Environmental Health Certificate

Nursing Forum Magazine Spring 2021

Connecting the Dots

Nurses are uniquely poised to see and understand important connections between our bodies and the world around us and to advocate for the health of people and the planet. Read more.

Prepare to take on environmental health duties within a wide range of health care settings.

The relationship between human health and our environment, including air (indoor and out), water, food, and products is a vital part of nursing assessments. To meet this growing need, UMSON has developed the 12-credit graduate certificate in Environmental Health for professional nurses. 

This certificate program will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency roles in environmental health as well as the critical role they play in protecting environmental and public health. It will prepare you to engage in environmental health activities within health care settings, including:

  • local and state health departments
  • regulatory agencies
  • non-profit/advocacy organizations.

This certificate is open to professional nurses who want to develop skills in the new and emerging field of environmental health.

How It Works

The Environmental Health Nursing Certificate program:

  • is offered fully online
  • can be completed in two semesters
  • has classes starting either in the fall or spring

Program Snapshot


As little as 2 semesters



Tuition and Fees View overview

In State Tuition: $873.00/credit
Out of State Tuition: $1,549.00/credit



More Information

Courses You'll Take

Core Courses:

  • NURS 730 Environmental Health
  • NURS 735 Applied Toxicology
  • NURS 764 Advanced Environmental Health

Variable Course:

System-wise, the University of Maryland has a number of schools that collectively provide students with a multitude of choices to explore an additional area of environmental health or population-based health studies. The following are some examples, but not an exhaustive list:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
NURS 769 Society, Health, and Social Justice
NURS 664 Critical Issues in Global Health
NURS 671 Epidemiological Assessment Strategies
NURS 761 Populations at Risk in Community/Public Health
NURS 780 Health Promotion and Population Health
NURS 795 Biostats
University of Maryland School of Medicine
SOM 611 Exposure, Risk, and Public Health
SOM 600 Principles of Epidemiology
University of Maryland, College Park
EPIB 610 Foundations of Epidemiology
EPIB 622  Social Determinants of Health
EPIB 623  Epidemiology of Health Disparities
EPIB 624  Genetics and Public Health
HLTH 606  Foundations of Public Health Education
HLTH 665  Health Behavior I
HLTH 670 Public Health Informatics and Communication
ENST 647  Advanced Biodiversity, Ecology, and Human Health
GEOG 600  Introduction to Human Geography
GEOG 614  Human Dimensions of Global Change 
GEOG 635  Population and Environment 
MIEH 600  Foundations in Environmental Health 
MIEH 710  Major Environmental Pollutants 
MIEH 740  Environmental Health Risk Assessment 
MIEH 770  Law and Policy in Environmental Health 
MIEH 773  Biological Contaminants in the Environment 
University of Maryland, Baltimore County  
GES 601  Introduction to Geography and Environmental Systems 
GES 636  Global Environmental Issues 

NOTE: Not all the options listed above are offered in a given semester or online, and the list is not exhaustive.

Course Descriptions:

To view course descriptions for upcoming courses, search the course catalog.


Sample Plan of Study

Sample Plan of Study (12 Credits)

Semester Course # Course Credits
Fall NURS 730* Environmental Health I 3
Spring NURS 735 Applied Toxicology 3
Fall NURS 764 Advanced Environmental Health 3
Variable XXX** Environmental Health Elective 3
    Total Credits 12

*NURS 730 is offered in both the fall and summer semesters.

**A range of environmental health courses are available and noted in the Course Listing accordion. This flexibility is built into the certificate to allow the student an opportunity to extensively explore a specific aspect of environmental health. This course selection must be approved by the program director. 

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your education.

Type of Aid Award
Federal Scholarships and Loan Opportunities various award amounts
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition, fees, and books
(based on in-state tuition)

Did you know? Our certificate programs are eligible for Federal Student Aid. If you are interested in learning more about how you can apply financial aid to this certificate, contact University Student Financial Assistance.

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships

All students receiving funds through the University must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline.

  • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
  • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.

Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 | nrsscholarships@umaryland.edu

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 | aidtalk@umaryland.edu

Admission Requirements

In this section:


  • fall enrollment: rolling admissions review begins Feb. 1
  • spring enrollment: rolling admissions review begins Sept. 1
  • summer enrollment: rolling admissions review begins Feb. 1


To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • be a registered nurse
  • have a bachelor’s degree or be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

If you’re a graduate student, you may complete the certificate concurrently with your other graduate studies.

Application Materials:


Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.

The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:

  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.

You can save your progress and return to your application at a later date. We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates.

One recommendation. Your recommendation must come from a mentor, teacher, employer, fellow student, or professional colleague who can speak knowledgeably about your potential to successfully complete the certificate program.

Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.


Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your submission.

Essay. Please submit a concise essay (no more than 350 words) addressing the following: How will earning this certificate impact your care of the population you expect to serve after graduation?

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.

Returning students are not required to submit UMSON transcripts; we will upload a copy of your UMSON transcript to your application.

Have each institution submit electronically to admissions.nursing@umaryland.edu.

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status. 

Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Scholarships to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.


Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN 
Director, Environmental Health Certificate
Associate Professor

Katie McElroy, PhD, RN
Associate Professor

What You'll Do

After earning your Certificate in Environmental Health, you’ll be prepared to:

  • Assess common environmental health exposures in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
  • Apply the basic principles of toxicology to environmental health problems.
  • Develop intervention strategies to reduce individual and community-wide exposures to potentially toxic exposures.
  • Communicate about health risks associated with environmental exposures.
  • Note the contribution that disproportionate environmental exposures can have on health disparities.
  • Access credible scientific sources of information regarding the relationship between human health and the environment.
  • Advocate for institutional, legislative, and regulatory policies that protect the environment and promote environmental health.
  • Develop institutional strategies toward sustainability and environmental health.
  • Identify the special vulnerabilities to environmental impacts that humans face through the life stages.
  • Consider the role that biological monitoring and its resulting body burden data should have on environmental policies and practices.
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