As a requirement of the MHS in Environmental Health degree program, the student must write an essay and present a summary of it during a formal seminar/symposium to program students and faculty. No written or oral comprehensive examination is required for this degree. The MHS essay is intended to serve as an integrating experience for the students. The content is based on an environmental health problem that is pertinent to the educational goals of the student and approved by the advisor. Insofar as the topic allows, the essay must synthesize, to varying extents, information across the spectrum from basic toxicology through exposure assessment and policy.
The essay should represent a substantive application of analytic and technical skills in reviewing, exploring, and proposing potential solutions to a problem pertinent to environmental health. It is not a research paper or thesis, but rather an informative and in-depth literature review of a topic of interest to the student that has current environmental health relevance.
The essay must be between 7,800 and 9,600 words of text (equivalent to about 30 pages), with at least 30 peer-reviewed journal article references in addition to other, e.g. Internet, references. The pages must be 1.5 or double-spaced using 12 point font with one inch margins. All Essays must contain: Title Page; Table of contents; text with section headings and a reference list. The latter will be in alphabetical order by first author or numbered consecutively and follow a format decided upon by the student and their advisor. Tables and figures may be incorporated into the body of the text but must be annotated to indicate the source of each.
All students will register for three terms of 180.860, Special Studies MHS Essay, corresponding to the last three terms leading to completion of their program requirements – typically 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Terms. Students who do not successfully complete the requirements for all three terms of this Special Studies course will face dismissal from the Program.
The student will meet with the advisor throughout the essay-writing process in order to ensure fulfillment of 180.860 essay requirements, as well as assure that the essay is properly prepared for presentation and final approval. Ultimately, the essay must be reviewed and approved by the advisor and one other faculty member or expert chosen by the student and approved by the advisor.