Environmental Health, M.P.H.

COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Learn more about the Master of Public Health in Environmental Health.

About the Program

Environmental factors and sustainable development are major determinants of health in individuals and communities. Proper environmental management is key to protecting public health and avoiding most preventable illnesses caused by environmental factors. The environment influences our health in many ways, including exposure to physical, chemical, and biological risk factors, as well as associated changes in our behavior. The Master of Public Health in Environmental Health is a terminal professional degree that prepares students for practice-oriented careers in environmental health and management, with an emphasis on examining environmental factors and policies that affect the public’s health and sustainable environments of communities.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students can complete the degree program through evening classes and online courses. Full-time students usually complete the program within two academic years. Part-time students usually take three to four years to complete their degree.

Interdisciplinary Study: Interdisciplinary M.P.H. coursework, research, and interactions with students and faculty in other departments are encouraged to give students as broad a perspective as possible to excel in the complex, diverse, and dynamic state of public health. Through associations with the Center for Obesity Research and Education, Center for Women's Health, and others, students have access to over 100 faculty at Temple University and additional regional scholars who are actively involved in programs, research, and teaching in public health. Further, as with the other four M.P.H. degree programs offered by the College of Public Health, the M.P.H. in Environmental Health can be undertaken as part of these dual M.P.H. degree programs:

  • D.M.D./M.P.H. with Temple University's Kornberg School of Dentistry
  • J.D./M.P.H. with Temple University's Beasley School of Law
  • M.D./M.P.H. with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • M.H.A./M.P.H. with Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management
  • M.P.P./M.P.H. with Temple University's College of Liberal Arts
  • M.S. Health Informatics/M.P.H. within the Temple University College of Public Health
  • M.S.W./M.P.H. with the Temple University School of Social Work

For more information, visit https://www.temple.edu/academics/dual-degree-programs.

Affiliation(s): Locally, the program has long-standing research affiliations with The Food Trust, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Health Federation of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), School District of Philadelphia, Temple University Health System, and numerous other community health agencies. These partnerships allow us to offer students a wide range of fieldwork opportunities to translate skills learned in the classroom to actual practice in the community.

Study Abroad: Short-term intensive study abroad courses are offered as part of the M.P.H. program of study. These courses are offered during the Summer and are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Accreditation: The M.P.H. is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Achieving accreditation in 1985, Temple's M.P.H. program is one of the longest established accredited M.P.H. programs in community health in the country.

Areas of Specialization: The M.P.H. degree program is offered in five specialty fields of study:

  • Applied Biostatistics (APBIO)
  • Environmental Health (EH)
  • Epidemiology (EPI)
  • Health Policy and Management (HPM)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS)

In addition, certificates in Clinical Health Services Research, Global Health, and Public Health Law Research are available to all students in the M.P.H. program. Students are able to complete these transcripted certificates by utilizing their elective courses for the required certificate coursework.

Job Prospects: Graduates with an M.P.H. in Environmental Health have positions in a wide range of health-related settings, including clinics, community-based organizations, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, schools, state and local public health departments, voluntary health agencies, and work sites. Graduates are employed as adjunct faculty, consultants, environmental health specialists, evaluation specialists, infection control coordinators, marketing specialists, prevention specialists, project directors, research directors, and senior health educators. Virtually all students are placed within three to six months of graduation.

Licensure: Students who complete an M.P.H. at Temple University are eligible to sit for the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam and the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. For information regarding credentialing in public health, see https://www.nchec.org/.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students are required to speak with an advisor before registering for classes and to obtain the permission of the professor. If accepted to the program, a maximum of three courses may be applied toward the degree program. Exceptions to this policy relate to formal certificate programs.

Financing Opportunities: The Graduate School awards fellowships on a competitive basis only to students with outstanding academic records who are admitted to Temple University for the Fall term. Applicants who wish to be considered for fellowships must apply no later than January 26 for consideration for the Fall term. The Admissions Committee of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics nominates outstanding students for these awards, and the Graduate Board's Fellowship Committee makes all award decisions.

Limited Teaching and Research Assistantships are available in the College of Public Health. The Graduate School website details the types of graduate student support. Assistantships are awarded on a term or annual basis. Students whose Fall applications are complete prior to or at the application deadline are reviewed for eligibility for Teaching Assistant (TA) positions. TAs are required to work 20 hours per week in any combination of teaching assignments made by the department and must meet the English Language Proficiency standards set by the University and the College. Students who hold Teaching or Research Assistantships are not permitted to hold other employment without the written prior approval of their advisor, the Director of Graduate Programs, and the Graduate School. To be considered for a Teaching or Research Assistantship, complete an application form that is sent to students upon admission to the M.P.H. program. The completed application must be returned to publichealth@temple.edu to be considered.

The College of Public Health has a limited number of scholarship opportunities available for M.P.H. students, as shown at https://cph.temple.edu/admissions/scholarships. Students may also be eligible for financial support through the Office of Student Financial Services.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1

All applicants to the M.P.H. program must apply via the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS). The system can be accessed at  https://sophas.liaisoncas.com/.

Applicants should check their application status on the SOPHAS portal often and inquire directly of SOPHAS about receipt of materials. For other questions, please contact the CPH Office of Admissions at cph@temple.edu or 215-204-5200 or email Annemarie Szambelak, Assistant Director of Admissions, at annemarie@temple.edu.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation, which are completed electronically through the SOPHAS system, should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence. If the applicant has been out of school for more than 5 years, ensure that letters are provided by professional colleagues who can discuss your relevant academic skills, including critical thinking, research, and writing.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants' files are reviewed for undergraduate coursework in mathematics and/or statistics, social sciences, and writing.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of an accredited baccalaureate degree. The minimum acceptable undergraduate GPA is 3.0. No prerequisites must be met to apply to the M.P.H. program at Temple University, but strong grades in mathematics and/or statistics, social sciences, and writing are preferred.

A WES evaluation is required for applicants who completed their bachelor's degree outside of the United States. This can be requested at https://www.wes.org/ and submitted through SOPHAS.

Statement of Goals: Write a well-considered 500- to 1,000-word statement of purpose that articulates your interests in public health and our program in particular. Craft your statement to specifically address the following questions:

  • Why are you pursuing this M.P.H. program, and what are your particular areas of interest in public health?
  • How does the M.P.H. program within Temple's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics best fit your public health interests?
  • What are your career goals, and how will this degree help you to achieve these goals?
  • What are your plans in the first few years after graduation?

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional and can be waived. While the program takes a portfolio approach to admissions, standardized tests provide important insight into quantitative and verbal abilities. Scores above the 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the test are desired. If the GRE is waived, a minimum GPA of 3.25 in undergraduate mathematics or statistics courses is expected. Official GRE scores should be sent to SOPHAS using code 0151.

Standardized tests considered in lieu of the GRE include DAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, OAT, and PCAT.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79 (send officially to SOPHAS using the SOPHAS-specific TOEFL code 5688)

  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53
  • Duolingo: 110

Clearances: The M.P.H. program requires students to complete fieldwork education. In the M.P.H. program, it is the fieldwork site that determines the clearances, including criminal background check, FBI fingerprinting, and more, needed by a student. The results of these clearances determine whether a student may be onboarded at a respective site.

Resume: Current resume or CV required.

Transfer Credit: Graduate credits from an M.P.H. program accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) may be transferred into the M.P.H. The credits must be equivalent to coursework offered at Temple, and the grade must be a "B" or better in order to transfer. The M.P.H. advisor approves the transfer of credits based on a review of course materials provided by the student. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Test Waivers: Graduates with a terminal degree from a U.S. medical school, foreign-trained physicians who have obtained licensure to practice in the United States, and those with a Ph.D. may have the GRE requirement waived. Applicants who have a minimum GPA of 3.25 on undergraduate mathematics or statistics courses may request that their GRE scores be waived from consideration in their application portfolio. To request a waiver or if you have other questions, contact Annemarie Szambelak, Assistant Director of Admissions, at annemarie@temple.edu or 215-204-5200.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 42

Required Courses:

College Core Course
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions0
Public Health Core Courses
ENVH 5004Environmental Health1.5
EPBI 5002Biostatistics3
EPBI 5005Applied Analysis of Health1.5
EPBI 5201Epidemiological Research Methods I3
HPM 5006Political and Economic Aspects of Health3
SBS 5001Fundamentals of Public Health3
SBS 5002Program Planning, Theory, and Practice3
Environmental Health Courses
ENVH 8207Environmental Epidemiology3
or ENVH 8019 Environmental Policy and Regulation
EPBI 8012Multivariable Biostatistics3
GUS 5062Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems3
Environmental Health Elective3
Select one from the following:
Genomics and Infectious Disease Dynamics
Global Environmental Health
Water, Sanitation and Public Health
Human Health Risk Analysis
Problems in Environmental Quality
Race, Class, Gender in Cities
Critical Issues in Globalization, Sustainability, and Social Justice
Electives6
Select two from the following: 1
Research Techniques in Molecular Biology
Virology
Environmental Hydrology
Urban Streams and Stormwater Management
Solid Wastes Engineering
Sustainability Aspects of Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Biological Principles of Environmental Systems
Environmental Biotechnology
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Planning
Water Resources Planning and Management
Environmental Infrastructure Planning and Management
Land Use Planning
GIS Programming
Remote Sensing
Urban Geographical Information Systems
Environmental Applications of GIS
GIS for Health Data Analysis
Health Geography
Public Policy for Urban Regions
M.P.H. Fieldwork Experience
ENVH 9289MPH Fieldwork I3
ENVH 9389MPH Fieldwork II3
Total Credit Hours42

Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-

Culminating Events:
Fieldwork Practicum:
Students are required to synthesize and integrate the knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice through an internship or practicum experience with a public health agency, health services organization, or under the supervision of a faculty preceptor. The M.P.H. fieldwork experience serves as the applied practice experience as required by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health, for completion of the Master of Public Health degree. In addition, this applied practice experience provides the student with the opportunity to develop expertise in a topic area and to contribute original and independent observations to a body of knowledge.

Part-time fieldwork experiences are available for students who work full-time.

Evaluative Paper:
For the applied practice experience to fulfill the requirements of ENVH 9289 and ENVH 9389, M.P.H. in Environmental Health students are expected to complete a fieldwork experience. The required deliverable for the M.P.H. fieldwork requirement is a final evaluative paper. Students must demonstrate their proficiency and the application of theory and principles in the paper.

Courses

ENVH 5004. Environmental Health. 1.5 Credit Hour.

ENVH 5004 is a required foundational, introductory course for the MPH degree programs, and as such serves as an introduction to the various aspects of the Environmental Health field. The course incorporates not only the common concepts associated with environmental exposures (air, water, soil, food, etc.) but also legacy and emerging issues associated with environmental threats to human health, including the potential impacts of emerging contaminants on human health. The emphasis is on biological, chemical, and physical sources of exposures, their salient characteristics, potential effects on human and ecological health, and the modern responses (methods, actions, and policies) for limiting exposures and effects.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

ENVH 5013. Global Environmental Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This is an intermediate-level graduate course for those interested in environmental health and global health. Other graduate students may attend the course with the instructor's permission, provided they meet the course prerequisites. This course does not meet the core requirement for environmental health in the MPH program.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
ENVH 5103|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5103|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

ENVH 5305. Environmental Toxicology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course reviews the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of environmental toxicants. Methods used to measure acute and chronic toxicity, including carcinogenesis, are explored.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
College Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges: College of Public Health, Social Work.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

ENVH 5309. Water, Sanitation and Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This is an intermediate-level graduate course for those interested in water, sanitation and hygiene and the implications on public health. Graduate students from the College of Public Health or from Engineering, Environmental Sciences or other related fields may attend the course with the instructor's permission. The course explores the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene on public health. The course is designed for the students to get hands-on learning about selecting and designing appropriate water and sanitation interventions as well as selecting methods for evaluating the public health impact of these interventions.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

ENVH 8016. Human Health Risk Analysis. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an introduction to the use of stochastic modeling to identify, assess, and manage environmental health hazards, risk assessment, and analysis through the lens of public health. Students will develop an understanding of the underlying sciences and mathematics that fall within exposure science and use Markov chain method to build exposure models.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B|May be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5002|Minimum Grade of B|May be taken concurrently.

ENVH 8019. Environmental Policy and Regulation. 3 Credit Hours.

This is an upper-level graduate course that focuses on the concepts of policy and regulatory systems meant for the protection and management of the environment in the United States, including the evolution of the regulatory systems and policy making process to address both legacy and emerging environmental issues and the factors that shape these policies and regulations. Emphasis will be placed on the development of the standards, enforcement, and compliance of selected federal environmental regulations and their equivalent enforcements at the state and local levels, and ultimately, how those regulations influence public health. The course might be of interest to those interested in understanding environmental policy and regulation in the U.S., identifying means to facilitate changes in environmental policy for human health and environmental protection, and how it provides foundation for other international policies and laws pertaining to environmental management and sustainability. Students may find this as an applied policy- and decision-making course. The course will bring in other experts, either in the form of team teaching or guest speakers, who will offer relevant and timely perspectives on topics of significant interest.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(PBHL 5005|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR SBS 5005|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR HPM 5005|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (PBHL 5103|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR ENVH 5103|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

ENVH 8207. Environmental Epidemiology. 3 Credit Hours.

This intermediate course will cover selected topics in occupational and environmental epidemiology through a focus on specific health outcomes, such as non-malignant respiratory diseases, cancer, and musculoskeletal disorders, within the context of particular study designs or exposures. Students will have the opportunity to critically examine the current literature and to study contemporary issues in research. Exposure assessment, biomarkers, and emerging diseases within the context of the workplace and the environment will be addressed.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(ENVH 5004|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR ENVH 5103|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR EPBI 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently
OR PBHL 5101|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)

ENVH 8309. Exposure Assessment. 3 Credit Hours.

Exposure assessment is the multidisciplinary field that identifies and characterizes exposure to environmental agents; develops estimates of exposure for epidemiology, exposure-response, trend and surveillance, and risk assessment studies; and evaluates the significance of exposure of effectiveness of intervention strategies.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

ENVH 9289. MPH Fieldwork I. 3 Credit Hours.

This course entails a fieldwork project or internship in a public health agency. It includes seminars, oral and written reports of progress, and joint supervision by a preceptor and faculty member.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Pre-requisites:
(EPBI 5201|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5002|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 5005|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (HPM 5006|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (SBS 5001|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (EPBI 8012|Minimum Grade of B-|May be taken concurrently)

ENVH 9389. MPH Fieldwork II. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an evaluation of the fieldwork project or internship using a full range of research methodologies. Data are collected, analyzed, and reported in a comprehensive final report. Oral and/or poster presentations are presented to public health organizations. The course includes a final oral defense of the project or internship.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

Contacts

Program Web Address:

https://www.temple.edu/academics/degree-programs/environmental-health-mph-hp-envh-mph

Department Information:

Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Ritter Hall Annex, 9th Floor (004-09)

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6005

publichealth@temple.edu

215-204-8726

Submission Address for Application Materials:

https://sophas.liaisoncas.com/

Department Contacts:

Admissions:

Annemarie Szambelak

CPH Office of Admissions

annemarie@temple.edu

215-204-5200

Chairperson:

Resa M. Jones, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

resa.jones@temple.edu

215-204-7881

Graduate Program Director:

Brandie DePaoli Taylor, M.P.H., Ph.D.

b.depaoli-taylor@temple.edu

215-204-2055