Environmental Health at WCU

Environmental Health FAQs

What is environmental health?

Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological, social, and psychosocial factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the environment that can potentially affect adversely the health of present and future generations

What do people in environmental health do?

Environmental health professionals protect human health and safety by:

  • Maintaining a safe supply of food and drinking water;
  • Discovering the mechanisms of environmentally related diseases such as insects, rodents, and other animal carriers of disease;
  • Treating and disposing of solid and toxic waste;
  • Reducing air, water, food, and noise pollution; and,
  • Ensuring safe schools and workplaces by identifying, recognizing, and controlling hazards.

What will I learn studying environmental health?

Students in environmental health have the opportunity to take courses such as:

  • Water Quality and Wastewater Management
  • Air Quality
  • Food Safety
  • Environmental Law
  • Toxicology
  • Epidemiology
  • Occupational Safety and Health (Industrial Hygiene)
  • Biosafety and Bioterrorism Prevention

What careers are associated with a degree in environmental health?

Environmental health professionals work in many different areas of both the private and public sector. Some of the career paths our alumni have followed include:

  • Environmental Health Officer for the U.S. Public Health Service
  • Environmental specialist for state health departments
  • Industrial hygienists
  • Epidemiologists
  • Safety Professionals

 Also, our graduates are well positioned for graduate and professional schools.

How hard is it to get a job in environmental health after I graduate?

Not hard at all. More than 90% of environmental health graduates who are actively seeking a job have one at graduation or soon after. Environmental health is an “underserved” field.

 

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