promotion of health and productivity of workers; and environmental health of individuals as well as communities. An emphasis is placed on training physicians to serve in leadership roles in the specialty. The overall goal of the OEM program is to provide world-class academic, clinical, and practicum training, producing leaders in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Occupational Health Services Research

The Occupational Health Services Research (OHSR) program culminates in a PhD degree in Health Services, with a research focus in occupational health. The OHSR program curriculum consists of four components: (1) health services core competency courses, (2) advanced health services theory and methods courses, (3) occupational health emphasis courses, and (4) supervised research training. Trainees receive grounding in theory and methods applied to health services research from the disciplines of health services, biostatistics, epidemiology, policy analysis, economics and other social and behavioral sciences. Trainees and faculty actively participate in the NWCOHS interdisciplinary courses and other interdisciplinary activities. The OHSR program offers advanced training in health services research methods and health care policy analysis to prepare students for careers as researchers or policy makers in the area of occupational health. The program is designed to augment the limited supply of occupational health services researchers, and to foster interaction and collaboration among occupational health disciplines.

Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health

CMOSH (Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health) is an exciting new track within the Master of Science in Construction Management degree program at the University of Washington. The track aims to produce future construction management leaders who will have the knowledge and skills to integrate project management and occupational health and safety for true project success. CMOSH students will have a well-rounded and interdisciplinary learning experience covering subjects from construction management, occupational health and safety, and industry practices. Contingent upon funding from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the CMOSH track will provide tuition waivers and monthly stipend benefits to highly qualified applicants who are U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents. Applications for the 2017 autumn enrollment are due February 1, 2017 and candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the track faculty as early as possible to express their interests. For more information and application, click here.

Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface

The Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface (OHHAI) research training program will support students in the development of new competencies for research and provision of preventive occupational health services to workers in a wide range of animal contact settings, ranging from research facilities to veterinary hospitals, zoos, and agriculture using an innovative and interdisciplinary “One Health” paradigm. OHHAI trainees will complete the requirements for the MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science, and take supplemental coursework in zoonotic infectious disease, ergonomics, and safety principles. A new seminar course in Current Issues of Occupational Health at the Human Animal Interface will serve as an anchoring core component. Central to the program will be the completion of an experiential practicum and a research project on the occupational health of animal workers.