Environmental Health Sciences Major, B.S.P.H.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering

www.sph.unc.edu/ese

161 Rosenau Hall, CB# 7431

(919) 966-3844

Barbara J. Turpin, Chair

Louise Ball, Program Director

lmball@unc.edu

Wake Harper, Student Services

wbh@unc.edu

The undergraduate major in environmental health sciences is designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the environmental factors that impact human health; the physical, chemical, and biological processes that underlie the impact of human activity on the environment and human health; methods used to assess the impact of human activity on the environment and human health; and science-based solutions for environmental problems. Students may choose to emphasize environmental chemistry, environmental health biology, or environmental physics by selecting those concentrations. Admission into the program requires satisfactory completion of coursework in basic sciences and mathematics. Recent graduates have entered graduate programs in environmental science, microbiology, marine science, applied mathematics, and environmental engineering. Students who pursued employment after completing the B.S.P.H. degree are working in environmental advocacy organizations, environmental consulting firms, industry, and investment banking firms.

Upon completion of the B.S. in environmental science and engineering, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental sciences
  • Describe the relationship between public health and environmental sciences and engineering
  • Identify major issues in environmental sciences and engineering
  • Describe significant regulatory components that have shaped environmental policy
  • Demonstrate written and oral communication skills related to environmental sciences and engineering issues within a public health context

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Admission to the program is required. Students apply in the spring of their sophomore year. By the end of their sophomore year successful applicants should have earned a grade of C or better from UNC–Chapel Hill in at least one course per group in three of the following groups:

Group 1
BIOL 201Ecology and Evolution H4
BIOL 202Molecular Biology and Genetics H4
Group 2
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H3
Group 3
COMP 116Introduction to Scientific Programming3
or approved alternatives:
BIOL 201HEcology and Evolution4
BIOL/MATH 553Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology3
GEOG 597Ecological Modeling3
Group 4
MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I3-4
or MATH 241 BioCalculus I
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II3-4
or MATH 283 BioCalculus II
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H4
Group 5
PHYS 114General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences4
PHYS 115General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences4
PHYS 118Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity4
PHYS 119Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta4
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

The major in environmental health sciences includes several concentrations:

Requirements for All Concentrations

Core Requirements
Public Health Core Courses:
BIOS 600Principles of Statistical Inference3
EPID 600Principles of Epidemiology3
HBEH 600Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health3
HPM 600Introduction to Health Policy and Management3
Other Core Courses:
ENVR 230Environmental Health Issues3
ENVR 430Health Effects of Environmental Agents3
One of the following:3
Senior Capstone Course (to be taken in the senior year)
Undergraduate Practicum in Environmental Health Sciences (with approval)
Additional Requirements
BIOL 101
101L
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
4
BIOL 201Ecology and Evolution H4
BIOL 202Molecular Biology and Genetics H4
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H3
One of the following:3-4
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Ecology and Evolution
Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology
Ecological Modeling
MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I3-4
or MATH 241 BioCalculus I
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II3-4
or MATH 283 BioCalculus II
PHYS 118Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity 14
or PHYS 114 General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
PHYS 119Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta 14
or PHYS 115 General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
Students must satisfy the experiential education, global issues, U.S. diversity, and two additional Connections requirements.
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

preferred

General Concentration

Environmental Health Electives
Complete four advanced (400-level or above) courses with a substantive environmental health content 18-12
Additional Requirements
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables 2, H4
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

At least two must be listed within the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. This requirement is satisfied by any ENVR course (or course cross-listed with ENVR) that is at least two credit hours and numbered between 401 and 690, except for ENVR 593, ENVR 600, and ENVR 601. Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

These courses provide an overview of the principles of environmental science and their application to environmental problems. Environmental health sciences (ENHS) majors are not required to take ENVR 600. ENVR 430 meets the Gillings School of Global Public Health requirement for ENHS majors.

2

if placed out of MATH 231 and MATH 232

Environmental Chemistry Concentration

Environmental Health Electives
All students must complete four advanced (400-level or above) courses selected from:12
Environmental Chemistry Processes
Aerosol Physics and Chemistry
Chemical Equilibria in Natural Waters
Elements of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts, Solutions
Principles of Chemical Carcinogenesis
Air Pollution, Chemistry, and Physics
Additional Requirements
CHEM 481Physical Chemistry I3
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H4
MATH 383First Course in Differential Equations H3
PHYS 118Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity4
PHYS 119Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta4
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Environmental Health Biology Concentration

Environmental Health Electives
All students must complete four advanced (400-level or above) courses selected from:12
Laboratory Techniques and Field Measurements
Ecological Microbiology
Environmental Health Microbiology
Industrial Toxicology
Introduction to Health Physics: Radiation and Radiation Protection
Health Hazards of Industrial Operation
Biochemical Toxicology
Advanced Functions of Temporal GIS
Global Perspectives on Environmental Health Inequalities
Systems Biology in Environmental Health
Environmental Exposure Assessment

Environmental Physics Concentration

Environmental Health Electives
All students must complete four advanced (400-level or above) courses selected from the following list:12
Environmental Chemistry Processes
Aerosol Physics and Chemistry
Elements of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Fluid Dynamics
Groundwater Hydrology
Numerical Methods
Environmental Physics I
Quantitative Risk Assessment in Environmental Health Microbiology
Air Pollution, Chemistry, and Physics
Additional Requirements
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H4
MATH 383First Course in Differential Equations H3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
MATH 231
Calculus of Functions of One Variable I
or BioCalculus I
3-4
BIOL 101
101L
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
4
Hours 7-8
Spring Semester
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
4
BIOL 201 Ecology and Evolution H 4
Hours 8
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
MATH 232 Calculus of Functions of One Variable II 4
Hours 8
Spring Semester
PHYS 118 Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity 4
BIOL 202 Molecular Biology and Genetics H 4
COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming 3
Hours 11
Junior Year
Fall Semester
ENVR 230 Environmental Health Issues 3
CHEM 261 Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H 3
HPM 600 Introduction to Health Policy and Management 3
Hours 9
Spring Semester
PHYS 119 Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta 4
HBEH 600 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health 3
ENVR 403 Environmental Chemistry Processes 3
ENVR 695 Undergraduate Research 1-3
Hours 11-13
Senior Year
Fall Semester
BIOS 600 Principles of Statistical Inference 3
ENVR 412 Ecological Microbiology 3
ENVR 430 Health Effects of Environmental Agents 3
ENVR 593 Undergraduate Practicum in Environmental Health Sciences 1-3
ENVR 691H Honors Research 3
Hours 13-15
Spring Semester
EPID 600 Principles of Epidemiology 3
ENVR 423 Industrial Toxicology 3
ENVR 470 Environmental Risk Assessment 3
ENVR 692H Honors Thesis 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 79-84
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Special Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences

Honors in Environmental Health Sciences

Students who have a grade point average of 3.3 or higher are eligible to participate in honors research and to write an honors thesis.

Study Abroad

There are several opportunities for pursuing environmental study abroad, both through the department and through the UNC Study Abroad Office.

Undergraduate Research

Many undergraduate students participate in the research programs of the department. Students are encouraged to consult individual faculty members for opportunities to participate in such research. In addition, the department has information concerning fellowships and internships, some of which are combined with research opportunities in laboratories or field settings.