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Environmental Health Sciences (PHD) 
Program Description

The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences is offered by the Division of Community, Environment, and Policy. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Environmental Health Sciences examines the critical link between environmental and occupational exposures and human health.

The degree prepares individuals to research, evaluate, and control health risks posed by chemical and bioogical contaminants and physical exposures (noise, heat, and radiation) in communities and occupational environments. Students will receive advanced training and experience in the application of epidemiological and community-based research methods, statistical analysis, exposure assessment, environmental modeling, toxicology, intervention design and behavioral sciences. Graduates of this program will apply theory and methods to public health research, evaluation, analysis, and decision-making.

The Doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences trains students for research careers and leadership roles in academia, government agencies, research institutes, consulting firms, and industry. The program is designed for individuals with a variety of scientific backgrounds. Out geology, microbiology, engineering, architecture, nutrition, and policy.

Entry into the PhD program requires successful completion of a master's degree in a related field. The PhD program requires approximately three to five years for completion, including two to three years for coursework and one to two years for the dissertation. At least 47 credits are required for the major, plus a minimum of 18 dissertation units, and at least 9 units for a minor in another department. The course of study and dissertation will be developed by the student, their faculty advisor, and their committee.

View more about the program and the curriculum at:

Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Public Health -

Arizona's first and only accredited college of public health, the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is uniquely situated in the culturally rich and diverse Southwest. Distinguished for our outstanding community-based research and for our focus on eliminating health disparities among populations of the Southwest and globally, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health offers tremendous opportunities to its students for education, research and community involvement.

The College of Public Health's interdisciplinary activities are enhanced by being part of the Arizona Health Sciences Center with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix. The College consistently ranks among the top five in American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students enrolled among accredited schools of public health, according to recent data from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. In addition, the University of Arizona is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that recognizes universities that have developed exceptionally strong overall research and academic programs.

College of Public Health  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Amy J Glicken
Graduate Program Coordinator
Michael J Tearne
Director of Graduate Studies
Aminata P Kilungo
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  • Master's degree in Environmental Health Science or similar field required for PhD applicants
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • At least one course in college biology
  • At least one course in calculus
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Writing sample
  • Mission and values statement
  • GRE scores
  • Research statement (PhD applicants only)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

View more detailed admissions criteria at:

Standardized Tests

Required Test 
GRE - Send scores to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, code 4253

International Students - Tests of English Proficiency
International applicants are required by the UA Graduate College to submit a TOEFL score of 79 on the iBT test. For students who take the IELTS examination, an overall score of 7 is required, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual band or module.  TOEFL and IELTS test scores must be dated within two years of the year of enrollment. 

Students may be requested to enter the Center for English as a Second Language to improve their language skills.

SOPHAS TOEFL Scores - Code 5688

Financial Aid

A variety of funding is available in the form of scholarships/fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.  More information regarding tuition and financial assistance is available at:

Admissions Deadlines

Fall Deadlines

Priority:  December 1
Secondary:  March 1
Final Deadline:  May 15

Note:  Students who apply by the priority deadline will be given the highest priority for admissions and consideration for scholarships and assistantships.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0616

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Major Courses (27 units)

  • EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • BIOS 576A Biostatistics in Public Health (3)
  • BIOS 576B Biostatistics for Research (3)
  • EHS 584 Fundamentals of Industrial and Environmental Health (3)
  • EHS 502 Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (3)
  • EHS 585 Public Health Fundamentals for Researchers (3)
  • EHS 653 Applied Exposure Assessment (3) 
  • HPS 609 Evaluating Public Health Literature (1)
  • EHS 696R Environmental Health Seminar (1 unit each semester - 5 times)

ELECTIVE COURSES: Minimum 18 units required for PhD in EHS (approved by Faculty Advisor). 

Students select courses in areas of emphasis:
Exposure Science and Risk Assessment; Climate and Health; Environmental Contaminant Modeling; and Occupational Health and Safety

Students should contact their EHS Faculty Advisor for a suggested listing of elective courses.  In addition, there are a great majority of other University courses that can serve as electives for the PhD in Environmental Health Sciences.  Please consult with Factuly Advisor regarding other University courses which would fulfill the elective requirements.

PhD Minor Courses = minimum of 9 units required.*

PhD students must complete a minor of at least 9 units from another area of study.  Minors that may interest students in this program include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Water Quality, Global Climate Change, Environmental Planning, Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Atmospheric Science, and Soil, Water and Environmental Science, just to name a few. With committee approval, a minor may be selected from any program of study at the University of Arizona that offers a doctoral degree.

*Requirements for a PhD minor in individual departments may vary. Required elective hours will be reduced if the minor exceeds 9 units.

Dissertation - minimum of 18 units

MS/PhD Environmental Health Sciences -Total Minimum Credit Requirements = 72 units 

Minor Requirements

The PhD minor in Environmental Health Sciences is for majors outside Environmental Health Sciences and is administered by the Environmental Health Sciences Section in MEZCOPH.  

total of 15 course units are required as well as successful completion of written and oral questions during the PhD Comprehensive exam and successful defense of the dissertation.  Consult the UA catalog for further details on the current course schedule and specific course requirements.

PhD Minor in Environmental Health Sciences Requirements:

Total Minimum of 15 units required, including :

  • EHS 502 Environmental Monitoring Methods (3)
  • EHS 518 Introduction to Human Health Risk Assessment (3)
  • EHS 584 Fundamentals of Industrial and Environmental Health (3)
  • 2 additional courses (3 units each) approved by the EHS minor Faculty Advisor (6)

A list of EHS courses can be obtained from the EHS Section Chair and are listed in the UA catalog under the Environmental Health Sciences (EHS).

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 58%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 5.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 50%
Enrollment Percent Female 50%
Enrollment Percent International 6%
Enrollment Percent URM 56%

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Last revised 30 Aug 2018