Department of Health

The Environmental Health Program

Charles V. Shorten Ph.D, P.E.
209 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester, PA 19383

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Health

West Chester University prepares talented students for the technical and professional demands of careers, dedicated to the protection of human health and the environment. The general education curriculum includes courses in the basic sciences, humanities, social and behavioral studies, mathematics, literature, and the arts. Additional courses in biology, chemistry, physics and geology broaden and strengthen the scientific foundation of the Environmental Health student. Finally, applied coursework in such topics as toxicology, risk assessment, water quality, industrial hygiene, emergency preparedness, environmental regulations, hazardous waste operations, bioterrorism, and research methods prepare the student for internships with government agencies, private industry, environmental consulting firms, and non-profit agencies.

pH Measurements
Student calibrates the pH meter for a stream measurement. Water Quality class, July 2007.

Model Curriculum:
Entering Freshmen: Please click the link, above, to view the recommended course sequence for students entering the Environmental Health major at the beginning of their college careers. This plan balances the course load and ensures that pre-requisite courses are taken, when needed, for advancement to higher-level courses.

Advising Sheet:
Transfer Students and Change of Major: Many students transfer into the Environmental Health major from other colleges or universities. West Chester University examines these transcripts to determine course equivalencies and an individualized student plan is made under the direction of an academic advisor in the Environmental Health Program. We work with local institutions to reach "articulation" agreements that make the transfer to WCU seamless. Other students within WCU change their majors to Environmental Health and they too receive individualized advising. Please see the advising sheet at the link, above, to determine the courses necessary to complete the B.S. Environmental Health degree.

Students, who complete their coursework with a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5, complete a 12-credit internship with an external company or agency. Internships are the best way to prepare oneself for employment in the environmental health field; West Chester University students consistently exceed the expectations of internship supervisors, which often results in an offering of permanent employment. Please review the link of the same name for a listing of internship posting sites.

WCU Environmental Health graduates enjoy employment with some of the nation's most prestigious companies and organizations. Our alumni work at all levels and they often look to WCU for new employees. The link, above, provides an example of some of the past and present employers of our graduates. Please reference the brochure "Careers in Environmental Health," published by the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP) for more information on jobs and careers in Environmental Health. This brochure is also available online at the AEHAP website -

"More than 90% of Environmental Health Graduates who are actively seeking a job have one at graduation or soon after." (National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, 2006)

Professional Affiliation:
West Chester University's Environmental Health Program is an Associate Member of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP). This affiliation gives students access to Environmental Health resources and faculty from 41 different environmental health programs across the U.S. Please visit the AEHAP homepage at to access newsletters, environmental health career information, scholarship/grant opportunities, and links to other environmental health professionals.

Please follow this link for brief biographies of principle faculty members in WCU's Environmental Health programs.

Explore our Environmental Health Laboratory in the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center through the illustrated tour at the clickable link above. The facility, used for both teaching and research, houses analytical equipment for water quality and wastewater analysis; instrumentation including gas chromatography, atomic absorption spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy; microbiological analysis equipment; industrial hygiene instruments for noise, heat, gas and aerosol detection and measurement; personal protective clothing; and a full range of field meters and sample collection devices.

Contact for the B.S. in Environmental Health:
Dr. Charles V. Shorten, Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Director of Environmental Health Programs
222-P Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
Department of Health, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2360 or