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Occupational Safety and Health


The occupational safety and health PhD program is designed to educate and train, to the highest level of competency in teaching and research, men and women as occupational safety and health professionals for industry, government and academia. The program helps students develop competencies to perform independent research in the application of scientific principles to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control and manage occupational and environmental hazards to working populations of men and women.

Program Overview (Occupational Safety and Health) - Catalog


For admission into the PhD program, applicants must meet Department admission standards and should have, at a minimum, a 3.4 GPA (or equivalent) in their graduate work. They must also meet all the entrance requirements stated for the master's programs. Typically, a master's degree is required for admission into the PhD program.


Q: Is the GRE required for the OSH doctoral program?
A: Yes, for both domestic and international students.

Q: Are letters of recommendation required?
A: Yes, three to five letters of recommendation are required.

Q: What else is required?
A1: Prospective doctoral students should have a firm idea of research able dissertation topic that makes a contribution to the science.
A2: In addition the student should have discussed the research area with a potential Departmental research advisor.

Q: Do doctoral students automatically receive funding?
A: No, funding may be arranged on a case by case basis.

Q: What is the normal sequence for graduation?
A: Roughly two semesters of coursework, qualifying exams, dissertation proposal, candidacy exam, final defense

Q:How long does it take to complete the program?
A: Between three-four years.

Q: Is there an online option for OSH doctoral program?
A: No, the faculty are committed to intense on-campus research experience.

Q: Where are typical OSH graduates employed?
A: Typically, OSH doctoral graduates become professors at both research and teaching universities. In addition they may be employed by the federal government, regulatory agencies and large members of industry.

Q: Is the OSH doctoral degree a primarily teaching degree?
A: No, this degree is primarily a research degree.

Q: What is the balance between and hygiene and safety management for this degree?
A: There is an even split between safety management for the coursework, although the student may write a dissertation in either.

Program Requirements

The doctor of philosophy degree with a major in occupational safety and health is administered through the College’s interdisciplinary PhD program. The research work for the doctoral dissertation must show a high degree of originality on the part of the student and must constitute an original contribution to the art and science of occupational safety and health.

All PhD degree candidates are required to perform research and follow a planned program of study. The student’s research advisor, in conjunction with the student’s advising and examining committee will be responsible for determining the plan of study appropriate to the student’s needs. The underlying principle of the planned program is to provide the students with the necessary support to complete their degree and prepare them for their career.

Required core courses for the PhD program are determined by the student’s area of emphasis. The research work for the doctoral dissertation may entail a fundamental investigation or a broad and comprehensive investigation into an area of specialization.

Occupational Safety and Health PhD Course Requirements

Program Coordinator

Jeremy Gouzd
Teaching Assistant Professor
MRB 345G