Environmental Health Sciences - PhD

The Division of Environmental Health Sciences provides a cornerstone to public health through multidisciplinary research, training, and practice that is focused on chemical, physical, and biological agents in the environment that influence human health. Its scope is broad, encompassing both the environmental and biological processes and mechanisms underlying human disease and prevention.

Research in environmental health seeks to understand the effects of external influences on our health. Much of our faculty's scholarly work is done in collaboration across the university and with other institutions. Research and other funded projects in our division include:

    Chemical properties in berries that may prevent oral cancer
    Safety of Lake Erie water for recreation and as a source of drinking water
    Effects of automobile traffic on human health
    Ohio Public Health Training Center
    Effects of air pollution reduction in Beijing during the Summer Olympics

The PhD degree requires a significant program of study and research that qualifies the recipient to work independently and contribute to the advancement of the field of knowledge. The emphasis is on mastery of the field and particularly on the acquisition of research skills as a basis for original work.  Students admitted to the PhD degree program are assigned faculty advisors who will provide guidance throughout the program. Students are encouraged to get to know their advisor and meet with him/her at least twice each semester.  

Tyler Gorham, MPH, PhD Candidate
Gorham is a PhD student in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences working with Dr. Jiyoung Lee. The main theme of his research is microbial water quality as it relates to human health. His current research projects study the public health impacts of harmful algal blooms in Ohio and enteric pathogens in Far North, Cameroon. “Regarding its size, the College of Public Health is truly the best of both worlds,” said Gorham. “Working in Dr. Lee’s lab, I entered into a family-like atmosphere of productive researchers but at the same time have before me the inexhaustible resources of the research environment at Ohio State. I could not be happier with my decision to become a Buckeye.”


Program of Study

The PhD-EHS curriculum requires a minimum total of 90 semester credits or 60 credits beyond a master’s degree. Some of the specified courses may have been included in a prior master’s degree. A maximum of 30 semester credits of master’s degree work may be applied to PhD requirements if approved by the advisor. Requirements include:

1. Major field (24 credits)
2. Research methods (24 credits)
3. Approved electives (6 credits)
4. Minor congnate field (12 credits)
5. Dissertation (24 credits)

For detailed additional information about specific requirements, students are directed to the College of Public Health (CPH) Graduate Student Handbook and to the Ohio State University Graduate School Handbook.

Recommended Preparation

Strong undergraduate education in science (e.g. biology and chemistry) and math is recommended. Admission decisions are made largely based on GPA, GRE scores, recommendations, personal statement and experience. Minimum GPA and GRE are generally 3.0 and 50th percentile on Verbal and Quantitative sections, respectively. The personal statement is reviewed for writing ability and "fit" between the student's interest and motivation in the degree, relative to what the degree will achieve and the capability and interests of the faculty. The stronger the application with respect to these elements (especially GPA and GRE), the more likely it will be to compete for financial support.

 For information regarding application materials, test scores and codes, and decision timelines see our frequently asked questions page.