Degree Information

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
Master of Science (M.S.)
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences offers programs leading to the M.S., M.P.H., and Ph.D. degrees, preparing outstanding students for technical, teaching and research careers in academia, public health agencies and industry.

The programs benefit from being based at the Wadsworth Center, a modern, well-equipped comprehensive research institution which serves as the public health laboratories of the New York State Department of Health. This relationship exposes the student to a range of real-world, scientifically based environmental and public health problems and to an organization with a tradition of high-quality basic research. Our faculty has a unique diversity of research interests and actively encourages cross-disciplinary research problems.

The course of study of each student is planned with a faculty advisor who takes in account the student’s previous academic background, area of specialization, and professional objectives. In addition to courses offered in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, students may take classes offered in other departments at the University at Albany.  Students also have the option of cross registering for graduate level courses at Albany Medical College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other local colleges.  For information on the cross registration process, visit

M.S./Ph.D. General Information:

In the first year, all M.S. and Ph.D. students take a set of core courses in environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, environmental chemistry, and statistics.  During the first semester students also complete two laboratory or field rotations.  These rotations allow students to become familiar with the research interests of the faculty and aid in the selection of an advisor for the Ph.D. dissertation or M.S. thesis work.Students in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences can elect to concentrate in one of the following areas of research: 

Environmental Chemistry

The environmental chemistry concentration emphasizes significant environmental and public health problems.  The concentration’s unique position within New York State's Department of Health provides its students and faculty with first-class, modern instrumentation and facilities as well as an abundance of research problems of fundamental and practical interest.  Research specializations include analytical chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, transport and transformations of halogenated compounds including PCB's, dioxins, pesticides, perfluorinated chemicals, brominated compounds, and pharmaceuticals, and nuclear chemistry.  Additionally, students may choose to utilize the tools of chemistry and physics in collaborative projects with, for example, scientists in such disciplines as microbiology, toxicology, biochemistry or epidemiology.  The goal of the program is to train students to become competent and productive researchers in their chosen specialty so that they may assume leadership positions in academia, government or industry.


Programs in the toxicology concentration are designed to prepare students for technical, professional, and supervisory positions and careers in academic institutions, public agencies, and industry.  The curriculum emphasizes the application of classical biological, physical and medical sciences to help solve public health problems associated with toxic chemicals.  Research specializations are available in microbiology, neurotoxicology, in vitro toxicology, biochemical toxicology, molecular toxicology, chemical carcinogenesis, and immunotoxicology.  The program is flexible and will reflect the individual needs of the student.  Emphasis will be placed on developing the research tools to enable each student to become a productive researcher in toxicology.

Environmental and Occupational Health

The environmental and occupational health concentration offers graduate education which provides a readily accessible bridge between the disciplines of biology, microbiology, chemistry, physics, and the behavioral sciences and range of problems and issues in the prevention and control of environmental-provoked disease.  Emphasis is on the development and use of factual bases to define the health effects of exposure of individuals or populations to hazardous materials and situations, environmentally caused diseases, integrating the results of risk assessment with engineering, social, economic and political concerns to reach a decision.