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Environmental Health Sciences
What is Industrial Hygiene?
Industrial Hygiene (IH) is a health profession that applies knowledge and principles from the natural sciences, engineering, environmental health, statistics, psychology, and program management to the protection of workers and the public from chemical, biological, physical, and psychosocial agents of disease. The anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of hazardous exposures entail the integration of technical skills, judgment, ethics, creativity, and human interaction.
If you love science and have a desire to embark on an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career concerned with protecting the health and well-being of workers, then the IH Program may be right for you!
What Do Industrial Hygienists Do?
IH professionals evaluate and manage a wide range of workplace hazards, including toxic gases and vapors, dusts, aerosols, biological agents and pathogens, engineered nanomaterials, noise, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, ergonomic stresses and safety hazards.
As we move toward a more holistic view of human health and well-being (i.e., Total Worker Health), the roles of IH professionals are expanding to include health promotion, wellness, and emotional and mental health issues associated with increased workloads and job stress.
Increasingly, IH professionals are also responsible for environmental issues outside of the workplace, such as hazardous waste, residential indoor air quality, ambient air and water pollution, and ecological impacts of industrial activities.
Industrial hygiene professionals are at the forefront of an emerging cross-disciplinary field called Exposure Science.
Distinguishing features of the University of Michigan Industrial Hygiene Program include the following:
We offer the Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Some relevant aspects include:
Our graduates are employed by numerous private and public sector organizations, for example:
Our career placement record is outstanding, with virtually all of our graduates receiving job offers immediately upon finishing ( often prior to finishing!) their degrees. Our network of school-spirited alumni literally spans the globe, along with our reputation for excellence in IH education.
For more information, visit our Careers page.
Qualified students can receive financial support from one or more of the following sources:
Every effort is made to provide financial aid for admitted students.
How Do I Apply?
Applicants should have a strong interest in science and health, an undergraduate degree in some field of basic or applied science, and, at a minimum, should have taken courses in biology and/or physiology, general and organic chemistry, physics, and calculus.
MPH applicants apply to our program through SOPHAS (School of Public Health Application Service), a centralized application service for public health.
MS and PhD applicants apply to our program through the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.
For answers to any questions that you might have, please contact:
Professor Ted Zellers
Read about our students, faculty, and alumni at
Wondering what MPH students do for their field experiences?
In the News:
Kendra Broadwater, MPH ’13, is featured in a YouTube video produced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Kendra, an industrial hygienist, is part of the Focus on Women in Science series.