College of Health Sciences

Department of Work Environment

The UMass Lowell Department of Work Environment offers the following graduate programs:

Our programs provide training and research on the identification, characterization and control of chemical, physical, psychosocial, and biological risks associated with work environments as well as in understanding and developing respect for the complex social, political and economic context in which environmental and occupational health problems must be studied and addressed.

Our model of research and education integrates a rigorous scientific methodology with practical collaboration with the region's industry, labor, communities and governments to design safer and cleaner systems of production. 

The goal of the graduate program is to prepare professionals with the ability to scientifically evaluate the hazards of production as well as to design efficient alternatives to hazardous exposures. 

The Department also has the broader objective of promoting sustainable production: environmentally sound systems of production, healthy work environments, and productive work organizations. The overarching principle is to design production that: is non-polluting; conserving of energy and natural resources; economically efficient; safe and healthful for workers, neighbors, and consumers; and rewarding for employees.

Master of Science

The Master of Science program will prepare graduates with the master’s degree to become prevention practitioners in one of five work environment disciplines (occupational and environmental hygiene, occupational ergonomics/safety, epidemiology, work environment policy, and cleaner production and pollution prevention). The Department offers a program leading to the master’s degree with thesis option or non-thesis option (project or capstone course). Candidates choosing the thesis option are guided by a committee of three faculty members. The Department also offers a Professional Science Master's options in four Work Environment disciplines.

Accelerated Degree Program

The department participates in the University’s effort to encourage outstanding graduate students to begin study toward an advanced degree while still undergraduates. Arrangements are possible for joint programs that combine a bachelor‘s degree in another department with a master’s degree in the Department of Work Environment. Such arrangements are made for eligible students after discussions with graduate coordinators in both departments. Please see Bachelor's-Master's Program for eligibility and application requirements.

Doctor of Science

The doctoral program is designed to prepare research scientists with a strong orientation towards prevention and applied research. The program includes advanced graduate work in each of the five work environment concentrations (industrial hygiene, occupational ergonomics/safety, occupational epidemiology, work environment policy, and cleaner production and pollution prevention). Candidates will, under the direction of a faculty advisor and dissertation committee, carry out original research culminating in a doctoral dissertation.