San Diego State University

MPH – Environmental Health




The Division of Environmental Health is one of the graduate divisions within the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health.  It offers the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with concentration in Environmental Health and the Master of Science degree in Public Health, concentration in Environmental Health Sciences.

The MPH in Environmental Health is a professional degree program involving coursework in environmental health, including water and air pollution, food sanitation, vector control, toxicology, solid and hazardous waste management, and risk assessment, as well as core courses in other public health disciplines and practical public health field training through the practicum experience.  The MPH in Environmental Health is often the preferred degree for students who wish to work as environmental or occupational health practitioners.  This degree program is certified as an Option V for the Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) Program at the State of California, so our graduates are eligible to take the REHS exam upon graduation (given appropriate undergraduate degree coursework).


Students in the Environmental Health concentration receive a wide range of exposure and hands-on training both the in the laboratory and in the field.



See also…

Required Courses

The 51 unit program is listed below and is typically completed in two years by full-time students:

  • Public Health Core Classes (15 units)
    • PH 601 Epidemiology (3)
    • PH 602 Biostatistics (3)
    • PH 603 Behavioral and Social Science in Public Health (3)
    • PH 604 Environmental determinants of Human Health (3)
    • PH 605 Health Services Administration (3)
  • Environmental Health Concentration Courses (15 units)
    • PH 632 Air Quality (3)
    • PH 634 Environmental Protection (3)
    • PH 636 Hazardous Waste Management (3)
    • PH 638A Principles of Toxicology (3)
    • PH 639 Water Quality Investigation (3)
  • Supervised Field Placement (6 units)
    • PH 650R Required Community Field Practice (3) Cr/NC
    • PH 750D Advanced Field practice: Environmental Health (3) Cr/NC
  • Research (3 units)
    • PH 797 Public Health Research (3) Cr/NC
  • Prescribed Electives (9 units) – A minimum of nine additional units selected with the approval of advisor from:
    • PH 630 Environmental Health Risk Assessment (3)
    • PH 700D Seminar in Public Health : Environmental Health (3) (may be taken more than once)
    • PH 784 Global Environmental Health (3)
    • PH 798 Special Study (1-6) Cr/NC/RP
  • Capstone Experience (3 units) *
    • PH 799A Thesis or Project (3) Cr/NC OR PH 798 Special Study (1-3) Cr/NC

See the SDSU Graduate Bulletin for descriptions and prerequisites for these courses.

Plan of Study

Students seeking a Master of  Public health in Environmental Health  are required to file a formal Official Program of Study (list all the classes that will be taken to fulfill degree requirements) after completing at least 12 units of study, and before completing the last 9 units. The Official Program of Study must be approved by the graduate adviser.

*Thesis or Directed Readings

Students can complete their degree in the Environmental Health concentration by choosing either Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Manuscript).  If students select Plan A, PH 799A is required for completion of their degree, accompanied by a final defense of their thesis. If students select Plan B, PH 798 (Special Study) is required, and a scientific manuscript based on their research must be prepared for completion of the degree.

Time Limitation

The school expects a student to complete the degree within seven years. Failure to complete the degree requirements within seven years will result in dismissal from the program.








last updated: 9/3/2015