The occupational and environmental health sciences (OEHS) major prepares you to work in environmental health, occupational health, safety and industrial hygiene. As of 2022, the OEHS bachelor’s program is ranked No. 1 among the top 25 undergraduate programs in occupational health and safety by Best Health Degrees.

The goal of occupational and environmental health sciences is to control hazardous workplace and environmental exposures to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses that affect the health, performance and well-being of workers and the general public. Purdue’s OEHS program emphasizes hazardous exposure assessment, understanding the relationships between exposure and disease and using engineering controls to eliminate such hazards. Both the Purdue University bachelor’s and master’s programs are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET. With a shortage of OEHS professionals, graduates of this program are in high demand.

Note: OEHS is not to be confused with occupational or physical therapy, which are healthcare professions that help patients perform daily living and working tasks or recover from functional problems. Occupational and physical therapists pursue master’s degrees in occupational or physical therapy.

Career Opportunities

  • Industrial hygienist
  • Environmental health scientist
  • Occupational and environmental specialist
  • Occupational, environmental and safety specialist
  • Occupational/environmental engineer
  • Toxicologist
  • Environmental risk assessor
  • Health and safety officer

Potential Areas of Advanced Study

  • Occupational health and safety
  • Environmental health
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Environmental engineering
  • Public health
  • Occupational medicine – OEHS graduates meet all or most prerequisites for medical and pre-professional schools.
  • Law school

Note: Students completing a BS in OEHS at Purdue may be able to finish an MS degree in OEHS at an accelerated pace.

Learning Experiences

View Complete List of Courses Degree Requirements
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Educational Objectives, Student Enrollment and Graduation Data

Data on our undergraduate program’s educational objectives, student outcomes, student enrollment and graduation data can be found on our accreditation page.

“My advice is to be flexible in both your educational and social experiences. I came in as an engineering major, and now I’m interested in pursuing medicine, which is something I never would’ve thought of during my freshman year.”

— Eileen