BS in Environmental Health

This major has 13 required courses, one required one-credit lab, and four pre-requisite courses. The environmental health major leads to a bachelor of science degree and satisfies the natural sciences requirement of the Rochester Curriculum.

Key goals for this major:

  • Understand how anthropogenic and environmental factors contribute to human exposure to environmental toxins and pathogens
  • Integrate multiple disciplines to enhance understanding of environmental health exposures and their consequences, and to support appropriate analysis and problem solving
  • Appreciate the social, economic, and cultural contributors to the creation and resolution of environmental health problems

***Beginning in spring 2024 and moving forward, PHLT 102 ‘Introduction to Public Health II' will no longer be a required course for public health majors. Moving forward, PHLT 102 will no longer be offered. Students who are already declared as an environmental health (ENH) major will continue to follow their programs as they originally declared. If a student completed PHLT 102 with the intention of using it for their intended ENH major, the undergraduate public health program will work with that student to incorporate it as part of their ENH major.

Major Requirements

Some of these courses require prerequisites. These prerequisites are not counted toward the major. Prerequisites can be found in UR Student or in the CDCS. 

Pre-requisite Courses (Four Courses)

BIOL 110: Principles of Biology I or BIOL 112: Perspectives in Biology I
BIOL 111: Principles of Biology II or BIOL 113: Perspectives in Biology II
CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts, Systems, and Practices I
CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts, Systems, and Practices II

Public Health General Core (Four Courses)

PHLT 101: Introduction to Public Health I
PHLT 103: Concepts of Epidemiology
STAT 212: Appl. Stat. I (valid until spring 2024) or STAT 180: Introduction to Applied Statistical Methodology (valid beginning fall 2024)
PHIL 228 (PHIL 228W): Public Health Ethics or PHIL 225: Ethical Decisions in Medicine

Specific Core Requirements (Five Courses + 1 Credit Lab)

EESC 103: Introduction to Environmental Science
PHLT 201W: Environmental Health
CHEM 203: Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 207: Organic Chemistry I: Lab (one credit)
CHEM 204: Organic Chemistry II
BIOL 198: Principles of Genetics or BIOL 190: Genetics and the Human Genome

Electives (Four Courses)

I. Biology and Health Sciences

Choose three of the following:

  • BIOL 202: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 208: Introduction to Programming for Biology
  • BIOL 210: Cell Biology*
  • BIOL 222: Biology of Aging*
  • BIOL 250: Biochemistry
  • MBI 220: Introduction to Microbiology
  • MBI 221 (W): Microbiology Lab
  • MBI 414: Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
  • PM 415U: Principles of Epidemiology
  • PM 470U (W)(H): Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology

II. Environment and Sustainability

Choose one of the following:

  • ECON 238: Environmental Economics*
  • PHLT 232: Environmental Health Policy
  • PHLT 238: Environmental Health and Justice in the Rochester Community
  • PHLT 394D: Health Department Internship**
  • PSCI 243: Environmental Politics*
  • PSCI 247: Green Markets: Environmental Opportunities and Pitfalls*
  • PHIL 230 (W): Environmental Justice
  • EESC 320W (H): Sustainable Systems
  • BIOL 104: Ecosystem Conservation and Human Society
  • CHE 150: Green Engineering for a Sustainable Environment

*Writing sections for these courses are not available to students in this major
**Open to juniors, seniors, Take 5, and e5 public health majors; permission of environmental health faculty advisor required.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Students are required to register for two upper-level writing courses within this major. The courses designated with (W) have writing requirements that would satisfy the Rochester Curriculum’s upper-level writing requirement.

Registration in any "W" BIOL course requires permission of the instructor. For each PM (W) course there is a cap of five students who can register for the writing component.

Overlapping Major Courses

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the public health-related programs, no more than two courses may overlap between a public health major and another major.

Pre-requisite courses and the introductory STAT course (STAT 212 or STAT 180) are not included in the course overlap.

Transfer Credit

Students are permitted (with the approval of their public health faculty advisor) to use up to two transfer courses towards their public health program.

Note: Students may choose to major, or to minor, or to complete a cluster within the Public Health-Related programs, but they cannot do more than one.