The Occupational Health and Safety master’s program, a concentration in Engineering Technology, offers mostly evening classes to accommodate working adults attending school part-time. Occupational health and safety specialists analyze workplaces to help prevent disease and injury to workers and damage to the environment related to biological, chemical, ergonomic, and physical factors. They may inspect work environments for potential hazards, design new programs and procedures, and enforce public health and safety regulations. MTSU’s graduate degree includes both thesis and non-thesis options. Courses cover a range of topics such as industrial hygiene, fire safety, federal and state safety and environmental laws, safety psychology, ergonomics, toxicology, industrial safety, and safety planning. Faculty members have strong academic backgrounds and practical work experience in engineering, industrial management, vocational education, safety, and industrial hygiene. Graduate assistantships are available to qualified students. Also there may be internships, short-term work experiences, and cooperative education experiences available.
Occupational Health and Safety is a concentration leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree at MTSU under the Engineering Technology major. In addition, there is also an Engineering Technology concentration. Thesis and non-thesis options are available for both programs.
To be admitted, applicants must have:
taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)—typically a GRE quantitative score of 148 and a verbal score of 143 for successful applications
a bachelor’s degree
Application deadlines: April 15 for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships and admission in the Summer or Fall; Oct. 1 for admission in the Spring. Applications will be accepted after these dates, but admission consideration is not guaranteed.
NOTE: The GRE may be waived for those students who have a GPA of at last 3.00 from the MTSU Engineering Technology undergraduate program.
Students complete 18 hours of core courses including safety planning and take 9 hours of concentration courses in safety technology and engineering, accident prevention, and occupational and environmental hygiene. The thesis option is a 30-hour program, while the non-thesis option is 36 hours with a Six Sigma research project course and 6 hours of electives that can include a cognate in management, computer science, economics, or psychology.
The median annual wage for occupational health and safety specialists was $70,210 in May 2015, and the job outlook is expected to grow by 7.4% in Tennessee—almost double the national projection. The majority of graduates are employed by industry or government. Some pursue other advanced degrees. Federal agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Occupational health and safety specialists also work in management, scientific, and technical consulting services; education services; hospitals; and manufacturing.
Some types of positions held by graduates:
Certified industrial hygienist
Chief safety officer
Corporate safety director
Director of employee safety and health
Energy management specialist
Environmental health and safety (EHS) officer or manager
Environmental management specialist
Environmental protection officers
Environmental scientist or specialist
Health and safety engineer
Health and safety manager
Occupational health and safety technician
Risk control consultant
Safety and health consultant
Employers of MTSU alumni include:
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Dept.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
State of Washington
Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation