Master of Science Degrees

The Master of Science (MS) degree in Environmental Health Sciences is designed to develop advanced skills in state-of-the-art techniques and a sound understanding of the fundamentals in the discipline. Students have the opportunity to take part in basic and applied research programs that utilize current techniques in the biological, physical, and medical sciences to address environmental problems that impact public health. Areas of research training and focus include environmental and analytical chemistry, toxicology, environmental and occupational health, and environmental epidemiology.

Program Overview

The MS program of study involves the following 37 credits:

  • 17 department core credits
  • 3 laboratory rotation credits
  • 3 elective credits
  • 14 research credits

The program typically follows a two year plan of coursework, as well as a major field examination and a masters thesis.

In the first year, all MS students take a set of core courses in environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, environmental chemistry, and statistics.  Students also complete two laboratory or field rotations in the first semester of study.  These rotations allow students to become familiar with the research interests of the faculty and aid in the selection of a thesis advisor.

Plan of Study


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.

Concentration Coordinator: Dr. David Spink

The environmental and occupational health (EOH) 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 effects the health of human population.  A unique opportunity to gain "hands on" experience by working with environmental 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 center; private industry; and non-governmental organizations.

Concentration Coordinator: Dr. Michael Bloom

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.

Concentration Coordinator: Dr. Xianliang Zhou