Academic Degree Programs

The Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering (COHSE) promotes a multi-disciplinary educational experience through common courses, seminars, and professional projects. The multi-disciplinary theme extends to research activities on which faculty and students from all programs collaborate. COHSE brings together academic degree programs in: Occupational Safety Engineering and Ergonomics (OSE), Industrial Hygiene (IH), Occupational Epidemiology (OE), and Occupational Health Nursing (OHN).

Occupational Safety Engineering and Ergonomics (OSE)

Despite advances in technology and improvements in workplace safety programs, there is a shortage of well-trained researchers and professionals to reduce fatalities and injuries. Michigan’s program in Occupational Safety Engineering and Ergonomics, based in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering in the College of Engineering, provides graduate training in applied ergonomics to design and manage workplaces that are safe and productive. During our 44-year partnership with NIOSH, we have graduated over 400 students. We are recruiting highly motivated students with undergraduate backgrounds in engineering, science, and psychology for our masters and doctoral programs. Courses and research activities emphasize accident and injury prevention through engineering control of workplace hazards.

For more information: Contact the OSE Director, Monroe Keyserling, or visit the OSE Program website.

Industrial Hygiene (IH)

Industrial Hygiene practitioners and researchers, trained in what is now called Occupational Exposure Science, play vital roles in anticipating, recognizing, assessing, controlling and managing workplace – and often environmental – hazards. IH professionals help to eliminate the high rates of morbidity and mortality associated with exposures in traditional and advanced manufacturing, new and emergent industries like bio- and nano-tech, and even pandemics and terrorist attacks. Michigan’s program in Industrial Hygiene is based in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and provides graduate training at both the masters and doctoral level. The IH Program is fully accredited by the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and is a key component of the University of Michigan’s approach to occupational and environmental diseases, industrial hygiene, exposure assessment, control technology, ergonomics, occupational health law, physical hazards, and other topics relevant to IH training. Our program is one of the oldest and most respected in the nation, with over 1,500 program alumni serving at all levels in government, industry and academia. Our alumni include, for example, several past presidents of the American Hygiene Association, and directors of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Take a look at what our students have to say:

Watch this video to learn about how IH can influence your life at home:

For more information: Contact the IH Director, Edward Zellers, or visit the IH Program website.

Occupational Epidemiology (OE)

Occupational Epidemiologists study the distributions and causes of disease in workplaces. OE professionals consider a diverse set of workplace exposures — chemicals, pesticides, airborne pollutants, dusts, noise, stress, repetitive motions, and extreme temperatures — that may occur at factories, farmlands, construction and mining, restaurants, hospitals, and everything in-between! OE professionals use a range of analytical tools to generate research that informs disease prevention and creates safer workplaces and work practices. Michigan’s Occupational Epidemiology program is jointly based in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and provides a wealth of expertise and specialty options for students at both the masters and doctoral level.

For more information: Contact the OE Director, Marie O’Neill, or visit the OE Program website.

Occupational Health Nursing (OHN)

Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) are in demand, and the need for specially prepared nurses in occupational health is increasing. OHNs help to maximize workers’ health and productivity, reducing illnesses and injuries, while controlling costs. OHNs find great personal fulfillment and satisfaction in this challenging and rewarding profession. There are multiple career options for OHNs in, for example, clinical practice, health services administration, higher education, and research. OHNs are employed by businesses, industry, government agencies, hospitals, clinics, their own businesses, as well as colleges and universities. Michigan’s Occupational Health Nursing concentration is based in the Department of Systems Leadership and Effectiveness Science in the School of Nursing and is available to Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner students. Additionally, the School of Nursing offers a PhD in nursing that prepares students for careers in research, academia, or corporate settings.

For more information: Contact the OHN Director, Marjorie McCullagh, or visit the OHN Concentration website.