Instructor teaching students about mechanical equipment in a cage

Environmental Health and Safety Undergraduate

The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program provides students with relevant exposure to basic science, engineering and behavioral science subjects, as well as a thorough introduction to environmental health, occupational safety and industrial hygiene concepts. Environmental Health and Safety professionals strive to identify, evaluate and eliminate or control hazards which expose people, property or the environment to danger or harm.

Program Overview Advising
B.S. in EHS

EHS graduates earn a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety, equipped with knowledge of basic sciences and engineering and technology subjects as well as a thorough introduction to environmental, occupational, and industrial hygiene safety concepts.

The EHS program will prepare students to:

  • Apply knowledge of mathematics and science to analyze and interpret data necessary to resolve environmental health and safety related issues
  • Identify and evaluate environmental and workplace hazardous conditions and practices
  • Formulate hazard control designs, methods, procedures and programs
  • Recognize the impact of solutions within a global and societal context
  • Become proficient in written composition and oral communications
  • Pursue graduate study in safety and health

This short video provides more details about the EHS program.

Environmental Safety and Health is a relatively new, and still emerging, career field compared to other professional studies at universities across America. None of today’s safety-related baccalaureate degree programs existed before the U.S. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This act represents the first national legislation directed at ensuring the safety and health of America’s working men and women. The Oakland University Occupational Safety and Health baccalaureate degree, established in 1978, was one of the first such programs to respond to this national demand for increased safety and health in the workplace.

Since its beginning, OU's Environmental Health and Safety degree program has met the needs of southeast Michigan’s industrial community in responding to the increased national regulatory focus on workplace safety and health. A strong working relationship has developed between this program and automobile manufacturers, many auto parts and equipment suppliers, and a wide variety of other key employers throughout Michigan and beyond. The demand for program graduates is strong and growing, as evidenced by demand for a Master of Science in Safety Management degree program.
Careers in EHS
The  Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety  degree program produces graduates who can function effectively as safety professionals on multidisciplinary teams that include occupational health physicians, occupational nurses, industrial engineers, environmental engineers, union representatives, hourly workers and corporate managers. This degree provides a strong health sciences core curriculum and general education component coupled with technical and professional knowledge required by individuals pursuing professional careers in accident prevention, loss-control management and supervision, inspection and control of industrial hazards, and industrial hygiene.

Career opportunities for graduates may be found in virtually every occupational setting, including heavy industry, light manufacturing, service industries, health care, insurance companies, labor organizations, and government service at the local, state and federal levels.

The following is an excerpt taken from the  American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE)  website.

Since safety professionals provide technical assistance in identifying, evaluating and controlling hazards, safety professionals work virtually anywhere people might be exposed to hazards. There are positions for safety professionals in every part of the United States and in other countries.

No matter what a company’s business is, its employees can encounter some type of hazard, either at work, getting to and from work or at home or play. Even working at a computer terminal can be hazardous, producing long-term injuries to the hand and wrist, back or other parts of the body. Whether a company does manufacturing, mining, transportation, agriculture, chemicals, fuels production, construction, or provides services, it will always face hazards in some or all of its operations. It is likely that the company would employ or contract with one or more safety professionals.

It is common for companies to employ safety professionals at particular work sites. At corporate offices, safety professionals can coordinate the hazard control activities away from the work sites. Some college graduates in safety begin as Assistant Safety Managers at small plants or company work sites. After a period of training and successful performance, the graduates may advance to Safety Director at a small plant. Later, they may advance to similar positions at larger facilities.
Environmental Health and Safety Major
The B.S. in EHS curriculum spans the basic sciences, applied safety sciences and management principles essential for success as a safety professional. This degree is available both online and on campus.
View a checklist of requirements for the degree or learn more about the Experiential Learning component of the EHS program. See the current undergraduate catalog for curriculum details. View the schedule of classes for current course offerings.

All EHS courses required by the degree are offered during the academic year both in-person and online. Students are therefore able to take the major course requirements fully online.

EHS Minor
A minor in Environmental Health and Safety is available to complement other majors in the School of Health Sciences and in other programs, such as environmental health, human resource development, engineering, biology or chemistry. A minimum of 26 credit hours is required for a minor in Environmental Health and Safety.  See the current  undergraduate catalog  for curriculum details.

Objectives & Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives for the BS in Environmental Health & Safety

  1. Demonstrate excellent technical capabilities in evaluating & controlling environmental/ workplace hazardous conditions and practices.
  2. Effectively analyze & develop cost effective safe operating procedures and EHS programs.
  3. Work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues, managers and citizens in building a safe productive organization and community.
  4. Be responsible citizens and effectively work with labor & mgt. in addressing workplace EHS issues.
  5. Apply sound design methodology in multidisciplinary areas to measure, evaluate and analyze EHS performance.
  6. Uphold professional, environmental, cultural, diversity, ethical standards and contemporary knowledge in EHS practice.
  7. Continue their professional advancement through life-long learning.
  8. Enhance the community through civic responsibility and the promotion of economic development.
  9. Competently use mathematical methods, engineering analysis and computations, and measurement and instrumentation techniques for compliance to EHS standards, regulations & codes.
  10. Practice effective oral and written communication skills.
  11. Demonstrate Leadership in the Profession by active participation in EHS organizations.

Environmental Health & Safety Student Outcomes
Baccalaureate degree students graduating from the Environmental Health and Safety program at Oakland University will demonstrate ability to:

  1. Design and evaluate a comprehensive safety and health program.
  2. Use the techniques, skills and modern scientific and technical tools necessary for professional practice.
  3. Be proficient in written composition and oral communications.
  4. Apply science knowledge to solve problems using algebra, statistics, human physiology and anatomy, physics, chemistry, as it pertains to EHS practice.
  5. Anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and develop control strategies for hazardous conditions and work practices.
  6. Identify and apply applicable standards, regulations, and codes for hazard control and work programs.
  7. Work effectively on multidisciplinary teams.
  8. Design, conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data to provide control solutions to EHS issues.
  9. Recognize and appreciate professional and ethical responsibilities of EHS professionals.
  10. Synthesize contemporary EHS issues and the impacts of their solutions within a global and societal context.
  11. Engage in continued professional development through graduate study, professional certification and to become lifelong learners.
Grade Point Policy
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) majors must achieve minimum course grades of C (2.0) in science core prerequisite courses and minimum C+ (2.3) in required EHS courses. A final course grade below C/C+ places a student on probation, which requires a meeting with the program director or a designated representative to discuss a method of remediation. In most cases, the method of remediation involves repeating the course in which the unsatisfactory grade was earned. See Repeating courses for additional information.
Certified Safety
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) completion sequence for Certified Safety Professionals

The School of Health Sciences offers the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety through a CSP to BS EHS completion program. The student outcomes and educational objectives established for the B.S. EHS program are the same for traditional and CSP students including course objectives and teaching methodologies. See the current undergraduate catalog for curriculum details.

Students who have satisfactorily completed a regionally accredited associate or baccalaureate degree and who possess a valid, current CSP certification may apply for admission to the CSP to BS EHS Degree Completion Program. A cumulative GPA of C+ or better is required for admission to the CSP to BS EHS degree completion sequence.
Certified safety professionals with a GPA below C+ may be admitted to the University under pre-CSP – EHS status and change to CSP –BS EHS status upon completion of a minimum of 12 credits (applicable to the EHS program) at Oakland University with a GPA of C+ or higher.

Certified safety professionals must complete all credits and/or courses required in the B.S. EHS degree program. Completion may be achieved in the following manner:

  1. Graduates from a regionally accredited associate or bachelor degree program may transfer a maximum of 62 credits from community colleges that apply to the B.S. EHS degree program requirements. In addition, 22 Environmental Health and Safety credits will be granted through a course competency process. This process includes:
    a. Successful completion of the CSP examination.
    b. Evidence of a valid, current CSP certification.
    c. Registration for competency credits as per the OU Undergraduate Catalog.
    d. Registration for approved competency credit courses to include EHS 1000, 2250, 2350, 3300, 3380, 3330, 4410, and 4420. 
  2. Students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Environmental Health and Safety must complete a minimum of 125 credits as outlined in official Oakland University catalog. The minimum required courses may be satisfied through a combination of credits delivered by Oakland University, transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions of higher education, and CSP competency credits. A minimum of 32 credits must be upper division credits from Oakland University.

On September 21, 2017, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and Oakland University formed a new alliance establishing the MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI) to Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety Degree Program. This new program is available to those students who have a valid MTI Level 2 Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) certificate. Students who have the aforementioned certificate from MTI are eligible to receive up to 11 credits toward the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety at Oakland University.

Students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) must complete a minimum of 125 credits as outlined in the official Oakland University catalog. The minimum required courses may be satisfied through a combination of credits delivered by Oakland University, transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions of higher education, and MTI competency credits. A minimum of 32 credits must be upper division credits from Oakland University.

In order to receive a B.S. EHS degree, each student must meet all the requirements of the program. See the current undergraduate catalog for a complete list of program requirements and list of courses.

Courses for which are eligible for competency credit through the MTI-OU program are:

  • EHS 1000 Introduction to Environmental Health and Safety (1 credit)
  • EHS 1150 Environmental Health and Safety at Work (2 credits)
  • EHS 2350 Occupational Safety and Health Standards (3 credits)
  • EHS 3300 Safety and Health Administration Programs (3 credits)
  • EHS 4410 Accident Investigation and Analysis (3 credits)

Students who have the MTI certificate can receive up to 11 credits toward the B.S. EHS degree by completing the following steps:

  1. All students are required to apply directly to Oakland University via the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and satisfy all university admissions requirements.
  2. When completing the admissions application, be sure to select the correct major (Environmental Health and Safety). Prospective students have the option to select the major as main campus or completely online.
  3. Work with the SHS Advising Office and the program director to determine which competency courses are necessary based on the student’s MIOSHA level 2 certification (Official MTI documentation will be required). Each student will need to determine which semesters the competency courses will be completed.
  4. Students will need to complete and submit the Competency Exam Form to the Office of the Registrar in order to register for a competency exam. Competency exams must be completed within the first six weeks of the semester.
  5. Upon passing the competency exam, you will receive credit for the course toward your degree.

Individuals who already have a degree from a regionally accredited associate or bachelor degree program may transfer a maximum of 62 credits from community colleges that apply to the B.S. in EHS degree program requirements.

Program & Career

Average Safety Profession Salary
For information on the average salary of occupational safety and health professionals visit the 2015 Salary Survey by the American Society of Safety Engineers. The report looks at average salary based on education level and certification type, as well as other characteristics.

Another resource is the November 2017 issue of Safety+Health Magazine. In the issue the National Safety Council presents their salary survey findings for 2016. The survey also lists the percent of safety professionals in various age ranges, industries, and job titles.

2017 Job Outlook
The April 2017 edition of Safety+Health Magazine has published its 2017 job outlook for the safety and health profession.

The Future of Safety
Dr. Charles McGlothlin, Program Director of Environmental Health and Safety, discusses opportunities to shape students' future as safety and health professionals. This is in the September 2015 issue of the Board Certified Safety Professional (BCSP) Newsletter.

Internship and Job Postings
Oakland University Career Services posts many internship and job opportunities for the safety and health profession. All postings can be found by logging into Handshake, the career development platform.  Visit the site often for the latest opportunities available.

Program Statistics
BS in Environmental Health & Safety
Academic YearEnrollmentDegrees Awarded

BS in Occupational Safety & Health

Academic YearEnrollmentDegrees Awarded


Program Support

The EHS Industry Advisory Board is composed of EHS professionals from various industries and private sectors who provide input, guidance, and support for the EHS program and its students. These members are key constituents in the continuous improvement process for the program.

Malcom E. Dunbar
, CSP, Vice President & Chief Safety Officer, Edward C. LEVY Co, Chair Industry Advisory Board

Jessica Jannaman, Senior Manager, Environmental Health & Safety NA, DURA Automotive Systems, Vice Chair Industry Advisory Board

Kathy Glodich,
CSP, Senior Loss Control Consultant, Accident Fund Insurance Company, Secretary Industry Advisory Board

Patrick R. Frazee,
CIH, CSP, EHS Program Director, Oakland University, Executive Committee Industry Advisory Board, Manager (retired), Health & Safety North America, General Motors

Charles W. McGlothlin Jr.
, Ph.D., P.E., Special Instructor in the EHS Program, Oakland University

Richard Olawoyin, Ph.D., CEP, Assistant Professor, Oakland University

Dave Andrews, CSP, ARM, Risk Manager, Amerisure

Julie Barbaro, Environmental Health and Safety - Assembly Division, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, Vice President Global Health & Safety, Johnson Controls Inc.

Thomas W. Schenk, Ph.D., Corporate Epidemiologist, General Motors

Thomas J. Martin, CIH, CSP, Manager, Safety & Industrial Hygiene, Ramboll Environmental

Wendy Burkett, Regional Safety & Security Manager, North America, Ford Motor Company

Ben Treppa, CSP, Operations & Safety Supervisor, County of Macomb

Linda Ritter, Graduate Student Representative, MS in Safety Management

Kevin Housner, Undergraduate Student Representative, BS in Environmental Health & Safety