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University of Washington School of Public Health

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MS in Occupational and Environmental Exposure Sciences

The Exposure Sciences program provides rigorous public health training in both occupational and environmental health sciences, and recognizes that skills and knowledge in these disciplines are blended in professional practice. The MS degree program trains students to assess exposures to chemical physical and biological contaminants (whether anthropogenic or naturally occurring) through the inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure pathways. Graduates of the Exposure Sciences MS program fill a variety of health and safety professional roles, where they take on responsibility for implementing and complying with both environmental & occupational health regulations. The MS degree curriculum consists of a core course sequence (ENVH 551, 553, and 557) covering hazard evaluation, exposure assessment, and control methods. In addition, graduates gain advanced knowledge in statistical analysis, epidemiology, and field sampling and data analysis..

Likely Careers

Our graduates become professionals who can recognize, evaluate, and control safety and exposure hazards, including those due to airborne and dermal exposures to dusts, chemicals, and biological agents as well as exposures to physical agents such as noise, heat, and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Graduates are employed as industrial hygienists and safety professionals by industrial firms, government agencies, and private consulting firms.

At a Glance

Administering Department:
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Requirements: Baccalaureate degree, generally in science or engineering, with coursework in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. GPA minimum of 3.0 for last 90 credits of study. Competitive applicants usually have Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores above the 65th percentile. No specific subject area tests are required.

Concurrent Option:   A concurrent MPA degree with the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs is available. Applicants must apply and meet the admissions requirements of both the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and the Evans School.

Application Deadline:  Dec. 1 for first priority review

More information

Program Website

Rory Murphy
Graduate Program Office, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Upon satisfactory completion of the MS in Occupational and Environmental Exposure Sciences, graduates will be able to:

  • Characterize health hazards based on the scientific literature associated with environmental and occupational exposures;
  • Describe the use and limitations of accepted environmental and biological sampling methods and quality control measures for exposure assessments;
  • Apply accepted procedures for data evaluation and comparison of quantitative measurements with recognized exposure limits;
  • Identify and describe appropriate regulations and guidelines pertaining to occupational and environmental health risks;
  • Identify and describe appropriate controls for workplace or community health hazards; and
  • Communicate information about exposure to health hazards to both scientific and lay audiences in oral and written form.

Learning Objectives for Learning Emphasis Areas

  • Occupational Hygiene: Apply the core Exposure Sciences competencies to the special problems of the workplace.
  • Ergonomics and Human Factors: Apply the core Exposure Sciences competencies to the physical and cognitive aspects of the workplace environment and the tools used by workers.
  • Exposure Biomarkers: Describe the physiology of key human organ systems, as they pertain to absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of chemical contaminants; and explain how pharmacokinetic principles influence the relationship between exposure biomarkers and environmental concentrations of hazardous chemicals.
  • Health & Safety Management: Apply the core Exposure Sciences competencies to the development and implementation of public and private policies aimed at and managing risks from health hazards.