Department of Health

The Environmental Health Program

Charles V. Shorten Ph.D, P.E.
209 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester, PA 19383

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Health

West Chester University prepares talented students for the technical and professional demands of careers dedicated to the protection of human health and the environment. The general education curriculum includes courses in the basic sciences, humanities, social and behavioral studies, mathematics, literature and the arts. Additional courses in biology, chemistry, physics and geology broaden and strengthen the scientific background of the Environmental Health student. Finally, applied coursework in such topics as toxicology, risk assessment, water quality, industrial hygiene, emergency preparedness, environmental regulations, hazardous waste operations, bioterrorism and research methods prepare the student for internships with government agencies, private industry, environmental consulting firms and non-profit agencies.

pH Measurements

Student calibrates the pH meter for a stream measurement, Water Quality class, July 2007.

Model Curriculum:
Entering Freshmen: Follow this link to see the recommended course sequence for students entering the Environmental Health major at the beginning of their college careers. This plan balances the course load and makes sure that pre-requisite courses are taken when needed for advancement to higher level courses.

Advising Sheet:
Transfer Students and Change of Major: Many students transfer into the Environmental Health major from other colleges or universities. West Chester University examines these transcripts to determine course equivalencies and an individualized student plan is made under the direction of an academic advisor in the Environmental Health Program. We work with local institutions to reach "articulation" agreements that make the transfer to WCU seamless. Other students within WCU change their majors to Environmental Health and they too receive individualized advising. See this advising sheet to determine the courses necessary to complete the B.S. Environmental Health degree.

Students who complete their coursework with a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 complete a 12-credit internship with an external company or agency. Internships are the best way to prepare yourself for employment in the environmental health field, and West Chester University students consistently exceed the expectations of internship supervisors, often resulting in a permanent job offer. See this link for a listing of recent internship posting sites.

WCU Environmental Health graduates enjoy employment with some of the nation's most prestigious companies and organizations. Our alumni work at all levels and they often look to WCU for new employees. The listing at this link shows some of the past and current employers of our graduates. For more general information about jobs and careers in environmental health, see the brochure "Careers in Environmental Health, recently published by the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP) and available online at

"More than 90% of Environmental Health Graduates who are actively seeking a job have one at graduation or soon after." (National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, 2006)

Professional Affiliation:
West Chester University's Environmental Health Program is an Associate Member of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP). This affiliation gives students access to Environmental Health resources and faculty from 41 different environmental health programs across the U.S. See the AEHAP homepage at for newsletters, environmental health career information, scholarship/grant opportunities and links to other environmental health professionals.

Follow this link for brief biographies of principle faculty members in the Environmental Health Program

Follow this link for an illustrated tour of the Environmental Health Laboratory in the Sturzebecker Health Sciences center. This facility, used for both teaching and research, houses analytical equipment for water quality and wastewater analysis; instrumentation including gas chromatography, atomic absorption spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy; microbiological analysis equipment; industrial hygiene instruments for noise, heat, gas and aerosol detection and measurement; personal protective clothing and a full range of field meters and sample collection devices.

For More Information about the B.S. in Environmental Health Contact:
Dr. Maura J. Sheehan, Sc.D., CIH, Professor, Environmental Health Programs
308 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
Department of Health, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2623/2931 or