A Ph.D. degree in occupational and environmental health is offered by the department with optional subprograms in:

  • agricultural safety and health
  • ​industrial hygiene

Optional focus areas include:

  • environmental health
  • environmental toxicology
  • ergonomics
  • occupational epidemiology
  • occupational injury prevention

The Doctor of Philosophy program in occupational and environmental health requires 72 s.h. of graduate credit. All doctoral students must complete a dissertation. The program is offered with two optional subprograms: agricultural safety and health, and industrial hygiene.

The Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health without a subprogram requires the following work.

Core Courses

Students must complete all of the following courses.

OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3
OEH:5010Occupational and Environmental Health Seminar1
OEH:5620Occupational Health3
BIOS:4120Introduction to Biostatistics3
BIOS:5120Regression Modeling and ANOVA in the Health Sciences3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health1
CPH:7270Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health1
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
PATH:8133Introduction to Human Pathology for Graduate Students4

Electives

Students must earn a minimum of 24 s.h. in non-research-related courses, including classroom courses or equivalent web-based courses. Students work with their advisor to select courses appropriate for their professional goals.

Research Credit

Students earn the remaining credit for the Ph.D. by completing any combination of the following courses or other classroom courses. All Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation.

OEH:7000Thesis/Dissertationarr.
OEH:7020Independent Study in Occupational and Environmental Healtharr.

Ph.D. with Subprogram in Agricultural Safety and Health

The Ph.D. with subprogram in agricultural safety and health prepares doctoral students for academic, research, and policy-making careers in occupational and environmental health, with specialty in agricultural safety and health.

The Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health with the agricultural safety and health subprogram requires the following work.

Subprogram Core

Students must complete all of the following courses.

OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3
OEH:4540Statistics for Experimenters3
OEH:5010Occupational and Environmental Health Seminar1
OEH:5410Occupational Safety3
OEH:5620Occupational Health3
OEH:6110Rural Health and Agricultural Medicine3
OEH:6120Current Topics in Agriculture and Rural Health1
OEH:6130Agricultural Safety and Health: Practice, Research Methods, and Policy3
OEH:7040Preceptorship in Occupational and Environmental Health3
BIOS:5120Regression Modeling and ANOVA in the Health Sciences3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health1
CPH:7270Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health1
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
EPID:5570Zoonotic Diseases3

Electives

Agricultural safety and health subprogram students must complete elective course work from one of four focus areas. The amount of credit required varies by focus area, as follows.

Ergonomics: 15 s.h.
Industrial hygiene: 15 s.h.
Occupational epidemiology: 12 s.h.
Occupational injury prevention: 12 s.h.

Research Credit

Students earn the remaining credit for the Ph.D. by completing any combination of the following courses or other classroom courses. All Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation.

OEH:7000Thesis/Dissertationarr.
OEH:7020Independent Study in Occupational and Environmental Healtharr.

Ph.D. with Subprogram in Industrial Hygiene

The Ph.D. with subprogram in industrial hygiene provides doctoral students with specialized knowledge in industrial hygiene in addition to their expertise in the broad field of occupational and environmental health.

The Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health with the industrial hygiene subprogram requires the following work.

Subprogram Core

Students must complete all of the following courses.

All of these:
OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3
OEH:4310Occupational Ergonomics: Principles3
OEH:5010Occupational and Environmental Health Seminar1
OEH:5410Occupational Safety3
OEH:5620Occupational Health3
OEH:5710Environmental Toxicology3
OEH:6420Industrial Hygiene Fundamentals3
OEH:6430Assessing Physical Agent Hazards3
OEH:6440Control of Occupational Hazards3
OEH:6450Aerosol Technology3
OEH:6460Quantitative Exposure Assessment: Study Design and Evaluation3
BIOS:5120Regression Modeling and ANOVA in the Health Sciences3
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health1
CPH:7270Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health1
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
One of these:
OEH:4540Statistics for Experimenters3
BIOS:4120Introduction to Biostatistics3

Electives

Students must earn a minimum of 12 s.h. in non-research-related courses, including classroom courses or equivalent web-based courses. Students work with their advisors to select courses appropriate for their professional goals.

Research Credit 

Students earn the remaining credit for the Ph.D. by completing any combination of the following courses or other classroom courses. All Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation.

OEH:7000Thesis/Dissertationarr.
OEH:7020Independent Study in Occupational and Environmental Healtharr.

Ph.D. applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS); they also must apply for admission to the Graduate College through the University of Iowa Office of Admissions. For detailed application information and admission requirements, visit How to Apply to Occupational and Environmental Health web page.

The occupational and environmental health faculty takes several factors into consideration when evaluating applications for admission, including Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test scores, grade-point averages, letters of recommendation, intent and motivation for graduate study, and research interests. Students with deficiencies in one area may be admitted if all other components of their application are very strong.

Ph.D. applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25. All applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. A verbal score of at least 151 and a quantitative score of at least 153 are recommended. For applicants who have not taken the GRE, the department considers scores from other standardized tests, such as the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Applicants whose first language is not English and who do not hold a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (excluding French Quebec), English-speaking Africa, Australia, or New Zealand must score at least 100 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who score 81-99 (Internet-based) are required to take English fluency courses. Applicants who score below 81 are not considered for admission.

Completion of a master's program before beginning Ph.D. study is recommended.

Students may enter in the fall. February 1 is the priority application deadline for consideration for financial support; May 1 is the final application deadline.

Several graduate student awards, including tuition and stipend support, are available for individuals interested in:

  • agricultural safety and health
  • ergonomics
  • industrial hygiene
  • occupational epidemiology
  • occupational injury prevention

Full-time graduate students in good academic standing are eligible for a stipend and tuition support. All recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Postdoctoral Positions

The College of Public Health's Environmental Health Sciences Training Program offers postdoctoral positions in environmental health/toxicology. Appointments are made for two years with the possibility of an additional year. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The program prepares students for professional and academic careers in environmental and occupational health.