Environmental Health

Distance Learning Track


Our Mission is to provide students the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to work as an environmental health professional or to continue in environmental health graduate studies. Environmental Health is the science of preventing physical, chemical or biological hazards from adversely impacting human health or the ecological balances that sustain our environment. Career opportunities include professional positions with public health departments, environmental protection agencies, environmental consultants and occupational health and safety divisions of industry. The program is fully accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (aka EHAC). We provide the option of either an on campus track or a distance learning track for obtaining the degree.

Counselor and Advisor information.

Bachelor of Science with a Major in Environmental Health Major Code EH04 (Distance Learning Track)

The BS degree in Environmental Health - Distance Learning Track, EH-DLT is designed for transfer students that cannot readily commute to or live on the MSSU campus, but desire to obtain their BS degree in Environmental Health. This track requires that general education, biology, chemistry, math and physics requirements must be met prior to admission to the EH-DLT. Specific science and math courses required by the Environmental Health Accreditation Council, EHAC must be included. These requirements may be met by the student at their local community college or four year university. Upon acceptance into the EH-DLT, the student will complete their Environmental Health coursework over the Internet from MSSU.

Overview of the Coursework Needed for the Environmental Health degree by Distance Learning Track

At the Local Community College or University:

1. General Education Requirements that satisfy MSSU requirements 43-44 hrs

2. Additional courses to complete the EHAC science & math requirements 20-21 hrs

At MSSU by Internet:

3. Environmental Health Semester Block Courses 49 hrs

4. International Study, GIS and EH Internship Courses 11-12 hrs

5. Total Minimum Credit Hours for BS degree in EH 124 hrs

The Five Steps Needed to Obtain the Environmental Health degree by Distance Learning Track:

64 Credit hours to be earned prior to starting the EH-DLT at MSSU by Steps 1 & 2

1) General Education Requirements (GER) that meet MSSU Areas 1 to 4 (43-44 hrs.)

To be taken at the students’ local community college/university and/or in combination with MSSU Internet coursework. All courses taken must be identified as transferrable as GER courses of MSSU by the MSSU Registrars' Office. The student should consult their local college or university advisor and registrar/transcript analyst to assure transferability of coursework. All degree candidates must meet all of the MSSU GER requirements prior to acceptance into the EH-DLT.

2) Additional Coursework for acceptance into the EH-Distance Learning Track (20-21 hr.)

The applicant must have a total of 64 credit hours prior to acceptance into the EH-DLT. This includes the 43-44 hours of GER and an additional 20-21 hours of coursework. The EHAC basic science and math requirements must be met within the 64 credit hours (see List A). The science and mathematics requirements of EHAC must be verified as met by a review of the applicants' transcript by the MSSU Environmental Health Faculty prior to acceptance into the EH-DLT. Pre-planning of the science and math requirements for the degree between the potential applicant, their local college/university advisor and the MSSU EH Faculty is highly encouraged.

Introductory environmental coursework is encouraged by the local community college/university to assure the student has interest in the environmental field, if it can be fit into the 64 hours along with the GER and EHAC requirements. A minimum grade point average, GPA of 2.5 over the 64 hours is required for entry into the EH-DLT.

60 Credit hours to be earned via the Environmental Health - Distance Learning Track at MSSU by Steps 3 & 4

3) Environmental Health Semester Blocks (49 hr.) by MSSU

The EH-DLT requires successful completion of four Environmental Health Semester Blocks that are enrolled in after acceptance to the EH-DLT. Students accepted into the EH-DLT may enroll into any Semester Block that is currently available. Each EH Semester Block is a unit of 4 to 5 individual EH courses that are all enrolled in and taken simultaneously over a single semester via the Internet from MSSU. Semester Block grades are given for each individual course. Students must enroll for the entire block of courses.

EH Semester Block 1 (Fall, Even), 12 credit hours total

EH 370 Environmental Health (3 hr.)

EH 377 Food Safety (3 hr.)

EH 378 Occupational Health & Safety (3 hr.)

EH 380 Epidemiology (3 hr.)

EH Semester Block 2 (Spring, Odd), 12 credit hours total

EH 371 Environmental Toxicology (3hr.) WI*

EH 373 Solid & Hazardous Waste Management (3 hr.)

EH 375 Disease Vector Control (2 hr.)

EH 376 Water Quality Management (3 hr.)

EH 382 Epidemiology Statistics (1 hr.)

EH Semester Block 3 (Fall, Odd), 13 credit hours total

EH 311 Soil Morphology (3 hr.)

EH 312 Environmental Biology (4 hr.) WI*

EH 372 Environmental Regulations (3 hr.)

EH 374 Air Quality Management (3 hr.)

EH Semester Block 4 (Spring, Even), 12 credit hours total

EH 310 Hazardous Incident Management (3 hr.)

EH 480 Environmental Epidemiology (3 hr.)

EH 481 Risk Management (3 hr.) WI*

EH 499 Problems in Env. Health (3 hr.)

Note: the student must plan for EH 499 with the EH Faculty at least one semester in advance.

Students must be self-motivated and self-disciplined to be successful in Internet studies. It is imperative that the student remain diligent in keeping up all with readings, assignments and examinations to pass the courses. The student is required to obtain an MSSU approved proctor for examinations. Students may be allowed one additional semester to finish incomplete work in any course if given permission by the instructor and they file for the incomplete prior to the end of the semester. However, incomplete work not completed by the end of the following semester converts to a grade of “F”. Courses that receive grades of “F” may be unavailable in a timely manner to repeat as individual courses may not be readily available by Internet outside the semester blocks.

*WI indicates a Writing Intensive course.

4) Three Additional Required Courses by MSSU (11hr. or 12 hr.)

International Cultural Studies (Area 5) course (3 hr.) chosen from any MSSU Area 5 course that is given over the Internet during any semester. MSSU Area 5 courses are offered by Internet most semesters.

EH 304 Geographic Information Systems, GIS (3 hr.) This course meets the degree computer literacy requirement. The course may be taken over the Internet during any semester it is offered at MSSU.

EH 450 Internship in Environmental Health (either 5 hr. or 6 hr.) Practical field experience (a minimum of 200 or 240 work hours) that is obtained by the student at any work location of their choice (e.g. government, industry, consulting) that is also approved by the MSSU EH Faculty. EH 450 may be taken during any semester at MSSU, but requires pre-planning in conjunction with the Environmental Health Faculty prior to enrollment. The student must identify potential work locations to the EH Faculty and create a written proposal that is acceptable to the EH Faculty, the Department Head and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at least one semester in advance of enrollment. MSSU EH faculty will help the EH student to identify acceptable work locations. This course may be taken any semester after acceptance to the EH-DLT.

5) Total Minimum Credit Hours Required for the Environmental Health degree by Distance Learning Track (124 hr.)

At least 60 semester hours of the 124 minimum hours must be from a 4 year university. Also, all degree candidates are required to participate in University Assessment of Outcomes activities (Senior Assessment testing) for MSSU prior to graduation.

List A. Environmental Health Accreditation Council (EHAC) Criteria for Environmental Health Science and Protection Baccalaureate Curricula*

1. Basic Sciences: (at least 24 semester hours or 40 quarter hours)

The following basic college level courses must be completed:

Biological Sciences with laboratories -at least 3 semester hours, 5 quarter hours.

Microbiology with laboratory (may be environmental health microbiology) – at least 3 semester hours, 5 quarter hours (This course may be combined with the biological sciences so long as the combined hours is at least 6 semester hour or 10 quarter hours)

General Chemistry with laboratories – at least a total of 6 semester hours or 10 quarter hours,

Organic Chemistry with laboratories (may be environmental organic chemistry) – at least a total of 3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours.

Physics – (may be environmental physics) at least 3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours.

Basic Science – (at least 6 semester hours or 10 quarter hours)

2. Communication: (at least 21 hr.)

Graduates need good communication skills. These skills include cultural competency and the ability to speak effectively and persuasively with others individually, in small groups, and in making formal presentations respectfully. Furthermore, writing skills need to be sufficient to be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences.

To meet this requirement, students must have acquired competence in the following areas:

Information technology/Computer skills met by EH 304 which is incorporated into the EH degree (3hr.)

Public speaking met by Oral Communications/Public Speaking transferred in as GER (3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours)

Technical writing met by English 1 & English 2 (6 semester hours or 10 quarter hours) transferred in as GER, plus 3 EH Intensive Courses taken from MSSU: EH 312, EH 371, & EH 481, these EH courses are incorporated into the degree (9 hr.)

3. Mathematics: (at least 3 hours or 5 quarter hours)

College Algebra or higher (3 hr.), calculus is recommended but not required

*This list is subject to periodic change by EHAC

Environmental Health Faculty Contacts for the Environmental Health degree:

Dr. Mike Fletcher, Program Director

Missouri Southern State University

Biology and Environmental Health

3950 E. Newman Rd.

Joplin, MO 64801


Mr. Michael Kennedy


Missouri Southern State University

Biology and Environmental Health

3950 E. Newman Rd.

Joplin, MO 64801


For environmental health program accreditation information contact:

The National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)

8620 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite A Seattle, WA 98115

Ph (206) 522-5272 Fax (206) 985-9805