The PhD program in Environmental Health prepares students to assess the impact of physical, chemical and biological agents in order to better measure and control their impacts on environmental and human health.

Graduate programs in environmental health science emphasize the chemical, microbiological, physical, risk assessment, and policy aspects of environmental and occupational exposures and effects. Faculty members measure and model human and wildlife exposures to environmental and workplace contaminants; develop techniques and methods for collecting, analyzing, and assessing the effects of chemical, microbiological, and physical factors; and conduct risk evaluations of hazardous agents in water, soil, air, and food. Collaborative research is conducted with investigators throughout the United States and abroad.

The Department of Environmental Health Science offers two graduate degrees: M.S. in environmental health and PhD in environmental health. We also participate in the M.S. and Ph.D. in toxicology, through the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program. An additional (professional) degree, the MPH (Master of Public Health) is administered through the College of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health science (EHS).

The PhD degree in environmental health is offered with the opportunity to specialize in environmental protection, industrial hygiene, or public health.  Environmental health is a critical component of good public health implementation and policy and there is a critical need for workforce development in environmental health service and research, as identified by the WHO, CDC, and National Academies of Science. In addition to the national need for training in environmental health, in Georgia, we face a high proportion of environmental exposure issues related to chemicals, occupational hazards and food and waterborne pathogens in addition to a growing population vulnerable to such exposures (i.e., rural, elderly and those of low socioeconomic status). Doctoral level scientists specifically trained in understanding and solving these issues are critical to improving public health and solving emerging problems.

Faculty within the Department of Environmental Health Science have expertise in several fundamental and applied disciplines affording a diverse selection of courses and research programs. Courses in environmental air and water quality, risk assessment, industrial hygiene, toxicology, waste management, environmental epidemiology, and statistics provide in-depth training for employment in commercial concerns, government agencies and academic institutions. Research resources include facilities equipped to handle a wide range of chemical, molecular and genomic studies, toxicological bioassays, air or water quality assessments, microbiological and environmental issues. Prospective students who desire financial aid may apply for assistance directly to the Department of Environmental Health Science. A limited number of research and teaching assistantships are available through individual faculty members or the department. Other assistantships are available through the Graduate School. Apply before December 31 to allow for full consideration for these university-wide competitions.

Degree Awarded: PhD

Degree Code: PHD_ENHL

School/College: College of Public Health

Rhodes Hall, Health Sciences Campus
Athens, GA 30602


Academic Department: Environmental Health Science

Environmental Health Science Building
Athens, GA 30602-2102

Graduate Coordinator: Charles Easley


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