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Work Environment Graduate Programs

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Occupational Epidemiologist

The occupational epidemiologist (the Master of Public Health) knows how to analyze data on injury and illness in relation to working conditions. They learn how to use surveillance data appropriately to assess risk and prioritize interventions and appreciates the importance of exposure assessment in order to characterize dose-response relationships and assess the effectiveness of interventions.
This training is offered as a specialization within the Department of Public Health.
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Occupational Safety Specialist and Ergonomist

The occupational safety specialist and ergonomist (the Master of Science in Engineering, Industrial Engineering) is concerned with identifying and preventing potential hazards, whether physical, biomechanical, or psychosocial. They learn how these hazards affect the body and how appropriate re-design can produce a safe, health-promoting work environment.

This training is offered as a specialization within the Industrial Engineering program (Department of Mechanical Engineering).

Traineeship from NIOSH

The purpose of the Work Environment Training Program Grant (TPG) at UMass Lowell is to educate and train work environment professionals to develop and promote safe, healthy, just and sustainable workplaces. The TPG offers an occupational safety and health (OSH) traineeship funded by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to support some students in the above two Work Environment graduate programs. See the Eligibility & Conditions in the tab on the top, right of this page.

Become a Successful Practitioner and Researcher

Students in both Work Environment areas take a common set of 3 courses. They will meet in extra-curricular events to network and to collaborate in unpacking questions of public interest such as:

  • The health effects of prolonged sitting versus standing
  • Population stress related to the changing nature of work
  • The most common types of injuries in the Massachusetts public sector workforce
  • The role of burnout in the developmental capacity of healthcare workers
  • How occupational injuries may be related to opioid use and misuse
  • Whether working conditions influence personal "lifestyle" behaviors such as diet and exercise
  • Whether ergonomics is feasible for all types of workplaces
  • The norms and practices that affect Total Worker Health®
  • How working conditions relate to the transmission of COVID-19
Since the Work Environment program was first funded in 1990, more than 350 students have graduated from UMass Lowell with masters and doctoral degrees related to occupational health and safety. Graduates have become successful practitioners and researchers, prepared to design and promote systems of production that are environmentally sound, safe, healthy, and rewarding for workers and communities. Networking within this community will be a valuable opportunity for current trainees. 

Eligibility for OSH Traineeship Support: Matriculated full-time students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident ("green card" holder). Interested students must first apply to the appropriate degree program and may then apply for a traineeship.

Traineeship Conditions: Follow the designated curriculum for the specialization, including a three-course core: Work Environment Policy & Practice, Ergonomics & Work, and Epidemiology & Biostatistics. Conduct a master's capstone project (OS/E in Engineering) or practicum (Occ Epi MPH) on a topic related to occupational health and safety.

Participate in extra-curricular learning opportunities, including work-in-progress seminars, career conversations, informal meetings with program faculty, etc. These will seek to support students to pool their methodological toolboxes to understand risks for the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, mental/emotional, and other body systems and how to prevent them.

Traineeship Support: Stipend, tuition, and fees (9 credits/semester) for up to 4 semesters. Limited travel support for professional conferences and other relevant events or training activities.

Tuition costs and other financial aid: Please visit the UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions website for more information.

Graduates are expected to be employed in the OSH workforce as practitioners, educators, researchers, and/or policy makers.

Read more about Work Environment and NIOSH.

The three required core traineeship courses are:

Meet Our Students

  • Charles Smith
    Master's of Public Health

    Charles Smith is an MPH candidate in Epidemiology, UML Class of 2021.

  • Kayleen Buscemi
    Master's of Public Health

    Kayleen Buscemi is an MPH student in epidemiology with an interest in environmental epidemiology.

  • Ross Goding
    Master's of Public Health

    Ross Goding is an MPH student in Epidemiology with a focus in Occupational Epidemiology.