Work Environment

Graduate Certificate Programs in Work Environment

The UMass Lowell Department of Work Environment offers graduate certificates in the following areas:

Graduate Certificate Application Form (pdf)

 Disability Outcomes

Departments and programs participating in the certificate include Physical Therapy, Work Environment, Nursing, and Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

Sean Collins, P.T., Sc.D., C.C.S.

In the prevention and management of chronic disability, this certificate is designed to augment the preparation of researchers and/or clinicians with an appreciation of the interactions among personal attributes, clinical disease features, and socioeconomic and working conditions. Students will examine the ‘state of art’ theoretical perspectives in disability outcomes. They will develop advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen areas of expertise, including disability evaluation; design and conduct of epidemiologic studies of disease outcomes and their risk factors; evaluation and control of relevant environmental factors that affect work and health outcomes; and development and analysis of strategies for the improvement of disease outcomes, based on public and private policy alternatives.

The certificate is designed for students with a background in engineering, public health, clinical services, community programs or psychology. Through the program students complete a core of six credits in courses specifically oriented to Disability Outcomes and six additional elective credits (chosen with their advisor) in the participating departments (see below).

Required Courses: (3 credits each)

  • DPTH.5100 Models and Measurement in Disability
  • PUBH.5790 Disability Outcomes and Interventions

Elective Courses: (3 credits each - choose two courses)

  • PUBH.5750 Introduction to Epidemiology
  • PUBH.6380 Methods of Work Analysis
  • PUBH.5420 Human Factors
  • PUBH.6100 Exposure Assessment
  • PUBH.6430 Healthy Work Organization
  • PUBH.6040 Health Data Analysis
  • PUBH.6250 Health Policy
  • NURS.5520 Social, Cultural and Policy Issues in Health Care
  • NURS.6010 Research Utilization

Or other electives with approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator.

Laboratory and Biosafety

Susan Woskie 978-934-3295

Purpose: The MassBiotech Council counts 440 companies, universities and service organization on its membership roles. Each Biotech organization must have an environmental health and safety office that covers biosafety, chemical, radiation and animal safety. It is difficult for companies to find a biosafety professional with an American Biosafety Association (ABSA) certification since there are currently no graduate or undergraduate programs in biosafety in the United States. The Laboratory & Biosafety Certificate introduces students to the fundamentals of biological safety as well as laboratory health and safety. This certificate is designed to be offered online, providing and affordable, accessible, entree to the field.

Who Should Apply: The biotech, biomedical and pharmaceutical sector is rapidly growing in the New England region. The job of a biological safety officer is in many ways similar to that of an Environmental Safety and Health Office, or an Occupational/Industrial Hygienist. It is concerned with protection of workers, and of the environment. Certified biological safety professionals "must develop knowledge of the principles of epidemiology, disease transmission patters, risk-assessment management, disinfection and sterilization, disease, aerobiology and environmental control" (American Biological Safety Association). All applicants for the graduate certificate must have a bachelor's degree in a life sciences discipline from an accredited institution and strong qualitative skills. All applicants must have at least 9 credits of biology courses such as microbiology, cell biology, and/or molecular biology, biochemistry is also recommended.

Required Courses: (Three 3-credit courses)

  • PUBH.5150 Principles and Practices of Biological Safety
  • PUBH.5160 Laboratory Environmental Health and Safety
  • PUBH.5250 Recognition of Work Environmental Hazards: Introduction to Occupational Hygiene and Ergonomics

Elective Courses:

  • PUBH.5730 Bioaerosols in Health and Biodefense
  • PUBH.6180 Risk Management and Training
  • PUBH.5750 Introduction of Biostatisitics and Epidemiology
  • MLSC.6130 Infectious Disease (online)
  • MLSC.5150 Clinical Virology and Serology Laboratory
  • MLSC.5110 Medical Bacteriology

 Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Interdisciplinary program between the UMass Lowell departments of Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences, Community Health and Sustainability, Work Environment, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health Laboratories

Nancy Goodyear, Ph.D. 
Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences Department
978-934-4427 This program will help to satisfy a critical and timely need for qualified public health laboratory scientists. Concern about bioterrorist attacks post 9/11, the threat of disease epidemics from natural disasters, such as the tsunami crisis and Hurricane Katrina, as well as pandemics, such as Avian flu, exemplify circumstances that require appropriately trained public health laboratory personnel.

Program Requirements

Radiological Health Physics and General Work Environment Protection

Sukesh Aghara 

Purpose: This program provides advanced instruction about radiation and general work environment protections for professionals with health and safety responsibilities.

Who Should Apply: Graduate students majoring in either radiological sciences and protection or work environment are likely candidates for this program. Students should have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field and college courses in physics, chemistry, calculus and statistics. Many professionals in small to medium-sized industries have responsibility for health and safety with little or no formal instruction. Industries that use radioactive material or radiation and have no formal radiation protection or radiological health physics department often assign these responsibilities to employees who have more general work environment or safety responsibilities. It is also not uncommon for large industries that are licensed to possess and use radioactive material to assign general work environment responsibilities to the radiological health physics staff. Professionals with basic training in both general work environment and radiological health physics are particularly well-suited to work in small and medium-sized industries and to obtain top management positions responsible for all health and safety-related departments in large industries, government laboratories, and universities. The need for professionals in this field is projected to increase dramatically and continue for decades.


The program is a collaborative endeavor between the university’s Physics and Radiological Sciences Program and the Work Environment Program. No other college or university in New England offers this type of program.

This certificate requires 14 credits of course work earned by taking four courses.

Required Courses:

  • RADI.5010L Radiation Safety and Control I
  • RADI.5020L Radiation Safety and Control II
  • PUBH.5250 Introduction to Industrial Hygiene/Ergonomics

Elective Courses (choose 1):

  • PUBH.5170 Physical Hazards Evaluation and Control
  • PUBH.5180 Engineering Controls and Protective Equipment
  • PUBH.5400 Occupational Safety and Health Engineering
  • PUBH.6250 Field Evaluations in Work Environments