OEHN Degrees - Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

OEHN Degrees


The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is designed for students with an interest in population health and program administration who are considering careers in industry, health services or the insurance industry. Requirements for this degree generally take two years of full-time or four years of part-time study to complete. We offer two different pathways for this degree – a long-standing major in Environmental Health and a new option for a major in Public Health Practice. 

The Environmental Health Major is designed for applicants at any stage of their career who are seeking immediate admission to the MPH program, and those who are considering a PhD after successful completion of the MPH.  Graduate Record Exams (GREs) are not required for admission to the MPH program, but they are required for the PhD program.

The Public Health Practice (PHP) Major is designed for mid-career professionals who want to continue to work full-time while complementing their workplace practice with academic learning.  The PHP Major does not require Graduate Record Exams, if the student first successfully completes a Certificate of Core Concepts in Public Health and then readmits for completion of the Public Health Practice Major.  For details, see:https://www.sph.umn.edu/academics/degrees-programs/certificate/core-concepts/

Either MPH pathway includes the core courses in Public Health, Occupational Health and Safety, Occupational and Environmental Nursing, field experiences, and a final paper, which will total a minimum of 42 credits (including electives).



The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree is for students interested in a career focused on research and graduate education. The PhD level course work emphasizes statistical and analytic methods required to conduct original research, such as epidemiology and biostatistics, and coursework specific to the student’s dissertation topic. The program generally takes a minimum of three years of full-time study to complete after completing the equivalent of the masters-level occupational and environmental health nursing course work. Students develop their dissertation topics from ongoing research projects, their own ideas or in association with their employment.


Individuals must have at least one year of professional experience as a registered nurse, be licensed to practice as a registered nurse in the United States, and have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a related field.

Admission to the Public Health Practice Certificate program requires students to submit a personal statement of purpose and objectives, provide an official transcript from an undergraduate degree program, have an active RN license in the US, have a minimum of one year of professional work experience, and provide one letter of recommendation. After successful completion of the Certificate Program, students may seek admission to either MPH major – Public Health Practice (PHP) or Environmental Health (EH). Students resubmit official transcripts, a revised statement of purpose and objectives, a resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Environmental Health Program:
Alternatively, a student may directly enroll in the Environmental Health MPH program, not enrolling in the Certificate Program, but completing the same courses as part of the MPH.

The difference in admission criteria between the majors is that EH requires a Grade Point Average (GPA) over 3.0 for MPH applicants whereas PHP does not. PHP recognizes that mid-career professionals may not have achieved a GPA greater than 3.0 in undergraduate school for various reasons. Alternatively, PHP requires an overall GPA greater than 3.25 for successful completion of the 16 credits of Certificate courses.

OEHN students applying for the PhD admit to the Environmental Health Sciences Division and the Graduate School, submit the same materials as the Environmental Health MPH applicants (described above), but they also provide GRE scores. A minimum score of 310 in the combined Quantitative and Verbal tests and a minimum score of 4 in Analytical Writing are preferred. Applicants are required to have identified a faculty member willing to serve as their advisor and show evidence of financial support for at least three years.

Application Deadline:
We prefer applicants to enter the program and begin coursework in fall semester which entails having submitted all application materials the preceding April. However, applicants may enter spring semester (starting classes in mid-January) if their circumstances preclude a fall admission. For information on application deadlines by degree options and the process of admission, see: https://www.sph.umn.edu/prospective/application-process/application-deadlines/

Catherine Grave, PhD, MPH (OEHN Program) and Ryan Klien, MS, PhD (OHSRP Program) celebrate their graduation, May 2016.
Catherine Grave, PhD, MPH (OEHN Program) and Ryan Klien, MS, PhD (OHSRP Program). Catherine is an Associate Professor of Nursing, St Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ryan is a Senior Analyst at Abt Associates, Washington DC.