Building a foundation for environmental health solutions

Bachelor’s students at UNC-Chapel Hill can apply to our bachelor’s-to-master’s program for a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), or a Master of Science (MS) degree. Some students with sufficient course credits in their senior year may be able to complete the graduate degree in one year beyond their undergraduate studies.

Ready to Apply? Visit our Apply page for more information.

Bachelor’s Degree to Master of Public Health (MPH)

Bachelor’s to MPH (BA/MPH, BS/MPH and BSPH/MPH) with a concentration in Environmental Health Solutions

Gillings School of Global Public Health with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering currently offers BA/MPH, BS/MPH and BSPH/MPH professional degrees, subsequently referred to as bachelor’s to MPH.

The bachelor’s to MPH degrees with a concentration in Environmental Health Solutions are terminal degrees designed for students who are interested in careers in public health and environmental health practice. The MPH is a CEPH-accredited public health degree. Graduates of the program will be equipped to identify environmental health risks, assess exposure levels and design, implement, and evaluate interventions that protect public health. Read more/less.

Reflection from Jean-Pierre (Trey) Kanumuambidi

Trey Kanumuambidi

Trey Kanumuambidi

“Water and sanitation in rural India is vastly different from that which is available in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. Taking the skills obtained in class and applying them overseas in an area where basic sewage systems are limited was a remarkable learning experience during my practicum.”

-Jean Pierre (Trey) Kanumuambidi,
UNC Biology BS, ’19; MPH ‘20

Program Components

The bachelor’s to MPH degrees with a concentration in Environmental Health Solutions include:

  • 42 total credits of MPH coursework
    • Gillings MPH Core: Fifteen (15) credit hours of integrated public health curriculum
    • Concentration Required Courses: ENVR 430, 500 and 580 are required of all students along with 6 credit hours in ENVR Selectives (i.e., disciplinary domain courses), for a total of fifteen (15) credit hours. Note that students who have already completed ENVR 430, 500 or 580 will need to fulfill those course credits with substitute courses approved by the MPH program director
    • Electives: A minimum of nine (9) credit hours of relevant courses of interest
    • Comprehensive Exam: Assesses knowledge of concepts and competencies from the Gillings MPH Core.
    • Practicum: Two-hundred (200) hours of practice-based experience to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom
    • Capstone: Course in Global Environmental Crisis Management (3 credits) involves solutions-oriented interdisciplinary teamwork on simulated environmental crises and an individual technical report. Note that ESE BSPH students interested in this program should not take this course for their undergraduate capstone.
  • Double count up to twelve (12) credit hours of graduate courses completed during undergraduate studies. To optimize course sequencing and time to degree, students should plan to take twelve (12) credit hours of MPH core courses in their senior year of undergrad. These courses may be counted towards both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Eligibility

  • Be a junior or senior at UNC and making progress towards an undergraduate degree. We encourage students to apply during their junior years so that they can take MPH courses in sequence to prevent graduation delays.
  • Demonstrate a strong STEM background. Students are encouraged to have completed at least one (1) course in two (2) of the groups:
    • BIOL 201, 202
    • CHEM 102/102L, 261
    • COMP 116
    • MATH 231 or 241, 232 or 283, 233
    • PHYS 114, 115 or 118, 119
  • Current seniors should submit a formal application to the program using this Graduate School link. Current juniors should use this pre-admission application link.

Requirements and Sample Plan of Study

Course Requirements (PDF)
Sample Course Plan of Study (PDF)

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Undergraduates considering the program should contact the program director or academic coordinator for a virtual meeting or plan to attend an upcoming webinar or virtual open house.

Adia Ware
Academic Coordinator for EHS
aware@.unc.edu

Courtney Woods, PhD
MPH Program Director
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
courtney.woods@unc.edu


Ready to Apply? Current seniors should submit a formal application to the program using this Graduate School link. Current juniors should use this pre-admission application link.

Bachelor’s Degree to Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)

Bachelor’s to MSPH (BA/MSPH, BS/MSPH and BSPH/MSPH)

Gillings School of Global Public Health with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering currently offers BS/MSPH and BSPH/MSPH degrees, subsequently referred to as bachelor’s to MSPH.

The bachelor’s to MSPH degrees are designed for students who are interested in careers in public health research and practice. Graduates of the program will receive a core training in public health and its practice, and will be mentored in performing research in environmental sciences and public health. This is a CEPH accredited public health degree. Read more/less.

Reflections from Stephanie Cleland

Stephanie Cleland

Stephanie Cleland

“The research I conducted during my MSPH was the best part of my degree – while working closely with my advisors and lab mates, I learned how to conduct original research and about the publication process. I also gained valuable, relevant skills for a career in environmental health sciences and developed a passion for research, which encouraged me to pursue a PhD.”
-Stephanie Cleland, MSPH ‘20

Program Components

The bachelor’s to MSPH include:

  • 42 total credits of MSPH coursework
    • Gillings Public Health Courses: Twelve (12) credit hours of integrated public health curriculum.
    • ESE Required Courses: ENVR 400, either ENVR 430 or ENVR 630, and either ENVR 500 or ENVR 765 are required of all students along with six (6) credit hours of specialized courses to develop skills and knowledge to conduct ESE research, for a total of 13 credit hours. Note that students entering the dual degree MSPH having already completed some of the requirements (i.e., ENVR 430/ENVR 630 or ENVR 500/ENVR 765) will have more flexibility in the coursework they can take, but will still need to complete 42 credits beyond those required for their undergraduate majors, minors and certificates. It is possible for students to waive the requirement for SPHG 711 and 712 if they have taken EPID 600 and BIOS 600.
    • Electives: A minimum of nine (9) credit hours of relevant courses of interest (400-level or higher in SPH; 500-level or higher in the college)
    • Comprehensive Exam: The oral comprehensive exam assesses understanding through a defense of the student’s research.
    • Practicum: Forty-five (45) hours of practice-based experience to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom (ENVR 981)
  • Double count up to twelve (12) credit hours of graduate courses completed during undergraduate studies. To optimize course sequencing and time to degree, students should plan to take twelve (12) credit hours of MSPH core courses in their senior year of undergrad. These credits may count towards both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Eligibility

  • Be a junior or senior at UNC and making progress towards an undergraduate degree. We encourage students to apply during their junior years so that they can take the SPHG core courses during their senior year.
  • Demonstrate a strong STEM background.
  • Submit a formal application to the program through the Graduate School by the application deadline.

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Undergraduates considering the program should contact the academic coordinator for a virtual meeting or plan to attend an upcoming webinar or virtual open house. They should also look on the ESE research page and identify faculty whose research interests are similar to theirs.  They should feel free to contact faculty to discuss research possibilities.

Jason West, PhD
ESE Graduate Program Director
jjwest@email.unc.edu

Ready to Apply? Contact Jennifer Moore, Academic Coordinator, for more information.

Bachelor’s Degree to Master of Science (MS)

Bachelor’s to MS (BS/MS and BSPH/MS)

The Gillings School of Global Public Health with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering currently offers BS/MS and BSPH/MS degrees, subsequently referred to as bachelors to MS.

The bachelor’s to MS degrees are designed for students who may want to continue for a PhD or may want to go into environmental health, sciences and engineering practice.  Students in the program will work with their advisor to design a specialized course of study (specialized coursework) and will conduct a research project leading to a thesis and publication. Read more/less.

Program Components

The bachelor’s to MS includes:

  • 24 credits of formal coursework (30 credits total)
    • Public Health. Six (6) credit hours of public health curriculum are required, specifically SPHG 600 and ENVR 601.
    • ESE Required Courses. In addition to our one (1) credit seminar (ENVR 400), students must take at least nine (9) credits of specialized courses to provide depth in an area of ESE and to provide the knowledge needed to conduct research.  These courses are determined by the student in consultation with their graduate research advisor. In addition, the student must master one (1) research skill through a course, workshop or training leading to certification.
    • Electives.
    • Total of 24 credits of formalized coursework. A total of 24 credits of formal coursework must be taken, including electives. This is beyond any courses that are needed to complete the student’s undergraduate degree and all undergraduate majors, minors and certificates.
    • Comprehensive Exam. This is an oral defense of the student’s research thesis.
  • Transfer up to nine (9) credit hours of graduate courses completed during undergraduate studies. To optimize course sequencing and time to degree, students should plan to take nine (9) credit hours of in their senior year of undergrad. These credits may count towards both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Course selection should be coordinated with their graduate research advisor.

Eligibility

  • Be a junior or senior at UNC and making progress towards an undergraduate degree. We encourage students to apply during their junior year so that they can take the SPHG core courses (i.e., SPHG 600 and ENVR 601) during their senior year.
  • Demonstrate a strong STEM background.
  • Submit a formal application to the program through the Graduate School by the application deadline. 

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Undergraduates considering the program should contact the academic coordinator for a virtual meeting or plan to attend an upcoming webinar or virtual open house (https://sph.unc.edu/students/visit-us/). They should also look on the ESE research page (https://sph.unc.edu/envr/department-research/) and identify faculty whose research interests are similar to theirs. They are encouraged to contact faculty to discuss research possibilities as early as possible, even during sophomore year.

Jason West, PhD
ESE Graduate Program Director
jjwest@email.unc.edu

Ready to Apply? Contact Jennifer Moore, Academic Coordinator, for more information.