The School of Public Health has launched a new Master of Public Health degree program that will integrate the principles of environmental health sciences with health policy and health promotion approaches to address and reduce environmental and occupational health risks.
The new program, called Environmental Health Promotion & Policy, is the first of its kind in the United States.
“Given the increasing number of environmental health issues the global population faces today — climate change, air and water pollution, built environment issues and obesity, to name a few — we are seeing an increasingly strong demand for trained environmental health professionals who can assess these issues and develop and implement appropriate health policy and health promotion activities,” says Richard Neitzel, program director and associate professor of environmental health sciences. “This program will prepare students to do just that.”
Students will take classes within SPH’s departments of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Behavior & Health Education, and Health Management & Policy, as well as at the university’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and School of Natural Resources & Environment.
Neitzel says he believes this multidisciplinary program will prepare students for careers in government, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and industry-based settings.
“Our students will come out of the program with a strong understanding of environmental health policy, which will prepare them for jobs in federal, state and local government or at NGOs and other organizations that advocate for policy change,” Neitzel says.
“In addition, there is a demand for this type of knowledge in industry. Companies want people who understand not just environmental health but also how policy will affect their industry and how they can promote the health of their workforce and the public.”
The new program is housed within SPH’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. The first cohort of students will begin taking classes in the fall 2017 semester.