Jan. 8, 2024
Next Start Date
Cost Per Credit Hour
Total Credit Hours
(18 Coursework, 24 Research Credits)
The online Occupational Safety and Health Ph.D. program is designed for students/professionals who aspire to advance their knowledge, research potential, and overall expertise to be able to tackle research and development opportunities in academia, consulting, or high-level industry positions. The program equips students with the skills necessary to tackle complex occupational safety and health challenges by seamlessly integrating structured coursework with applied research. The flexible, self-paced online curriculum allows students to balance their professional commitments while pursuing their doctoral degrees. Optional on-campus sessions and the opportunity to visit the campus to conduct lab-related research enrich the learning experience and foster a deeper understanding of the subject matter. The program's industry-focused curriculum addresses the growing demand for doctoral-level expertise in high-risk sectors such as healthcare, fire safety, construction, and more.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 4 percent yearly increase in job opportunities in this field through 2024, graduates will be ready to address the needs of the public and private sectors. Specifically, the program graduates will help employers adhere to safety and health regulations, and design and implement programs to prevent disease, injury, or environmental damage.
Curriculum in Doctor of Philosophy – Occupational Safety and Health
A candidate for the Ph.D. degree with a major in occupational safety and health must comply with the rules and regulations as outlined in the WVU Graduate Catalog and the specific requirements of the Statler College and the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in occupational safety and health is administered through the college’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. The research work for the doctoral dissertation must show a high degree of originality on the part of the student and must constitute an original contribution to the art and science of occupational safety and health.
All Ph.D. degree candidates are required to perform research and follow a planned program of study. The student’s research advisor, in conjunction with the student’s Advising and Examining Committee (AEC) will be responsible for determining the plan of study appropriate to the student’s needs. The underlying principle of the planned program is to provide the students with the necessary support to complete their degrees and prepare them for their career.
Required core courses for the Ph.D. program are determined by the student’s area of emphasis. The research work for the doctoral dissertation may entail a fundamental investigation or a broad and comprehensive investigation into an area of specialization.
Program Educational Objectives
Drawing from the university's mission, the program mission, and the needs of our constituents, the following educational objectives were developed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Occupational Safety and Health:
In order to meet the Program Educational Objectives, students of the Occupational Safety and Health Doctoral program must be able to meet the following educational outcomes at the time of their graduation. Students will have acquired the ability:
The Occupational Safety and Health Ph.D. program is meticulously designed to offer a self-paced learning structure that caters to the varying needs of full-time students and/or working professionals. The program entails a total of 42 credit hours, encompassing 24 credits dedicated to research work and 18 credits attributed to coursework. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree (with significant work experience) or a master's degree in safety or related fields will be eligible for admission into the program.
Format: Online 8-week courses
Next Start Date: Spring 2024
"Being a WVU graduate and a first-generation college student, I’m happy to be back to help you navigate the WVU System. Something WVU Online wants to do is assist you in creating your sense of community and continuity, making sure you have the answers to any and all questions."
The qualified students must hold B.S. and/or M.S. degrees in safety-related disciplines.
A direct track option from the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree for prospective qualified students with exceptional academic records and/or professional experience is available.
Learn more about faculty experiences in the Occupational Safety and Health, Ph.D. program.
Choudhury is a recipient of the Paul Kaplan Award, the Fabrycky-Blanchard Award and the Excellence Doctoral Fellowship for exemplary academic performance, excellence in research and promise in the study and practice of systems engineering.
Ryu’s research interest centers around human-centered intelligent management systems to maximize occupational performance.
Gouzd's background is in respirator efficiency and filtration of materials / particulates.
Nimbarte received the "Educator of the Year" award in 2021 and the "Outstanding Teacher" award in 2014 from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU for his commitment to achieving and maintaining excellence in both teaching and mentoring.
WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.
Students are encouraged to:
Occupational Safety and Health, Ph.D. total degree cost: Around $30,000 to $35,000 – Residents and Non-Residents
Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all courses
Select six (6) courses from the following based on degree path:
|SAFM 501||Safety Management Integration||3|
|SAFM 502||Controlling Environmental and Personnel Hazards||3|
|SAFM 505||Safety Legislation and Compliance||3|
|SAFM 528||Economic Aspects of Safety||3|
|SAFM 534||Fire Safety Management||3|
|SAFM 550||Loss Control and Recovery||3|
|SAFM 552||Safety and Health Training||3|
|SAFM 601||Research Method||3|
|SAFM 602||Systems Thinking||3|
|SAFM 603||Applied Statistics||3|
|SAFM 640||Instrumentation for Safety Managers||3|
Any BIOM, BMEG, CE, CHE, CHEM, CPE, CS, EE, IENG, IH&S, MAE, MATH, MINE, PCOL, PNGE, PHYS, PUBH, SAFM, SENG, or STAT courses 500-795, as approved by the student's AEC
Total Hours: 42
The students will have three options to complete the research requirements:
We will conduct a virtual orientation session at the beginning of every semester. The students will work closely with the program coordinator to develop a preliminary plan of study by the end of the first semester and their Advising and Examining Committee (AEC) by the end of the second semester.
This examination is designed to assess the basic competency of students in the occupational safety and health field to determine whether or not they have sufficient knowledge to undertake independent research. There are two options available to take the qualifying exam: (1) coursework based; (2) research based.
In order to be admitted to candidacy, the student must pass a candidacy exam, which is designed to evaluate the student’s overall ability to engage in high-level research. A student who has successfully completed all coursework, passed the qualifying examination, and successfully defended the research proposal is defined as one who is a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.
At the completion of the dissertation research, candidates must prepare a dissertation and pass the final oral examination (defense) administered by their AEC. In order to complete the Ph.D. requirements, a student must pass a final oral examination on the results embodied in the dissertation. This examination is open to the public and, in order to evaluate critically the student's competency, may include testing on material in related fields, as deemed necessary by the AEC. In addition, since the Ph.D. degree is primarily a research degree that embodies the results of an original research proposal and represents a significant contribution to scientific literature, the student must submit a manuscript on this research to the AEC.