Students in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) gain a comprehensive understanding of the role the environment plays in human health. Educated by world-renowned faculty, they learn how people are exposed to environmental hazards; the outcomes of environmental exposures at the cellular, personal, and population levels; and the societal implications of these outcomes. They also learn how to design science-based policies to address current and future environmental health challenges. Because EHS challenges are so complex, graduates will take jobs that require both scientific and technical expertise, as well as the ability to integrate data and diverse perspectives. At the UCLA Fielding School, EHS students graduate prepared to manage teams, advocate for the populations they serve, and collaborate with policymakers and experts in other fields to tackle any type of environmental problem.
Environmental Health Sciences
In addition to faculty leaders within EHS, students benefit from the department’s close ties with experts both in other UCLA Fielding departments and on other parts of the UCLA campus. Many EHS students and faculty participate in the activities of major research centers and programs. Within FSPH, the environmentally related centers include the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Southern California Education and Research Center, Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, Center for Environmental Genomics, and the recently established Center for Healthy Climate Solutions, which has made UCLA Fielding and EHS the focal point within the university for science-based efforts to predict, prevent, and solve climate change’s harmful planetary and human health effects. EHS faculty are also active in the work of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. In addition, the variety of environment-related industries in California and the forward thinking of the state’s public agencies on environmental issues create both an ideal backdrop for EHS studies and internships, as well as numerous opportunities for post-graduation careers.
Four degree programs are offered for EHS students at the UCLA Fielding School. Students in the master’s degree programs may also choose to focus on industrial hygiene, which carries additional curricular requirements. Students studying industrial hygiene or occupational epidemiology may be eligible for financial support from the Southern California Education and Research Center.
MPH in Environmental Health Sciences
The MPH in Environmental Health Sciences is a professional degree emphasizing public health applications, with a focus on public health practice and the acquisition of broad knowledge and skills. The MPH equips students to become professionals with a broad understanding of the synergistic relationship between applied environmental and public health issues. Students can also enroll in an integrated program leading to an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP). The MPH degree includes a 400-hour internship in a government, industry, nonprofit, or other setting that provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in the classroom to real-world problems. Graduates of the program pursue careers in both the private and public sectors as researchers, educators, managers, policymakers, and practitioners.Learn More & Apply
MS in Environmental Health Sciences
The MS in Environmental Health Sciences is a research-oriented degree that includes coursework and the preparation of a thesis or completion of a comprehensive examination and a major written report. The MS provides similar preparation as the MPH, but with a greater emphasis on research, with some students going on to pursue a PhD. Students in the MS program can choose to concentrate on areas that include air quality, environmental biology, environmental chemistry, environmental health practice and policy, industrial hygiene, toxicology, and water quality. Interdisciplinary research is encouraged. Graduates of the department pursue careers in both the private and public sectors as researchers, educators, managers, policymakers, and practitioners.Learn More & Apply
PhD in Environmental Health Sciences
The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences is an advanced research degree emphasizing depth of knowledge and original research skills. Students can choose to concentrate on any field of environmental health sciences — examples include air quality, environmental biology, environmental chemistry, environmental health practice and policy, industrial hygiene, toxicology, and water quality — and are encouraged to conduct interdisciplinary research. The program’s graduates pursue careers in both the private and public sectors as researchers, educators, managers, policymakers, and practitioners.Learn More & Apply
EHS students can also enroll in the interdepartmental PhD in Molecular Toxicology program, which brings together faculty from more than a dozen departments in FSPH, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the UCLA College of Letters and Science. The program features particular strengths in areas that include chemical carcinogenesis, repair of DNA damage, air pollution toxicology, nanotoxicology, and the environmental causation of Parkinson’s disease. A training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences supports the program.