PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health

The PhD in environmental and occupational health provides a broad theoretical and practical education for individuals who desire positions in academic, industrial, or government laboratories in the multifaceted discipline of environmental health sciences. The program combines training in classical toxicological and environmental biophysics with the new and continually developing fields of cellular and molecular pathobiology of environmental disease. Training is geared toward an understanding of how relevant environmental exposures, laboratory based model systems, and gene-environment responses can be interpreted and applied to the study of disease etiology in exposed and potentially exposed human populations.

Recent Dissertation Titles

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh.


Graduates will be able to...

  • Acquire a basic theoretical background in cellular, molecular, and genetic etiology of environmental disease and disease susceptibility
  • Explain the direct and indirect human, ecological, and safety effects of major environmental and occupational hazards
  • Apply basic understanding of genetic and physiological factors that affect susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards
  • Integrate critical reading of scientific literature to develop testable hypotheses and hypothesis-driven experimental research designs
  • Integrate and apply basic knowledge of exposures and molecular mechanisms of action to investigate hypotheses that address the environmental basis of human disease.


  • 72 credits, about half coursework and half research
  • Coursework in toxicology, pathophysiology, and other fundamentals
  • Coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health
  • Advanced coursework in the student’s specialty area
  • Advanced dissertation research in an area of specialization

Full program information: