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 MS, MPH, and PhD 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

MS/PhD General Information:

In the first year, all MS and PhD 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 PhD dissertation or MS 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 multidisciplinary approaches to solve public health problems associated with toxic chemicals.  Research specializations are available in many areas, including adverse drug response, biomarkers, microbiology, neurotoxicology, molecular toxicology, chemical carcinogenesis, nanotoxicology, and immunotoxicology.  The program is flexible and will reflect the individual needs of the student.  

Environmental and Occupational Health

The Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) concentration prepares students to evaluate, manage, and mitigate exposures to hazardous agents in the environment, home, and workplace. It is a multi-disciplinary field that integrates the physical, life, and behavioral sciences with other public health fields such as risk communication, epidemiology and biostatistics.  Areas of interest include exposure and risk assessment, environmental and occupational epidemiology, air and water pollution, occupational safety and health, food protection, environmental health policy, and global environmental health.  Students learn research methods by assisting faculty with projects that investigate how exposure to hazardous agents affects the health of human populations.  A unique opportunity to gain “hands on” experience by working with environmental health practitioners at the New York State Department of Health and other agencies exists via formal collaborative relationships. Graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, and federal government; universities and medical centers; private industry; and non-governmental organizations.