Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Health Sciences - Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences

The Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences concentration in the Public Health Sciences PhD program is for scientist-practitioners and emphasizes the understanding of the toxic effect of exposures in the environment, the environmental hazards associated with injuries and the monitoring and evaluation methods that are important for quantifying the potential risk of those events. The concentration provides students with both a theoretical and practical foundation in the topics most applicable to health issues related to the environment in which people live and work.

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Learning Goals

PhD Program Goals

  • Develop effective strategies for teaching in higher education
  • Review and synthesize pertinent literature and formulate focused research questions that address identified knowledge gaps
  • Design and conduct original research that uniquely contributes to the public health scientific knowledge
  • Disseminate research findings through appropriate peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and to other public health community audiences

Major Competencies

  • Analyze issues and problems in occupational and environmental health and safety using critical evaluation, applied research methodology, and statistical methods
  • Characterize the human health effects of major environmental and occupational hazards, both acute and chronic, including: air pollution, contamination of drinking water, and physical hazards
  • Analyze sources, pathways, and routes of exposure to environmental and occupational hazards, identify populations at high risk of exposure, and communicate that risk effectively
  • Create programs that protect the environment using proven technologies and novel approaches
View Learning Goals in the WVU Catalog

Required Courses

The minimum requirements for the OEHS concentration in the Public Health Sciences PhD program are outlined in the WVU Catalog. Some students entering the program with a departmentally approved master’s degree may be eligible to enter with “Advanced Standing” and complete an abbreviated version of the curriculum per the School of Public Health academic policies. The minimum requirements for students entering with Advanced Standing are found in WVU Catalog.

View Required Courses in the WVU Catalog

Admissions Guidelines

  • A master's degree in Public Health or a closely related field is strongly preferred.  Exceptional applicants with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field may also be considered.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, 3.5 is preferred.
  • The GRE is optional for the fall 2023 cohort. For more information, visit
  • WVU requires international students to submit TOEFL scores.  Preferred scores are as follows: 550 on the paper-based test; 213 on the computer-based test; and 80 on the internet-based test.
View Admissions Guidelines in the WVU Catalog
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