MPH Concentration in Climate and Health

Address Public Health Risks Associated with Climate Change

The George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health is proud to offer the first-of-its-kind Concentration in Climate and Health. This groundbreaking concentration prepares students to understand the scientific foundations of climate change and environmental health, the social dimensions of health risks associated with climate change, and the policies and practices that can mitigate these health risks.

Our core MPH curriculum and expert faculty will prepare you to:

Analyze health risks from anthropogenic climate change and global environmental change using methods and research findings from the epidemiological, environmental exposure assessment and implementation sciences.

Communicate about the effects of climate change and environmental degradation to a wide range of audiences and in a variety of settings.

Manage diverse teams to design, implement and evaluate actions to advance systemic change towards mitigating health risks from climate change and environmental degradation.

The mission of the Climate and Health MPH program is to train individuals to assess environmental exposures and public health risks associated with anthropogenic climate change, and to mitigate these health risks through taking a systems approach that considers crisis phenomena, such as COVID-19, climate-sensitive programming and public policies.

MPH@GW Curriculum and Program Competencies 

Designed to accommodate full- and part-time students, MPH@GW offers two accelerated options — 12 and 18 months — that mirror the on-campus degree requirements. 

These requirements include 45 total credits:


17 core public health course credits


program-specific course credits


Climate & Health concentration course credits 


elective course credits


culminating experience credits

Climate Health curriculum

Required program-specific courses

Students must complete the following program-specific courses:

  • PUBH 6500 Program Planning and Evaluation 
  • PUBH 6052 Practical Data Management and Analysis for Public Health 
  • PUBH 6442 Comparative Global Health Systems
  • PUBH 6503 Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing

Required courses

After completing MPH@GW core courses, you will transition into concentration-specific courses. The following courses are required for the MPH Concentration in Climate and Health:

  • PUBH 6136 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • PUBH 6128 Global Environmental and Occupational Health
  • PUBH 6135 Researching Climate Change and Health
  • PUBH 6140 Global Climate Change and Air Pollution
  • PUBH 6130 Sustainable Energy and the Environment

Elective courses

You will also choose a total of 4 elective credits as part of your program. Some of the recommended electives include:

  • PUBH 6132: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in Low-Income Countries (2 CR)
  • PUBH 6480: Public Health in Humanitarian Settings (2 CR)
  • PUBH 6486: Global Health Programs and Approaches to the Control of Infectious Diseases (2 CR)
  • PUBH 6514: Preventing Health Disparities (2 CR)
  • PUBH 6612: Food Systems in Public Health (2 CR)
  • PUBH 6450: Global Health Diplomacy (2 CR)

These courses will provide you with the tools you need to catalyze systemic changes that mitigate the health risks from climate change and environmental degradation.

Core Competencies

Graduates will finish the program with higher-level competencies, and will be able to:

Evaluate observational studies that examine the relationship between environmental or occupational exposures and health, including biases and study limitations.

Assess environmental and/or occupational exposures that are linked with climate change and evaluate health hazards associated with them.

Examine scientific approaches for studying the effects of climate change on human health.

Communicate the effects of climate change and sustainability actions on public health to varied audiences using evidence-based effective strategies.

Recommend strategies to prevent or control environmental or occupational exposures that are linked with climate change.

Combat the Public Health Risks from Climate Change

Discover how our online Master of Public Health program can prepare you to advance your career while bringing awareness to environmental health risks.  

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