In public health, we do not study environment for the environment’s sake – we study environment to protect and promote human health, especially the health of the most vulnerable among us. Environment includes
- The natural or ambient environment, such as the air we breathe and the water we drink
- The built environment, which includes homes, schools and the infrastructure that comprise our neighborhoods
- The work environment, such as the factories and offices where we spend so much of our time
Environmental health is about prevention. Our goal is to intervene before people get sick or injured. We intervene through a framework of anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of natural and human-made exposures to physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial hazards.
Our degree programs
At the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, we offer the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programs in Environmental Health Science (EHS). The EHS MPH offers courses in environmental health protection, occupational health protection, and product stewardship.
We have a creative, engaged faculty that brings a global perspective to learning – among us, we have lived and studied in Spain, China, India, Colombia, Israel and the US. Our expertise centers around drinking water quality, the health effects of air pollution, environmental epidemiology, application of remote sensing technologies to controlling infectious diseases, and the prevention of work-related injury and illness. We care deeply about the health of populations, both locally and globally.
The employment outlook for EHS professionals is excellent. Our graduates typically find jobs in government agencies, industry, consultancies, and non-profit organizations. MPH graduates whose focus is environmental health protection may go on to work for the US EPA or a state Department of Environmental Management to combat air pollution or ensure safe drinking water. Graduates whose focus is occupational health protection may work for pharmaceutical, petrochemical or manufacturing companies to protect workers from chemical exposures or noisy industrial processes. Our BSPH graduates may enter directly into the environmental health workforce, go on to advanced studies or take their unique perspective to the healthcare professions.
We work to give our students the strongest academic preparation and real world experience to help ensure outstanding career opportunities where graduates can do the most good, delivering applied problem solving to some of the most complex environmental health problems.