Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences

An Environmental Health degree prepares students for the branch of public health that studies how biological, chemical, and physical factors in natural and built environments impact human health and disease. Students will learn how to help prevent injuries and disease by managing environmental hazards and promoting healthier air, water, soil, homes, workplaces, and communities. The degree program is one of only 31 programs nationwide to be fully accredited by the standards of the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, and the only such program in Colorado.

The Environmental Health degree prepares students for employment by public sector environmental agencies, private industry, academic institutions, as well as graduate study in medicine, veterinary medicine, and related biomedical and health fields. The basic science requirements for the major will meet admission requirements for accredited medical and veterinary medical schools in North America.

Students will begin their studies with foundational science courses including biology, physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, calculus, and statistics, and then use these basic sciences as tools to solve environmental health problems. Students are involved in actual and simulated field projects with data gathering and analysis, characterization of environmental health problems, evaluation of alternative solutions, and presentation of results in written and oral formats. All Environmental Health students will complete a professional internship for academic credit with a private sector company, public health agency, or research entity (public or private). Read about Environmental Health student internships on the department website.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Effectively communicate the health consequences of actions, behaviors, or environmental degradation to the public, political community, legal experts, or the media
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving abilities for environmental health issues as an individual and as a member of a problem solving team
  • Integrate knowledge in social, physical, and biological sciences to evaluate environmental health issues
  • Apply knowledge of scientific methods to evaluate compliance with environmental health standards and assess risks to workers and the public

Potential Occupations

Career opportunities include, but are not limited to: environmental health specialist, public health specialist, industrial hygienist, toxicologist, epidemiologist, air and water pollution specialist, hazardous and solid waste specialist, occupational safety specialist, and health educator. More information on career opportunities can be found on the department website.

Effective Fall 2017

Freshman
AUCCCredits
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)3A1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab II 1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
ERHS 220Environmental Health 3
LIFE 102Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)3A4
MATH 155Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B4
Arts and Humanities3B3
Electives 3
 Total Credits 29
Sophomore
 
BMS 300Principles of Human Physiology 4
CHEM 341Modern Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 343Modern Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 344Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
ERHS 230Environmental Health Field Methods 3
PH 121General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A5
PH 122General Physics II (GT-SC1)3A5
STAT 307Introduction to Biostatistics 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
 Total Credits 31
Junior
 
BC 351Principles of Biochemistry 4
Select one from the following: 3
Writing Arguments (GT-CO3)2 
Writing in the Disciplines: Sciences (GT-CO3)2 
ERHS 320Environmental Health - Water and Food Safety4A3
ERHS 332Principles of Epidemiology 3
ERHS 350Industrial Hygiene and Air 3
ERHS 450Introduction to Radiation Biology 3
ERHS 479Environmental Health Practice4C1
MIP 300General Microbiology 3
MIP 302General Microbiology Laboratory 2
Arts and Humanities3B3
 Total Credits 28
Senior
 
ERHS 410Environmental Health and Waste Management4B3
ERHS 446Environmental Toxicology 3
ERHS 487Internship-Environmental Health4C4
Historical Perspectives3D3
Global and Cultural Awareness3E3
Program Electives1 5
Electives2 11
 Total Credits 32
 Program Total Credits: 120
1

Must be related to major and approved by an ERHS key advisor.

2

Select enough elective credits to bring the program total to a minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 42 must be upper-division (300- to 400-level).

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
To prepare for first semester:
 The curriculum for the Environmental Health Science major assumes students enter college prepared to take calculus. Entering students who are not prepared to take calculus will need to fulfill pre-calculus requirements in the first semester. Those pre-calculus requirements are listed as benchmark courses in Freshman Semester 1 below. LIFE 102 requires high school chemistry; CHEM 111 requires Algebra II as a prerequisite (this prerequisite is met by taking Algebra II by test credit, transfer credit, or placement out of MATH 117 and MATH 118 on Math Placement Exam.

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)X 3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)X 3A1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
LIFE 102Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)X 3A4
Electives   3
MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 must be completed by the end of Semester 1, if necessary.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 113General Chemistry IIX  3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab IIX  1
ERHS 220Environmental Health X 3
MATH 155Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)X 1B4
Arts and Humanities  3B3
 Total Credits   14
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BMS 300Principles of Human Physiology   4
CHEM 341Modern Organic Chemistry IX  3
ERHS 230Environmental Health Field Methods X 3
PH 121General Physics I (GT-SC1) X3A5
ERHS 220 must be completed by end of Semester 3.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 343Modern Organic Chemistry IIX  3
CHEM 344Modern Organic Chemistry LaboratoryX  2
PH 122General Physics II (GT-SC1) X3A5
STAT 307Introduction to Biostatistics   3
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
BMS 300 and ERHS 230 must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
 Total Credits   16
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
ERHS 320Environmental Health - Water and Food Safety  4A3
ERHS 350Industrial Hygiene and Air   3
MIP 300General MicrobiologyX  3
MIP 302General Microbiology Laboratory   2
Select one course from the following:   3
Writing Arguments (GT-CO3)  2 
Writing in the Disciplines: Sciences (GT-CO3)  2 
PH 121 must be completed by the end of Semester 5.X   
 Total Credits   14
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BC 351Principles of Biochemistry   4
ERHS 332Principles of Epidemiology   3
ERHS 450Introduction to Radiation Biology   3
ERHS 479Environmental Health PracticeX 4C1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
BMS 300, PH 122, and STAT 307 must be completed by the end of Semester 6.X   
 Total Credits   14
Senior
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
ERHS 446Environmental ToxicologyX  3
Program Electives (See Major Requirements tab)   5
Historical Perspectives  3D3
Electives   6
 Total Credits   17
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
ERHS 410Environmental Health and Waste ManagementX 4B3
ERHS 487Internship-Environmental HealthX 4C4
Global and Cultural AwarenessX 3E3
ElectivesX  5
The benchmark courses for Semester 8 are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   15
 Program Total Credits:   120