IU’s School of Public Health is taking applicants for a new master's of science in environmental and occupational health degree this year. It aims to recruit students interested in laboratory research.
“We saw a need for a research-based degree that would be useful for students,” said M. Margaret Weigel, SPH interim department chair.
One thing setting this degree apart from other master’s programs is the required thesis or research project, Weigel said. The master's of public health has an internship requirement, but this degree does not.
Weigel said the degree will focus on environmental factors that affect public health. Occupational health focuses on the health of workers.
“The environment can be chemicals in the environment, or heavy metals, or if you look at things like climate change,” Weigel said. “We also look at things like food systems.”
Occupational health fits inside the large field of environmental health, Weigel said.
In medicine, health is focused on individuals, Weigel said. Public health is more focused on a community’s health.