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Department of Environmental Health

College of Public Health

Honors in Discipline

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Academic Criteria Curriculum
Honors Thesis Graduation
Administration Resources
Ancillary Programs  
  1. Academic Criteria

    1. Admission to the program
      • Entering freshman must have a high school GPA of 3.5+ and one of the following: an ACT score of 27+, or an SAT score of 1280+.

      • ETSU students entering after their freshman year must have an overall GPA of 3.5+ with a GPA of 3.5+ in science courses.

      • Transfer students must have an overall GPA of 3.5+ with a GPA of 3.5+ in science courses.

      • Admissions to the Department of Environmental Health Honors Program will be limited to 3 students per academic year.

    2. Retention in the program

      • A student must remain registered for a minimum of 12 credits per semester. If a student is awarded an HID Scholarship a minimum of 15 credits per semester is required (with the exception of the final semester).

      • A student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.5+ with a GPA of 3.5+ in science courses.

      • Honors students who do not meet these requirements may request probation. The honors course professors and the Honors Program Coordinator will meet with the student, review the request, and make a decision regarding probation. If the student meets the retention requirements after the probationary period, then they will remain in the ENVH Honors Program.

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  2. Curriculum

    1. Honors course requirements - The honors program will consist of a minimum of 18 credits, including 12 credits of ENVH honors courses, a 1 credit honors research orientation course, at least 4 credits of honors thesis research, and a 1 credit honors seminar course.

    2. Honors course descriptions

      • ENVH 3888. Honors Research Orientation (1 credit). An honors course reviewing the principles, designs, methods, materials, and tools of research employed in environmental health sciences. Students will identify and initiate a research project appropriate for the Honors Thesis.

      • ENVH 4018. Honors Thesis Research (1-3 credits). Honors thesis research. Must complete a minimum of 4 credits.

      • ENVH 4888. Honors Seminar (1 credit). Students will orally present the results of their honors thesis research. Credit can be earned by presenting the research results at a professional meeting.

      • ENVH Honors Courses (minimum 12 credits)

        • ENVH 3100-088. Water Supplies and Wastewater Treatment (3 credits). An introduction to water and wastewater treatment, municipal, semiprivate, and private systems. Reviews sources, chemical and biological quality, and water pollution. Honors students will participate in selected portions of the standard course materials learning opportunities and complete additional enrichment experiences.  These experiences may include a combination of: critical review of selected scientific literature, visiting and observing water and wastewater treatment operations, development of a research prospectus, and/or reporting on literature research findings and visit experiences to peers. Prerequisites: one semester course in general microbiology and one semester course in organic chemistry.

        • ENVH 3400-088. Air Quality (3 credits). A study of the causes, effects, and control of air pollution. Emphasis is placed on ways individuals, communities, metropolitan areas, and industry can prevent or control pollution. The Honors Students will participate in a combination of the standard lectures and additional individual mini-research projects on selected air quality topics. In addition one major research paper and class presentation will be due and presented at the end of the school semester.

        • ENVH 4000-088. Public Health Law (3 hours). An introduction to Public Health Law, including a study of the legal powers available for implementing programs, methods for their most effective use, and recognition and management of legal problems; an analysis of the legal relationship of an environmentalist to the government, the staff, and the public. Not required of international students. Honors students will also participate in a combination of the standard lectures and additional tutorials. The tutorials include in depth learning and class presentations on selected topics, critical analysis, and review of selected public health law and policy literature. Honors students will participate in one or more classroom role playing exercises, and attend one or more trials and/or government hearings.  Observations of the legal process will be reported to the class.

        • ENVH 4340-088. Occupational Health (3 credits). An introduction to the study of occupational health/industrial hygiene including the history, importance and current status of the field. Students will study regulations, exposure assessment, exposure monitoring, health effects, and the duties of an occupational health specialist/industrial hygienist. This includes the physical, chemical, and biological factors affecting workers and the role of the Industrial Hygienist in anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling these factors. Honors students will participate in all class activities as well as an additional research paper which they will present to the class. The honors student will be expected to submit this paper for either a poster or student presentation at a national conference.

        • ENVH 4357-088. Toxicology (3 credits). A study of the essentials of toxicology, including toxicity determinations and measurements, and biologic factors important in understanding toxicity. Also presented are reviews of toxic substances in air, water, foods, and the workplace with a consideration of exposure limits, their rational and evaluation methods. Honors students will participate in a combination of the standard lectures and additional tutorials. The tutorials include in depth learning and class presentations on selected topics, critical analysis and review of selected scientific literature, and development of a research prospectus.

        • ENVH 4710-088. Introduction to Hazardous Waste Management (3 credits). This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to hazardous waste management at the national, state and local level. The course will review the historical aspects and regulatory structure of hazardous waste management and its development in the United States during the past fifty years. The course will also consider factors related to environmental contamination and adverse impacts to natural systems and human populations. Particular emphasis will be placed on human health and ecological risk assessment as it relates to the improper handling and disposal of hazardous waste. Methods employed to manage hazardous waste, reduce waste stream toxicity, assess chemical releases to the environment and to remediate contaminated lands will be discussed in a contemporary context. In addition to the basic course requirements, honors track students will be required to conduct a critical analysis of two professional papers that address contemporary issues in hazardous wastes management and risk assessment. The successful outcome of this assessment must be demonstrated through the preparation of a written critical review and a subsequent presentation in the Department of Environmental Health Seminar series.

    3. Course sequence

      • It is expected that honors students will enroll in Honors Research Orientation no later than the first semester of their junior year or upon acceptance into the program.

      • ENVH honors students are required to complete a research based Honors Thesis. The students must enroll for a minimum of 3 credits in Honors Thesis Research prior to their final semester. Thesis research credit can be used to fulfill the Environmental Health internship requirement.

      • Honors students will orally present the results of their Honors Thesis research by enrolling in the Honors Seminar during their final semester. Credit can also be earned by presenting their research at a professional meeting.

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  3. Honors Thesis

    • The Department of Environmental Health will require the completion of an honors thesis (ENVH 4018) as the capstone course. A faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health, chosen by the student, will direct the thesis project. Two additional faculty members, one from Environmental Health and one from outside the Department will serve on an advisory committee with the project director and also act as readers of the thesis. The project should be chosen, and a literature search and written proposal of the project approved prior to beginning research. A formal thesis will be submitted and publicly defended at the project's conclusion.

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  4. Graduation

    • To graduate with an Environmental Health Honors Major, students must have completed all honors program requirements, major course requirements, and successfully completed and orally presented their Honors Thesis. The overall GPA must be 3.5+, including a GPA of 3.5+ in science.

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  5. Administration

    1. Director

      • An appointed honors program coordinator will be responsible for the ENVH honors program. The coordinator will convene regular meetings of the honors program faculty, and will chair the departmental committee on honors program standards.

      • Each semester the honors program coordinator will advise honors students, maintain folders, monitor progress, assemble reports, and insure, within some degree of flexibility, an equitable distribution of the workload for directing honors theses.

      • The director can earn up to 3 credits of release time as negotiated with the department chair.

    2. Honors faculty

      The honors faculty will consist of those teaching honors courses in any given year.

    3. A departmental committee will establish writing and research standards for the honors program.

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  6. Resources

    • The Department of Environmental Health has a strong graduate program and possesses the expertise, strength and diversity to support an honors program.

    • The Department is 1 of 23 nationally accredited Environmental Health Programs and the first to be accredited for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

    • Financial Aid: Students accepted into the Department of Environmental Health Honors Program are eligible for a variety of academic financial aid and scholarships.

    • Honors students are eligible to receive Honors-in-Discipline Scholarships that cover tuition and most fees.

    • Out of State residents will have out of state tuition waived upon acceptance into the Honors Program.

    • Tennessee resident honors students are also eligible for the TN HOPE Scholarship Program.

    • ETSU Academic Performance Scholarships (APS). The APS provides financial aid, which covers most of tuition.

    • Funding is available to support Honors Thesis Research from the College of Public and Allied Health.

    • Additional university scholarship programs are available.

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  7. Ancillary Programs and Opportunities

    • Student National Environmental Health Association

    • Epsilon Nu Eta: National Environmental Health Honors Society

    • Center for Disease Control Student Research and Travel Awards

    • Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs Awards

    • University Research Forum Awards

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