Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health Sciences
The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences develops in-depth skills and knowledge that enable graduates to perform independent original research on contemporary environmental and occupational health challenges. Students work with their faculty advisor to identify an area of focus, and develop an appropriate training plan and research activities. Areas of academic focus can include, but are not limited to: aerosol science, air quality, climate change, exposure science, industrial hygiene, policy analysis, epidemiology, toxicology, or water quality.
The doctoral program encompasses the following major elements:
- Course work in the major field
- Written qualifying examinations, including proposals related to the dissertation
- Oral Qualifying Examination on the proposal for the dissertation (advancement to candidacy)
- Oral defense of the dissertation
1. Course Requirements
Students select a course of study upon consultation with Guidance Committee. Proficiency in biostatistics/statistics is required. Each specific required course can be waived if the equivalent has been successfully taken previously with a grade of B or better.
EHS required courses include:
- EHS C200C: Foundations of Environmental Health Sciences
- EHS 296: Research Topics in EHS required for each quarter in residence)
- EHS 411: Environmental Health Sciences Seminar: Taken once a year for two years
- One full course (4 units or more at the 100 or 200 level) in Epidemiology
- Students who have not previously completed a CEPH-accredited degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree) are required to complete Public Health 201: Contemporary Health Issues.
- EHS 414A: Research Methods and Effective Communication
- EHS 414B: Research Methods and Effective Communication
2. Written Doctoral Qualifying Exam
The aim of the Written Doctoral Qualifying Examination is to verify that the candidate has state-of-the-art knowledge about the general areas of the major field (intended research and its relationships to environmental health sciences and to public health). The student must complete the minimum course requirements to the satisfaction of the Guidance Committee before taking the Examination.
3. Oral Doctoral Qualifying Exam
On successful completion of the written Qualifying Examination, the doctoral committee is named to administer the Oral Qualifying Examination. The exam focuses on the proposal for the dissertation. It also includes the following as appropriate: theory and background research relevant to the proposed research beyond that reviewed in the proposal; methodological and analytic considerations pertinent to the proposed research, irrespective of whether these issues have been covered in the proposal; and feasibility. The proposed research must make an original contribution to the field.
4. PhD Dissertation
After passing the University Oral Qualifying Examination, students may be advanced to candidacy and commence work on a dissertation in the principal field of study. The doctoral committee supervises the progress toward completion of the dissertation.
5. Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
A final oral examination is required of all candidates.
Time to Degree
Normative time from initial enrollment to advancement to candidacy is six to nine quarters (two to three calendar years), and from advancement to candidacy to filing of dissertation is six to nine quarters (two to three calendar years).
View a list of faculty in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.Faculty
Graduates of the department have pursued careers in both the private and public sectors as researchers, educators, managers, policymakers, and practitioners.
Examples of positions held by graduates include:
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Research Associate
- Air or Water Pollution Specialist
- Occupational Health Manager
Tuition & Fees
For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.
Please see the cost and aid section of our website for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.Cost & Aid
In addition to meeting the University’s minimum requirements, students should have a bachelor's (or master's) degree in public health, environmental health, life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, environmental science, or a related field.
Applicants with non-science majors who meet the following course work requirements will be considered for admission:
- 1 university-level course or equivalent in Calculus, Linear Algebra, or Statistics
- 1 university-level course in Chemistry or equivalent
- 1 university-level course in Biology or equivalent
Students who do not have the prerequisites at the time of application may take equivalent courses at UCLA in their first year.
A doctoral (research) adviser in the department, subsequent to filing the application for admission, must accept the applicant.
Visit the application guide to learn about our admissions process.Application Guide
This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program.
Admission requirements listed are departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.
Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.