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What Is the Study of Environmental and Occupational Health in Public Health?

Health policy, toxicology, and epidemiology are among the topics of study in this specialized public health program.

Whether they design policy or implement policy, public health professionals share a common goal: to help create safe environments where all citizens of the world can thrive. Environmental and occupational health specialists are key members engaged in that effort as they work to find solutions to public health issues people encounter at work, at home, or in public spaces.


What do environmental and occupational health professionals do? The American Public Health Association (APHA) highlights these key components:

  • Environmental health: “[It] focuses on the relationships between people and their environment; promotes human health and well-being; and fosters healthy and safe communities. … The field works to advance policies and programs to reduce chemical and other environmental exposures in air, water, soil, and food to protect people and provide communities with healthier environments.”1
  • Occupational health: This area focuses on challenges that include improving workplace health and safety conditions; advocating for workers; working to prevent on-site injury and disability; improving access to healthcare and services; and tackling topics such as “workplace reproductive hazards, ergonomics, child labor, rural settings and agriculture, hazardous chemicals, lead, noise, stress, workplace violence, and international health.”2

The Study of Environmental and Occupational Health

If environmental and occupational health sounds like your public health career passion, a PhD program can prepare you to work at the highest levels of research and leadership. And an Environmental and Occupational Health specialization can help focus your expertise.

In Walden University’s PhD in Public Health online degree program, your study of environmental and occupational health may include coursework in:

  • Environmental and occupational toxicology
  • Advanced biostatistics
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Qualitative reasoning and analysis
  • Environmental and occupational epidemiology
  • Public health ethics
  • Public health administration and leadership
  • Policy and law for environmental and occupational health
  • Health informatics and surveillance
  • Research theory, design, and method
  • Public health policy
  • Environmental and occupational exposure measurement and assessment
  • Mapping and geographic information systems
  • Environmental and occupational epidemiology
  • Community health education 

Choosing a PhD in Public Health Program

Earning a PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Environmental and Occupational Health can help prepare you for leadership roles building safer spaces for living and working. And when you choose Walden’s online PhD in Public Health degree program, you can balance earning an advanced degree with continuing to work full time and enjoying your personal life, too.

In the accredited university’s public health online degree program, you’ll learn to conduct scientifically rigorous research to find solutions to environmental and occupational health challenges. And as you advance through this online public health degree program, you’ll acquire the skills you need to steer your public health career into the areas of leadership, research, teaching, or health policymaking.

The skills you acquire in the online PhD in Public Health degree program can prepare you to craft innovative solutions to environmental and occupational health challenges, helping to create a safer world.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online PhD in Public Health degree program with an Environmental and Occupational Health specialization. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,