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Environmental Health


Environmental health programs prepare people to work as sanitarians and other environmental health specialists.

Environmental health programs include topics such as:


A few community colleges offer associate degree programs in environmental health. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in environmental health. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in environmental health. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Some programs require that your bachelor's degree be in a science or technical area such as chemistry, engineering, or environmental health. If you don't major in such a field, however, you should at least take several courses in the natural sciences and in basic research methodology. These courses should include the following:

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs tends to vary. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

The core courses are usually either a more thorough or a more focused study of topics introduced in the undergraduate program. You also get a chance to take courses and conduct independent research that match your specific individual interests. This typically leads to your thesis or dissertation work.

Both undergraduate and graduate programs require you to complete an externship or some other type of field experience in environmental health. This is an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you learn in the classroom to any of a variety of environmental health settings.

You could work in wastewater operations, air pollution monitoring, community health, or environmental planning, to name just a few applications. Places at which you might work include your state health department, a national park, or a nonprofit environmental organization. Whatever the application and whatever the setting, you benefit from the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced environmental health specialist.

Things to Know

After graduating from an environmental health program, you can take a national registration exam.


King-Snohomish Area

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle