The Environmental Health Science Degree
The Environmental Health Science major is a rigorous, science based, applied curriculum that prepares students for careers in environmental fields. The degree can also be used as a step to an advanced degree in many fields including environmental health, industrial hygiene, toxicology, public health, epidemiology, ecology and environmental engineering, and will satisfy entrance requirements for professional degree programs such as medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy. Students who successfully complete the program of study receive the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (B.S.E.H.) degree. The degree program is nationally accredited and is the only undergraduate Environmental Health Science degree in Georgia. General information about undergraduate education at the University of Georgia is contained in the UGA Undergraduate Bulletin. In addition, the University offers a suite of resources for helping you select a major at UGA.
How to Change Your Major
If you are considering changing your major to Environmental Health, please schedule an initial advising appointment to meet with Dr. Anne Marie Zimeri within the department and then complete the Change of Major Form. The advisor will submit your paperwork in order to make the switch from your current major/degree program.
The Environmental Health Science Curriculum for Undergraduates at UGA
The environmental health science curriculum involves multiple scientific fields of study. The first two years are spent taking basic and advanced courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and microbiology, in addition to other UGA core requirements. During the junior and senior years, students take applied environmental health science courses in such areas as air, water and noise pollution; solid and hazardous waste management; environmental toxicology; industrial hygiene; food microbiology; epidemiology; and public health law. Students have considerable freedom in choosing additional courses of special interest (Major Electives). Students may choose courses among offerings from the Environmental Health Science (EHS) Department and a variety of other departments to focus on a specialty area, including Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Protection or Public Health.
Permanent and adjunct faculty members, rather than graduate students, teach the upper division courses in the EHS Department. Many of the EHS classes have a lecture format and are typically small in size (less than 30 and up to 50 students), while other classes have a small discussion group format and 10 to 20 students.
Students have the opportunity to earn course credit by participating in research projects with EHS faculty and can present their findings to peers and other faculty by participating in the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. Students are eligible for competitive funding for research projects through the Undergraduate Research Initiative.
EHS students gain practical experience and problem solving skills through internships and co-ops, which are an integral part of the EHS degree program at UGA.
A dual degree in BSEH-BSBE (BS Environmental Health - BS Biological Engineering) is offered for students wanting to combine EHS with the quantitative and design aspects of a degree in biological engineering (environmental area of emphasis). The BSEH-BSBE curriculum fully integrates the two accredited degree programs into a 5-year course of study, which culminates in the awarding of both degrees. In order to complete the program in five years students should begin the program in their freshman year, although later enrollment is also possible.
Careers in Environmental Health Science
Approximately 60 students complete their BSEH degree each year and move on to employment in the field or graduate education. EHS graduates are employed in all levels of government, industry, and education as evidenced by this sampling of job titles held currently by our former students.
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Industrial Hygiene Specialist
- Occupational Health Specialist
- Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Scientist
- Environmental Auditor
- Hazardous Waste Manager
- Public Health Specialist
- Environmental Enforcement Officer
- Environmental Protection Specialist
- Health and Safety Officer
- Environmental Education Specialist
- Environmental Risk Assessor
- Ecological Risk Assessor
- Bioremediation Specialist
- Water Treatment Manager
- Wastewater Treatment Manager
- Environmental Equipment Sales
- Science Teacher
- Chemistry Teacher
- Biology Teacher
- Pharmaceutical Sales
- Chemical Sales
Want to pay in-state tuition at UGA?
Out of state students: study EHS while paying in-state tuition rates if EHS is not available in your state.
The SREB Academic Common Market has enabled students to pursue out-of-state college degrees at discounted tuition rates, through agreements among the states and colleges and universities.
To qualify you must:
- be a resident of one of the 16 SREB states.
- complete the admission process at the institution offering the eligible Academic Common Market program.
- be certified as a resident of your home state by contacting the ACM coordinator for your state of residence.