Occupational and Environmental Health Science Graduate Program (Industrial Hygiene)

ABET Accredited for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

“Industrial Hygiene is a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and wellbeing, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community.” – American Industrial Hygiene Association

The mission of the graduate program in Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences is to prepare its graduates to be professionals, leaders and researchers in Industrial Hygiene, Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, and related fields. Such professionals will be highly competent, effective and ethical in applying scientific principles to carrying out activities to protect workers from the adverse effects of hazardous environmental agents and workplace stressors. 

What do Environmental and Occupational Health Scientists do?

Upon completion of our ABET accredited graduate program, our Industrial Hygienists typically assume a variety of leadership roles in academia, industry, labor and government. The usual path includes advancing from a project officer focusing on workplace or environmental hazards to global management of occupational, environmental health and safety (OEHS) programs.  

An Industrial Hygienist from our program is a person who is professionally qualified by their Master’s or Ph.D., education and training to: anticipate chemical, physical, biological, and radiologic hazards and develop controls in occupational and environmental settings.

Research Opportunities or Research Focus

In preparing for a career in industrial hygiene, emphasis is placed on field research. Currently, the focus of industrial hygiene in the School of Health Sciences is in three areas:

  1. Evaluation and Control of Nanoparticles in the workplace and environment. Research in this area focuses on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of nanoparticle exposure to work populations and use of engineering controls to contain these particles;
  2. Industrial Hygiene Engineering Controls.  Research is focused on real-time exposure assessment and control strategies for the workplace and environment.  Use of Prevention through Design (PtD) principles to design out potential hazards in the workplace and environment; and
  3. Occupational and Environmental Exposure Assessment Epidemiology where research is conducted to link hazardous exposures with adverse health outcomes of work populations and communities.

Our graduate students are expected to participate in interdisciplinary activities within our school as well as in other aligned areas including: Toxicology, Health and Medical Physics, Ergonomics, Safety, and outside our school including: the Burke Nanotechnology Center, the Bindley Biosciences Center, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Biomedical Engineering, and Departments of Entomology, Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Physics, Forestry and Natural Resources, and Agronomy – all on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Indiana campus.

The student has many opportunities to learn from their peers by listening to and presenting their research in seminars and group presentations.  Students are encouraged to summarize their research in the form of manuscripts and submit them to peer-reviewed journals. Also, our students are encouraged and often supported to attend local, regional, national, and international meetings to present their research. 

Also refer to descriptions of each faculty’s research interests for specific research topics.

Program Overview

Purdue University offers Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in the discipline of Occupational Health Sciences (Industrial Hygiene)

Both the Purdue University BS (Occupational Health Sciences) and MS (Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences) programs are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Sample Plan of Study

Educational Objectives & Student Outcomes

The MS Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences Educational Objectives can be found on our accreditation page.

Annual Student Enrollment and Graduation Data

Enrollment data for the MS Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences program can be found on our accreditation page.

Graduation data for the MS Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences program can also be found on our accreditation page.

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