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MPH in Environmental Systems & Human Health

Environmental Systems & Human Health

Human health and the health of the planet are intertwined. Our MPH in Environmental Systems and Human Health prepares you to improve both. 

The MPH in Environmental Systems and Human Health equips you to advance public health by working toward sustainable environments, both natural and built. You will work at the intersection of occupational, environmental, and planetary health, acquiring broad skills for assessing risks and designing responses that protect the public’s health. 

The Environmental Systems and Human Health MPH reflects the track record of leadership and reform for which the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) is well known. For example, OHSU-PSU SPH researchers have broken new ground in promoting worker health via innovative programs related to diet, work-family balance, peer support, flexible scheduling, post-military support, and other issues. 

Our MPH in Environmental Systems and Human Health enables you to:

  • Examine public health questions from an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates environmental science, medicine, biostatistics, chemistry, biology, behavioral science, and other fields.
  • Gain extensive field experience, working directly with community stakeholders and professionals in public health, environmental regulation, and occupational health.
  • Build a framework that lets you analyze environmental issues at any level, from local to global.
  • Learn from outstanding researchers who actively influence public opinion, policy debates, and community responses.
  • Build strong relationships with faculty who are attentive, supportive, and proactive advocates for your academic success and professional growth.
  • Draw on the resources and expertise of OHSU’s research faculty and facilities, and PSU’s strengths in public affairs, governance, environmental sciences, and business.
  • Personalize the curriculum by choosing electives, field experiences, and other flexible components to fit your educational and career goals.

Master of Public Health in Environmental Systems and Human Health

The MPH in Environmental Systems and Human Health qualifies you for a wide range of careers. You will be prepared for advanced positions in environmental regulation, industrial hygiene, occupational health, environmental remediation, food safety, nonprofit advocacy, and related fields. 

In addition, our Environmental Systems and Human Health MPH positions you for next-generation industries that are emerging in response to the global climate crisis and other matters of planetary health. You may find ground-floor opportunities to apply public health principles in sectors such as renewable energy, biodiversity preservation, carbon sequestration, and more.

Accreditations and Rankings

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). 

Program Requirements and Guide

To see all of the graduate program guides for an overview of degree requirements and a current programs of study, visit the MPH and MS Requirements page.

Schedule an Appointment with a Graduate Admissions Specialist

Core Competencies


Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Communicate the relationship between environmental systems and human health, particularly in response to a changing climate.
  • Analyze how environmental hazards (chemical, physical and biological) interact with natural and built systems, including the mechanisms of their adverse effects on humans.
  • Assess and interpret relevant literature in the area of public health and environmental hazards.
  • Evaluate the risk of environmental exposures to human populations through the incorporation of exposure, toxicological, and other relevant data into risk assessment methodology.
  • Discuss how federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines and authorities impact environmental and occupational health issues.
  • Apply ethical principles that govern the practice of environmental risk assessment, management, and communication.
  • Specify approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental and occupational hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
  • Integrate, synthesize and apply theory to practice in the context of a research study, policy consequences, or environmental exposure.
  • Explain the general mechanisms of toxicity in eliciting a human health effect in response to various environmental and occupational exposures.

Application questions – Josh Hodsden, MBA

Registration questions –

Program Director – Tawnya Peterson, PhD