San Diego State University

MS – Environmental Health Sciences




MS student

Student testing for ocean water quality near the US-Mexico border

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 MS in Public Health, concentration in Environmental Health Sciences is an academic degree program involving coursework and laboratory research tailored to the student’s interests. The MS in Environmental Health is often the preferred degree for students who wish to work in a highly technical field in environmental or occupational health or wish to continue in advanced graduate study.

See program faculty webpages for an overview of current and past research areas. Current areas of research focus include water quality, especially contaminants in reclaimed water, air quality at the US-Mexico border and in South America, children’s exposures, biomonitoring, and detection of novel contaminants through advanced analytical techniques including time of flight mass spectrometry. The GSPH laboratory facilities are well equipped with highly advanced instrumentation, and with advanced field sampling equipment.



Required Courses

The 36 unit program is listed below and is typically completed in two years by full-time students:

  • Core Classes (15 units)
    • PH 601 Epidemiology (3)
    • PH 602 Biostatistics (3)
    • PH 604 Environmental determinants of Human Health (3)
    • PH 638A Principles of Toxicology (3)
    • PH 639 Water Quality Investigation (3)
  • Prescribed Electives (12 units) – A minimum of twelve additional units selected with the approval of advisor from:
    • PH 603 Behavioral and Social Science in Public Health (3)
    • PH 605 Health Services Administration (3)
    • PH 627 Advanced Statistical Methods in Public Health (3)
    • PH 630 Environmental Health Risk Assessment (3)
    • PH 632 Air Quality (3)
    • PH 634 Environmental Protection (3)
    • PH 636 Hazardous Waste Management (3)
    • PH 650R Required Community Field Practice (3) Cr/NC
    • PH 700D Seminar in Public Health : Environmental Health (3)
    • PH 784 Global Environmental Health (3)
    • PH 798 Special Study (1-3) Cr/NC/RP
  • Research (6 units)
    • PH 797 Public Health Research (6) Cr/NC
  • Capstone Experience (3 units) *
    • PH 799A Thesis (3) Cr/NC

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

Plan of Study

Students seeking a Master of Science in Public Health, concentration in Environmental Health Sciences 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 advisor.


Students must complete their degree in the Environmental Health Sciences concentration with the thesis. Plan A, PH 799A is required for completion of their degree, accompanied by a final defense of their thesis.

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: 11/6/2014