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Occupational and Environmental Health

The environment encompasses not only the natural surroundings - the air, the water, the plants and animals used for food - but also shelter, modes of transportation and all other products of technology, including pollutants and waste materials; all of which interact to affect health. Environmental considerations become increasingly important during these times of changing emphasis in the fields of energy, economics, and technology.

The objective of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health is to unite in an interdisciplinary training and research program, persons grounded in natural, physical, and health sciences in order to develop an understanding of human response to the environment as well as the response of the environment to the activities of humans. Toward this end, the department has developed flexible and diversified programs of graduate study, field training, and basic and applied research to accommodate students with a wide range of academic and occupational backgrounds. Most courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening format, for the convenience of practicing professionals. The graduate programs in occupational medicine for physicians and occupational health for physician assistants are broad-based and designed to assume a responsible role in the care and management of occupationally-related diseases and injuries, and in the health maintenance of workers in the occupational environment.

Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences

Industrial hygienists use interdisciplinary skills and scientific expertise to protect the diverse workforce and the environment from occupational hazards – chemicals, noise, radiation, biohazards and more.

Program Educational Objectives

1. The Master of Science program in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center will prepare professional practitioners to apply scientific knowledge to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental hazards or stresses affecting human health. Competencies demonstrated by graduates will include the ability:

  • To identify overt and potential health hazards in the workplace and to apply analytical skills in the evaluation of those health risks;
  • To effect control of workplace hazards through application of engineering, administrative, or personal protective procedures;
  • To educate workers and management concerning occupational hazards and the prevention of occupational health problems;
  • To apply knowledge of the regulations of various agencies having occupational health and safety functions;
  • To function on multidisciplinary teams to protect and enhance worker health.

      The program will additionally prepare professional practitioners to work effectively in positions with responsibility for elements of environmental management, such as compliance with environmental regulations or planning and budgeting of environmental projects.

2. Graduates will aspire to and achieve professional certification, such as the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) credential, appropriate to their employment history and circumstances.

3. Graduates will communicate technical and business information accurately and effectively.


The Master of Science program in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences is one of only 22 graduate programs in Industrial Hygiene accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET. For more information, visit www.abet.org.

Student Outcomes

General program outcomes: Upon graduation, students will demonstrate:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and applied sciences;
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  • An ability to formulate or design a system, process, or program to meet desired needs;
  • An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • An ability to identify and solve applied science problems;
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  • An ability to communicate effectively in the field with people at all levels of an organization;
  • An ability to communicate effectively with professional peers;
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of solutions in a global and societal context;
  • A recognition of the need for and ability to engage in life-long learning;
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues;
  • [See specific outcomes];
  • An understanding of the impact of solutions within an organization, based in part on field experience;

Specific program outcomes: Upon graduation, students will demonstrate:

  • An ability to identify agents, factors, and stressors generated by and/or associated with defined sources, unit operations, and/or processes;
  • An ability to describe qualitative and quantitative aspects of generation of agents, factors, and stressors;
  • A demonstrated understanding of physiological and/or toxicological interactions of physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic agents, factors, and/or stressors with the human body;
  • An ability to assess qualitative and quantitative aspects of exposure assessment, dose-response, and risk characterization based on applicable pathways and modes of entry;
  • An ability to calculate, interpret, and apply statistical and epidemiological data;
  • An ability to recommend and evaluate engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment controls and/or other interventions to reduce or eliminate hazards;
  • A demonstrated understanding of applicable business and managerial practices, based in part on field experience;
  • An ability to interpret and apply applicable occupational and environmental regulations;
  • A demonstrated understanding of fundamental aspects of safety and environmental health;
  • An ability to attain recognized professional certification;

Accredited Program Enrollments and Graduations, 2012-2013

  • 16 full-time students
  • 8 part-time students
  • 4 graduates are included in these enrollment counts

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