Advanced Practice Environmental and Occupational Health

Vegetable pickers in field

The Advanced practice Environmental and Occupational Health (APEOH) graduate certificate is open to post-baccalaureate professionals in any discipline and to graduate and professional students currently enrolled in any school or college at the University of Washington who wish to develop advanced skills and expertise in environmental and occupational health nursing.

Individuals interested in the Work and Health Traineeship, a subset of the APEOH program, can see details about the traineeship and its associated funding below.

More than a quarter of the global disease burden is attributable to environmental exposures, with children bearing a disproportionate amount of the risk. Nursing is well placed to address these issues with individuals, families, communities and populations, particularly if provided with the tools and encouragement to act on underlying causes of disease and disability.

The occupational/work setting as a major type of physical environmental space in which people spend significant amounts of time and encounter exposures that impact health. Poor worker health costs businesses trillion of dollars each year. Nursing has a long history of engaging in health and wellness promotion, illness and injury prevention, and protection of workers from work-related and environmental hazards.

In this graduate certificate, you will consider the various elements in the various dimensions of environmental and occupational health including health disparities and the social determinants of health to specific agents (for example, water quality or work stress) and methods (for example, quantitative risk assessment).


The information provided below describes the regular, in-person program offering. Due to the COVID pandemic, however, we are following the State of Washington and campus-wide guidance for in-person attendance, and are offering most courses except laboratory courses (e.g., Advanced Health Assessment) in a distance learning format.

While many APEOH graduate certificate classes include some distance learning methods, there are some classes that require in-person classroom attendance.

Programs of study generally require one to three days of study or clinical practicum weekly. Classwork and fieldwork placements are individualized and developed with a faculty adviser. Clinical practice experiences are offered in urban and rural locations.

In addition to selected class work, students will complete a capstone experience of three or more credits involving mentored research or clinical experience. This experience is negotiated between you and your graduate certificate faculty adviser.

Work and Health Traineeship

Individuals interested in focusing on occupational health and safety can apply for the Work and Health Traineeship, a subset of the APEOH program.

The traineeship is able to offer a quarter of funding to some applicants through the Northwest Education and Research Center (ERC) Training Grant, distributed in the quarter they complete the capstone course. To qualify for the funding, applicants must be eligible to receive federal funding. Funded trainees will be expected to follow the center’s trainee requirements, including taking the Responsible Conduct of Research training and attending center events.

Anyone interested is strongly encouraged to contact for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the traineeship funded?

The Work and Health Traineeship program is able to award one quarter of funding to three students annually. Funds are distributed the quarter the student completes their capstone project. If you are eligible to receive federal funding, you will be considered for funding when applying to the program.

How is the Work and Health Traineeship related to the APEOH certificate?

The Work and Health Traineeship is a subset of the APEOH certificate. All Work and Health students will earn an APEOH certificate but will have received more specialized training and coursework than students in the general APEOH certificate program. Additionally, only Work and Health Trainees can qualify to receive a quarter of funding.

Are international students eligible?

Funding is limited to students with US citizenship or permanent residency. However, graduate students who can’t receive the funding but are interested in the program can complete an unfunded traineeship.

Can I use classes from my graduate degree program for the certificate?

According to the UW Graduate School’s website, “There are no restrictions on credit sharing between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree program.” However, no credit sharing is allowed between multiple graduate certificates.

Is this program targeted to only PhD students or professional students?

The program is open to both PhD students and professional students who feel like the traineeship would benefit their academic or professional work, as well as, for professionals with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

How long does the certificate take?

The program timeline is flexible. However, most students will need at least three quarters, as the program includes core courses typically offered in Autumn and Spring. If you are interested in the program, but are concerned about finishing it on time, we encourage you to reach out to the program director.

Can students use state employee tuition exemption if they are eligible?

The program is state funded, so students can use their exemption for qualifying certificate classes in accordance with the Registrar’s guidelines.