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Environment & Public Health - Course Description

Life's too short to take just any job. The field of environmental health needs people that want to make a difference with their careers. If you have the heart, desire, and skills to save lives and protect New Jersey's residents and environment, then join the next generation of environmental health professionals. The Environment and Public Health (EPH) summer course will get you there. To land a job, you need broad technical skills in areas ranging from epidemiological investigation to environmental inspection to emergency response. You also need experience and the REHS license. This 8-week course and accompanying 200-hour (~ 5-week) unpaid internship provides the expertise and experience you need and helps prepare you for the REHS licensing exam.

What is EPH?
Learn more about the program from EPH alumni.

EPH: Online Instructor-Led Class

The EPH course is comprised of various interspersed modules covering a wide range of topics in environmental health and management including:

  • Environmental Pollution: hazardous materials and pollution control strategies for air, soil, water.

  • Epidemiology: communicable disease, modes of transmission, and outbreak investigations.

  • Public Health Microbiology: microbes and the symptoms, transmission, and prevention of the diseases they cause.

  • Public Health Sanitation: veterinary public health, body art, tanning, regulated medical waste, pool chemistry, youth camp safety, public recreational bathing facilities, and food safety principles including retail food protection, shellfish, milk, bottled water, and risk-based inspection techniques, including a virtual inspection of a retail dining establishment.

  • Soils, Septics, and the Environment: soil logs, site evaluation, and onsite sewage disposal system design with a virtual field day to apply what you are learning.

  • Water and Wastewater: stream pollution investigation, water treatment systems, and a virtual field trip to a facility to bring it all together; also includes a brief chemistry review to ensure all students are up to speed.

  • AND ... Selected Topics: from pest identification and control to risk communication, resume writing and tips for having a great internship experience, plus administration topics related to management, structure, and quality improvement in health departments...and much more!

EPH: Intensive, Challenging, Inspiring

The job of an REHS is incredibly rewarding but not easy. The field is extremely wide-ranging, and even if your interests tend to fall into one particular area, such as food safety, an REHS may still be expected to understand and be able to work in a number of other areas depending on their workplace and role, including but limited to sewage disposal, hazardous and solid waste management, air quality, and more. To prepare you for this career in such a condensed time frame, Rutgers' EPH Program is content-rich and very intensive. Students should be prepared to work hard in their studies. The pay-off for good attendance in classes, active note-taking and participation during classes, completion of assignments, engagement in study groups, and putting in the time and effort to master the material will be passing the EPH course, being better prepared to sit for the REHS Exam, and accomplishing it all in only one summer.

EPH: In the Field

After the 8-week course session concludes, we'll place you in a 200-hour (~ 5-week) unpaid internship with a local health department. Rutgers arranges the field experience for EPH students in accordance with the EPH Field Training Manual, which ensures that all trainees receive a complete field training experience. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, exactly when you will be able to begin and end your field training depends upon the availability of your host health department.

You'll gain a wide range of on-the-job skills including:

  • Addressing current public health concerns
  • Conducting epidemiological investigations
  • Inspecting wholesale and retail food establishments
  • Investigating air and noise pollution
  • Investigating reports of disease outbreaks
  • Monitoring streams, lakes, and groundwater

Take the Licensing Exam & Begin a Public Health Career

Once you've successfully completed the entire EPH Program, you will be eligible to take the State REHS licensing exam and begin your career in public health!

EPH 2022

» Next Offering:
Summer 2022, exact dates TBD

» Internship:
200 hour internship at a local health department