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Areas of Emphasis

Students are required to complete an "area of emphasis" taking a minimum of five courses or 15 credits in specialized theory or methods courses. The area of emphasis is typically chosen after the first year.

Students may choose one of the defined areas, or may design an area of emphasis with courses selected in conjunction with his/her mentor, based on past course work, experience, proposed dissertation topic, and career goals. Students who choose two areas of emphasis must meet the course requirements of both.

Prospective students are welcome to contact faculty representatives of the areas of emphasis to learn of current research activities and opportunities.


Occupational Health

Lead Faculty: Jeanne Sears

The Department of Health Services, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, has established a program to train doctoral students in occupational health services research (OHSR). This program offers training in health services research methods with a focus on occupational health. It offer students a range of opportunities to become involved in challenging research projects involving outcomes research, economic analysis, epidemiological studies, and program evaluation. In addition to university-based research, students will have an opportunity to participate in research studies at Microsoft, Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, and other industrial settings. It is anticipated that the training program will prepare students for academic positions within schools of public health or other areas of health sciences, and for leadership roles in government or private industry.

Occupational health services researchers develop performance measures and assesses the organization, access, cost, quality and outcomes of care for work-related health problems. They also design and evaluate preventive and curative programs that deliver care effectively, efficiently and equitably. The occupational health AOE is based on the custom AOE model, but includes standardized features necessary to meet the particular needs of ERC OHSR trainees as well as the requirements of the ERC training grant.

ERC OHSR trainees must complete a custom AOE of at least 15 credits, developed in consultation with their mentor and/or the ERC OSHR Program Director. The custom AOE must meet the following criteria:

  1. The AOE should consist of a cohesive set of courses that prepare the student to conduct occupational health services research. Justification for each proposed course (other than the required courses listed below) must be provided by the student. The justification must describe the student's individual research focus (e.g., occupational health disparities, workplace health promotion, workers' compensation system research, occupational injury/illness outcomes research, etc.), and explain how the proposed set of courses are important to the student's education and training in occupational health services research.
  2. ERC trainees have the additional option of completing one of the department's defined AOEs, but doing so is not required.
  3. Independent study coursework with faculty who have the necessary expertise may be required in order to meet specific educational needs. A maximum of 4 credits of independent study coursework (600 level, in any combination of credits by quarter) may be counted toward the 15 credit requirement. The content of such coursework must be described and formally justified in the AOE proposal, and approval is not guaranteed. The content must have a focus specific to occupational health research.
  4. To fulfill the AOE for OHSR, students must complete the 3 required courses listed below. The remaining courses may be chosen from the approved list of recommended electives below. Courses which are not listed below as either required or recommended, including courses that do not have an occupational health focus, may be included in the custom AOE proposal with adequate justification, but approval is not guaranteed. It is recommended that approval of the custom AOE proposal be obtained prior to enrollment in courses that are not listed below.

Required Courses:
Occupational Health Services Research Methods (2)
ENVH 570
Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology (3)
ENVH 580
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Seminar (1)
(up to 3 credits of ENVH 580 may be counted; it is highly recommended that this course be taken in the first quarter of the OHSR program)
Recommended Electives:
Strategies of Health Promotion (4)
ENVH 511
Environmental & Occupational Health (3)
ENVH 520
Advanced Technical Communication in Public Health (3)
ENVH 556
Quantitative Occupational Exposure Analysis (3)
ENVH 564
Recognition of Health and Safety Problems in Industry (2)
ENVH 566
Introduction to Ergonomics (3)
ENVH 576
Clinical Occupational Medicine (2)
ENVH 577
Risk Assessment (4)
ENVH 590
Occupational and Environmental Disease (3-4)
ENVH 592
Current Topics in Occupational Health Sciences (1)
(up to 2 credits of ENVH 592 may be counted)
ENVH 596
Current Issues in Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2)
(up to 4 credits of ENVH 596/NURS 580 may be counted)
NSG 554
Occupational Health Nursing: Practice Issues (3)
NSG 558
Occupational Health Nursing: Advanced Practice and Leadership in Program Development (3)
NURS 566
Work Stress and Health (3)