Master of Science Degree in Environmental Health Sciences

The Master of Science (MS) program in the Environmental Health Sciences department is aimed at graduates in the natural and applied sciences who plan to go on to scientific research and leadership careers in the areas of exposure science and health effects. Graduates are qualified for positions in academia, research institutes, government, and industry. 

Additionally, MS degree students are required to complete a program of didactic coursework and to undertake original research culminating in a master's thesis.

Degree Options and Concentrations

The department offers MS degrees in the following areas:

Environmental Health Sciences MS

Research areas of interest include a broad range of environmental and occupational areas. Many topics include aspects of Environment, Sustainability, and Heath and exposure science-industrial hygiene. The MS degree also offers a formalized concentration in Industrial Hygiene.

Environmental Health Sciences Accelerated Master's Degree (AMD)

The Accelerated Master's Degree  (AMD) program option will award a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences for highly motivated students working towards their bachelor's degree in their senior year, plus one more year of graduate study in Environmental Health Sciences. Students will application during the second semester of their second year. You can find learn more about the AMD program on the EHS website. 

Eligible students must be enrolled in one of the following institutions:

  • University of Michigan 
  • Spelman College
  • Tsinghua University
  • Peking University
  • Zhejiang University
  • Southern University of Science and Technology

Toxicology MS

The field of toxicology identifies environmental and therapeutic exposures of concern, reveals mechanisms by which chemical toxicants create pathological dysfunction or disease, identifies interventions for the prevention of adverse effects, conducts safety assessments, and estimates acceptable levels of exposure for the protection of the public health. Learn more.

Program Prerequisites

Typical undergraduate majors among applicants admitted to the MS in recent years include environmental sciences/studies, public health, industrial hygiene, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and engineering. However, prospective students with other undergraduate majors are welcome to apply. For the MS degree programs, basic science knowledge is expected.

Students who are applying for the MS or AMD programs must meet the following prerequisite courses listed below. Some deficiencies may be made up after admission to the program. Courses taken to fulfill basic deficiencies do not count toward fulfillment of the degree's course requirements.

  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Calculus

Program Curriculum and Courses

School of Public Health Core Requirements

BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics, 3 credits
PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health, 3 credits
Foundations in Public Health (online modules)

Environmental Health Sciences Core Requirements

Select one of the following:
        BIOSTAT 502 Application of Regression Analysis to Public Health Studies, 3 credits
        BIOSTAT 522 Biostatistical Analysis for Health-Related Studies, 3 credits
        EHS 655 Human Exposure Analysis, 3 credits
        EHS 674 Environmental and Health Risk Modeling, 3 credits
Select one of the following:
         EHS 576 Biological Agents, 2 credits
         EHS 652 Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 3 credits
         EHS 658 Physical Hazards, 2 credits
EHS 510 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship (RCRS), 1 credit
EHS 602 Essentials of Toxicology, 3 credits
EHS 603 Occupational and Environmental Diseases, 3 credit
EHS 698 Research, 6 credits
EHS 699 Masters Thesis, 1 credit
EHS 869 Doctoral Seminar in Occupational and Environmental Health, 1 credit

Master Thesis -- All MS students are required to perform a research project during the program, to write an acceptable thesis on the project, to present the research results in a seminar and to defend the thesis before a committee of the faculty (see thesis guidelines).

EHS Subplan in Industrial Hygiene (optional)

      BIOSTAT 523, Statistical Methdos in Epidemiology, 3 credits (or equivalent)
      EHS 652, Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 3 credits
      EHS 653, Environmental Sampling and Analysis Laboratory, 3 credits
      EHS 654, Control of Exposures to Airborne Contaminants, 3 credits
      EHS 657, Advanced Exposure Assessment, 3 credits
      EHS 658, Physical Hazards, 1 credit
      EHS 668, Professional Seminars in Occupational Health, 1 credit
      EHS 697, Readings, 1 credit
      IOE 539, Occupational Safety Engineering, 3 credits
      Electives, minimum of 4 electives

      Recommended electives:
            BIOSTAT 523, Statistical Methdos in Epidemiology, 3 credits (or equivalent)
            EHS 556, Occupational Ergonomics, 2 credits
            EHS 651, Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Program Management, 2 credit
            EHS 608, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology 3 credits

School of Public Health Core Requirements

BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics, 3 credits
PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health, 3 credits
Foundations in Public Health (online modules)

Environmental Health Sciences Core Requirements

Select one of the following:
        BIOSTAT 502 Application of Regression Analysis to Public Health Studies, 3 credits
        BIOSTAT 522 Biostatistical Analysis for Health-Related Studies, 3 credits
        EHS 655 Human Exposure Analysis, 3 credits
        EHS 674 Environmental and Health Risk Modeling, 3 credits
Select one of the following:
         EHS 576 Biological Agents, 2 credits
         EHS 652 Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 3 credits
         EHS 658 Physical Hazards, 2 credits
EHS 510 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship (RCRS), 1 credit
EHS 602 Essentials of Toxicology, 3 credits
EHS 603 Occupational and Environmental Diseases, 3 credit
EHS 698 Research, 6 credits
EHS 699 Masters Thesis, 1 credit
EHS 869 Doctoral Seminar in Occupational and Environmental Health, 1 credit

EHS Subplan in Industrial Hygiene

EHS 652, Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 3 credits
EHS 653, Environmental Sampling and Analysis Laboratory, 3 credits
EHS 654, Control of Exposures to Airborne Contaminants, 3 credits
EHS 657, Advanced Exposure Assessment, 3 credits
EHS 658, Physical Hazards, 1 credit
EHS 668, Professional Seminars in Occupational Health, 1 credit
EHS 697, Readings, 1 credit
IOE 539, Occupational Safety Engineering, 3 credits
Electives, minimum of 4 electives

Recommended electives:
      BIOSTAT 523, Statistical Methdos in Epidemiology, 3 credits (or equivalent)

      EHS 556, Occupational Ergonomics, 2 credits
      EHS 651, Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Program Management, 2 credit
      EHS 608, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology 3 credits

Master Thesis -- All MS students are required to perform a research project during the program, to write an acceptable thesis on the project, to present the research results in a seminar and to defend the thesis before a committee of the faculty (see thesis guidelines).          

School of Public Health Core Requirements

BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics, 3 credits
PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health, 3 credits
Foundations in Public Health (online modules)

Environmental Health Sciences Core Requirements

Select one of the following:
        BIOSTAT 502 Application of Regression Analysis to Public Health Studies, 3 credits
        BIOSTAT 522 Biostatistical Analysis for Health-Related Studies, 3 credits
        EHS 655 Human Exposure Analysis, 3 credits
        EHS 674 Environmental and Health Risk Modeling, 3 credits
Select one of the following:
         EHS 576 Biological Agents, 2 credits
         EHS 652 Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 3 credits
         EHS 658 Physical Hazards, 2 credits
EHS 510 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship (RCRS), 1 credit
EHS 602 Essentials of Toxicology, 3 credits
EHS 603 Occupational and Environmental Diseases, 3 credit
EHS 698 Research, 6 credits
EHS 699 Masters Thesis, 1 credit
EHS 869 Doctoral Seminar in Occupational and Environmental Health, 1 credit

9 additional credits from designated Environmental Health Sciences department courses

Master Thesis -- All MS students are required to perform a research project during the program, to write an acceptable thesis on the project, to present the research results in a seminar and to defend the thesis before a committee of the faculty (see thesis guidelines).

School of Public Health Core Requirements

BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics, 3 credits
PUBHLTH 512 Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health, 3 credits
Foundations in Public Health (online modules)

EHS Core Requirements

EHS 510 Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship, 1 credit
EHS 602, Essentials of Toxicology, 3 credits
Select one of the following:
      
EHS 603, Occupational and Environmental Diseases, 3 credits
       EHS 652, Evaluation of Chemical Hazards
Select one of the following:
      BIOSTAT 502 Application of Regression Analysis to Public Health Studies, 3 credits
      BIOSTAT 522 Biostatistical Analysis for Health-Related Studies, 3 credits
      EHS 655 Human Exposure Analysis, 3 credits
      EHS 674 Environmental and Health Risk Modeling, 3 credits

Toxicology Core Requriements

BIOLCHEM 515, Introduction to Biochemistry, 3 credits (can be exempted with previous coursework)
EHS 616, Toxicologic Pathology, 2 credits
Select one of the following:
      EHS 504 Genes and the Environment, 2 credits
      EHS 608 Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, 3 credits
      EHS 660 Environmental Epigenetics and Public Health, 2 credits
      EHS 674 Environmental and Health Risk Modeling, 3 credits
EHS 628, Toxicology Research Analysis and Presentation, 1 credit
EHS 697, Readings , 1 credit
EHS 698, Research, 6 credits
EHS 699, Master's Thesis, 1 credit
EHS 717, Toxicological Pathology Laboratory, 1 credit
EHS 796, Topics in EHS:  Mechanisms in Toxicology, 3 credits
Select two of the following:
      CDB 530, Cell Biology, 3 credits
      HUMGEN 541, Molecular Genetics, 3 credits
      BIOLCHEM 550, Protein Structure and Function, 3 credits

Master Thesis

All MS students are required to perform a research project during the program, to write an acceptable thesis on the project, to present the research results in a seminar, and to defend the thesis before a committee of the faculty (see thesis guidelines).

Financial Support

In addition to financial aid and funding opportunities from the School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Master’s of Science degree students can receive financial support from one or more of the following sources:

  • Traineeships from the NIOSH ERC
  • Grants/scholarships the School of Public Health
  • Teaching assistantships from Environmental Health Sciences or other School of Public Health departments
  • Research assistantships from faculty research grants
  • Smaller scholarship awards from external organizations, such as the American Industrial Hygiene
  • Foundations (AIHF), Chevron, and the 3M Corporation

Admitted Environmental Health Sciences students are automatically considered for School of Public Health scholarships and support from the NIOSH ERC (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only). Teaching and research assistantships are determined by arrangement with faculty and/or department. Applications for the smaller scholarships depend on the sources.

Ready to Apply?

Applications for the Environmental Health Sciences Master of Science program should be submitted through the Rackham Graduate School online application. Visit our Applications & Deadlines page to start the application process.

Deadlines

  • MS in Environmental Health Sciences or Toxicology
    • Early Deadline: December 1
    • Official Deadline: January 15
  • MS AMD
    • Early Deadline: December 1
    • Official Deadline:  January 15

Application Requirements

  • Academic Statement of Purpose: Your SOP should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. The SOP should be 1-3 pages in length and include your name, name of the graduate program, and your UM ID (if known).
  • Personal Statement: How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, citizenship status, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? The personal statement should be 500 words and include your name, name of the graduate program, and your UM ID (if known).
  • Quantitative Statement:  In an effort to get a better understanding of your abilities, we require a statement for all graduate-level applicants as part of the application process. This short essay (maximum 500 words) asks you to summarize the strength of your analytical and quantitative skills by addressing the following (if applicable).
    • List each college-level course you have taken that evaluates mathematical or quantitative skills (e.g. algebra, calculus, differential equations, statistics, physics, or courses that require data analysis using statistical software, etc.). For each course, indicate the name of the course, academic year (e.g. freshman, sophomore, etc.), and grade received. Example: Calculus I, freshman year, B+
    • Discuss specific details and examples of relevant research, work, volunteer, or professional experiences that involved analytical and/or quantitative skills and tasks. You may also incorporate instances where you worked with data.
    • If you have experience with quantitative or qualitative data, describe how you used it to solve a complex problem and include how you communicated your findings. Note: please include measurable outcomes that demonstrate your results.
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 letters of recommendation signed and on letterhead. Electronic submission is highly preferred method which will require a valid email address of your recommenders. 
  • CV/Resume: Upload your CV/Resume that describes your education, work experience, research publications, teaching experience, professional/volunteer activities, community engagement, honors, and awards. 
  • Faculty Members: If interested, you may list individual department faculty members with whom you would like to work if admitted into the program. This is not a required answer on the application, but feel free to to include faculty member names and/or reach out to faculty to learn more about their research during the application process. 
  • Transcripts
    • Applicants who attended or are attending a U.S. Institution: Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account. ​​​​​​​​​​If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcript(s). Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcript(s) are required for submission. All students are asked to include an electronic transcript during the online application.
    • Applicants who attended or are attending a Non-U.S. Institution: Review Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region. Submitting transcript/academic records is a two-step process.
      ​​​​​Upload an electronic version of your official transcript/academic record for each institution attended through your ApplyWeb application account. At the time of application, you must also submit an official transcript/academic record for each institution attended. See Rackham’s detailed instructions on how to submit transcripts/academic records to the Rackham Graduate School.
  • English Language Test Scores: The TOEFL or IELTS is required for applicants whose native language is not English. Below are the current scores required for international applicants.
    • 100 iBT TOEFL
    • 6.5 IELTS 

Application Review Process

The Admissions Committee will review the application. Accepted applicants will be required to meet with one of the MS advisors as early as possible, but no later than the start of the fall semester to review the tentative course of study plan (included with the application).

Questions and More Information

For answers to any questions that you might have, please visit other pages on this website and/or contact Rachel Yarbrough, Graduate Program Coordinator at ryarbro@umich.edu