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5.14 - Occupational and Environmental Health

Hudson College of Public Health

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health

801 NE 13th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73190
(405) 271- 2070

Margaret Phillips, PhD, Chair and Graduate Program Director


For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site:

Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Occupational and Environmental Health strives to unite interdisciplinary training and research for persons grounded in natural, physical, and health sciences. This facilitates understanding of human responses to the environment and environmental responses to the activities of humans. Flexible and diversified graduate study, field training, and basic and applied research accommodate students from a wide range of academic and occupational backgrounds. The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires in-depth study in a specialty within the broad field of occupational and environmental health. The Master of Science program in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences (IH/EHS) is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, , under the General Criteria and the Industrial Hygiene Program Criteria.


The mission of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health is to understand and solve challenges to occupational and environmental health through innovative education, research, and service. We apply physical science, social science, and translational science to anticipate, assess, and mitigate occupational and environmental hazards that may endanger human health. We prepare practitioners and researchers for careers creating healthier, safer workplaces and protecting the environment.

Master of Science (MS) Degree in Industrial Hygiene & Environmental Health Sciences

Graduates of the MS program in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center will be professional practitioners who apply scientific knowledge to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental hazards or stresses affecting human health. Competencies demonstrated by graduates will include the ability:

  • To identify overt and potential health hazards in the workplace and to apply analytical skills in the evaluation of those health risks;
  • To effect control of workplace hazards through application of the hierarchy of controls;
  • To educate workers and management concerning occupational hazards and the prevention of occupational health problems;
  • To apply knowledge of the regulations of various agencies having occupational health and safety functions;
  • To function on multidisciplinary teams to protect and enhance worker health.

Additionally, graduates will work effectively in positions with responsibility for elements of environmental management, such as compliance with environmental regulations or planning and budgeting of environmental projects.

Graduates will aspire to and achieve professional certification, such as the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) credential, appropriate to their employment history and circumstances.

Graduates will communicate technical and business information accurately and effectively.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational and Environmental Health

The goal of the PhD degree in OEH is to prepare graduates to impart and/or add to knowledge in occupational health through careers in academia or research organizations.


Master of Science (MS) Degree in Industrial Hygiene & Environmental Health Sciences

In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants to the MS in IH/EHS must also meet the following criteria: Baccalaureate degree (120 semester hours minimum) with a 3.00 GPA in the last 60 hours; a minimum of 36 semester hours of undergraduate and/or graduate-level courses in basic sciences, mathematics, engineering and technology, with at least 9 of these credit hours at the upper level (junior, senior or graduate).

Basic Sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, and the life and earth sciences). At least 12 hours in chemistry to include organic chemistry, one course in physiology, biochemistry, or other appropriate life science course, and one course in physics are required.

Mathematics including College Algebra, which is required, and differential and integral calculus, which are desirable. Some computer science and statistics courses may be considered applied mathematics and included in this category.

Engineering and Technology courses are those that apply mathematics and basic sciences to creative applications and viable solutions.

Also required is a minimum of 21 semester hours in communications, humanities, and social sciences.

Those who matriculate with deficiencies up to 8-semester hours credit of these requirements will be required to meet the full entrance requirements within the first 12 months of graduate enrollment. No course taken as part of a degree program requirements can be used to satisfy the admission criteria.

In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants must submit three letters of reference that support admission to the program and assess the applicants' scholastic and professional abilities.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, but may be waived for applicants who have completed 12 hours of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.0.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational and Environmental Health

To be admitted to the PhD program, the candidate must hold a Master’s degree from an accredited institution in a related field and display a clear research orientation and firm knowledge of research techniques.  The Master's degree must be from an institution which has English as its primary language of instruction or the candidate must have scored a minimum of 90 (120 scale) on the TOEFL. The applicant must be accepted by the Department and be admitted into the doctoral program by the Graduate Dean.  Applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Acceptance to the program will be determined based upon the following criteria:

  • Admission to the OEH PhD program is based on the student’s GPA, GRE scores, quality of reference letters, strength of background (coursework, work experience), available space in the program, ability of OEH faculty members to provide mentorship in the planned research area, and the capacity to provide needed resources for research. The applicant must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.25 (4.0 scale) based on all graduate work attempted.
  • The applicant’s statement of career goals must be compatible with Occupational and Environmental Health and must demonstrate an understanding of the central role of the dissertation research experience in the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Furthermore, the statement of career goals must include a description of the applicant’s intended research topic, including a rationale for the proposed work and a self-assessment of how the applicant’s prior educational and/or work background has prepared the applicant to approach the proposed research.
  • The applicant must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation, all of which must be from respondents who can offer first-hand evaluations of the applicant’s background and professional interests. At least one of the references must address the applicant’s academic capabilities in accomplishing a doctoral program.
  • The applicant’s acceptance is contingent upon personal interviews by the Departmental Faculty, and the availability of an academic advisor in the applicant’s area of research interest.
  • The applicant must have demonstrated potential for performing individual research. This requirement normally can be satisfied by the Master’s thesis or by first authorship on a peer-reviewed scientific publication.
  • In addition to the course work prerequisites required for MS applicants, PhD applicants must also have completed course work in differential and integral calculus before being admitted to the program.



A minimum of 49 semester hours including no more than 4 hours of thesis credits is required to complete the degree, with a maximum of 12 semester hours of approved transfer work. With written approval of both the student's departmental chair and the chair of the offering department, a more advanced course may be substituted for any of the core courses. A thesis research training project is required for all MS students, except that the thesis may be waived in favor of additional coursework if (a) the student has already completed a thesis as part of a previous masters degree and the thesis is deemed by the Department Chair and the faculty to represent research method training equivalent to that required by the department, or (b) the student can demonstrate command of research skills through first authorship of data-based peer-reviewed scientific publications as deemed acceptable by the department Chair and the faculty. MS students must pass the Department’s written Quantitative Skills Examination, complete the unscored Industrial Hygiene Knowledge Survey, and pass the oral comprehensive examination, including the thesis defense (except when thesis has been waived).


The Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational and Environmental Health (PhD OEH) degree is an advanced, research-oriented degree program requiring in-depth study of and research in a specialty area within the broad field of occupational and environmental health.

General requirements for admission and completion of the degree are consistent with those applicable to all PhD programs as described in the Graduate Bulletin. Minimum requirements are 90 semester hours, including approved transfer credit but excluding any credit for research tools. Minimum of 20 hours but no more than 25 hours of dissertation research to be applied to the degree.


Occupational and Environmental Health graduates may be employed in private industry (especially in the energy sector); insurance companies that insure industry; city and state health departments; state departments of labor and of environmental quality; federal government agencies including the Department of Labor (Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration), Department of Health and Human Services (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), the Department of Energy (e.g. the National Laboratories), and the US Environmental Protection Agency, to name a few; the uniformed services (Navy, Army, Air Force, Public Health Service, and Coast Guard) both as civilian employees and uniformed officers; consulting companies; law firms; health and safety equipment manufacturers and marketers; healthcare facilities and organizations; and universities.

Current Courses:  Search OEH prefix courses found online at

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