• Occupational health and safety specialists use complex testing equipment
  • Program director Carol Boraiko worked as an industrial hygienist
  • Learn about regulations, hazards, and prevention with hands-on experiences
  • Work in a field to protect employees, environment, and the public

Occupational Health and Safety, M.S.

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.

Health/beauty company promotes alumnus

Health/beauty company promotes alumnus

MTSU alumnus Matt Powers enrolled in the Occupational Health and Safety master’s program in 2010 when his employment ended due to economic factors. Powers was promoted to environmental, health, and safety (EHS) supervisor for a health and beauty care manufacturer in April 2016. “Being able to work on various projects for different companies while at MTSU was a big benefit,” Powers says. He assisted on many projects in a co-op position at an aerospace company. A Plant and Soil Science B.S. graduate in 2007, Powers returned to MTSU for his M.S. because of the Occupational H&S small class sizes. “You actually got to know your professors, and they got to know you. Everyone there wants you to succeed,” he says. “Industry contacts are also a big plus.” Powers, now a certified safety professional (CSP) and associated safety professional (ASP), supervises recycling operations and three employees. He oversees confined space rescue and hazmat teams, makes regulatory reports, handles shipping off hazardous/non-hazardous waste, and answers EHS questions from co-workers, among other duties.

Grad enforces industrial hygiene regulations

Grad enforces industrial hygiene regulations

Eva Glosson got passionate about occupational health and safety when three major mining disasters happened during her final semester as an MTSU Geology major. She minored in Environmental Science and Technology, where Dr. Carol Boraiko’s class discussed the mine accidents. “Occupational safety and health isn’t just common sense—it’s a lot of little things.  . . . You literally get to save lives every day,” Glosson says. She did research with Boraiko on two published papers and landed a job with an Alcoa smelter in August 2008 in Washington state before finishing her Occupational Health and Safety M.S. online that December. She now is an industrial hygienist compliance officer with Washington state, which OSHA allows to enforce its own stringent health and safety regulations. “I don’t know of any other master’s programs where you have so many opportunities through internships, research, going to governors’ conferences, things like that, that really help you with networking and understanding what you’re going to walk into in the real world.”

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
  • Safety director
  • Safety specialist 

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Amazon
  • Bridgestone
  • Coca-Cola
  • ERS-USA
  • Feintool Tennessee
  • General Mills
  • General Motors
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Dept.
  • Nissan
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Select Staffing
  • State of Washington
  • Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation
  • United Technologies
  • Vi-Jon, Inc.

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. 

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Other programs

The Department of Engineering Technology also offers courses for the Master of Science (M.S.) in Professional Science concentration in Engineering Management.

Undergraduate students majoring in Engineering Technology can pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in one of three concentrations: Computer Engineering Technology, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, or Mechanical Engineering Technology. Other departmental majors leading to a B.S. include Environmental Sustainability and Technology and Mechatronics Engineering. Interested students may take courses in Pre-engineering. Undergraduate minors available include Electronics, Engineering Systems, and Engineering Technology.

Engineering Technology, Occupational Health and Safety Concentration, M.S.

Saleh Sbenaty, Program Director
(615) 898-2966
Saleh.Sbenaty@mtsu.edu

The Department of Engineering Technology offers the Master of Science degree in Engineering Technology with concentrations in Engineering Technology as well as Occupational Health and Safety and thesis and non-thesis options. The department also offers courses in the Master of Science in Professional Science concentration in Engineering Management.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants typically have a GRE quantitative score of 148 or higher and a verbal score of 143 or higher.

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.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Occupational Health and Safety requires 30 hours (thesis option), with at least 21 hours at the 6000 level. The non-thesis option requires 36 hours, with at least 26 hours at the 6000 level.

Students are expected to have completed 3 semester hours of an approved research tool on the undergraduate or graduate level. Students not meeting this requirement will be expected to complete it as part of their program of study.

Students in the thesis option must complete and successfully defend a thesis (3 hours).

Students following the non-thesis option must successfully complete the research project within the required ET 6190 Six Sigma course, complete a report on the project, and present the results.

Curriculum: Engineering Technology, Occupational Health and Safety

Candidate must complete 30 (thesis option) or 36 (non-thesis option) hours in the following course of study:

Thesis Option (30 hours)

 

Core Courses (18 hours)

 

  • ET 6010 - Safety Planning  3 credit hours  

    ET 6010 - Safety Planning

    3 credit hours

    Advanced study of planning in occupational safety and health management, including program planning and development methods and techniques as well as various systems approaches to hazard control.

  • ET 6190 - Six Sigma  3 credit hours  

    ET 6190 - Six Sigma

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MATH 1530 or equivalent or consent of instructor. The Six Sigma methodology is defined as a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining, and maximizing business success. Through class instruction, simulations, and hands-on projects, students will be able to identify and focus on customers' critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristics and solve problems using the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) process and its associated tools. A Green Belt certification will be awarded upon successful completion of an industry/business Green Belt project.

  • ET 6300 - PMI Project Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Project management processes and knowledge areas as sanctioned by the International Project Management Institute (PMI). Successful completion of the course will earn 23 contact hours/professional development units (PDUs) issued by PMI.

  • ET 6390 - Productivity Strategies/Lean Systems

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate standing and ET 3910 or consent of instructor. Topics include the human element (supervisory and teamwork skills), the theoretical aspect (laws and science covering service and production systems), and the practical aspect (tools for lean operational systems implementation). Theoretical and practical methods needed to complete a required industry/business project and obtain a certification in Lean Manufacturing.

  • ET 6620 - Methods of Research

    3 credit hours

    Introduces Master of Science students to scholarly research principles and to thesis formats for research reporting. A problem is researched and written up in thesis proposal format.

  • ET 6710 - Current and Future Trends in Engineering and Technology

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. The latest advancements and practices in various engineering and technology fields. Selected topics may include computers and electronics, networking and telecommunication, instrumentation, lasers, automation and robotics, manufacturing and rapid prototyping, bioengineering and biotechnology, and renewable energy sources. Takes a student-centered, hands-on learning approach and focuses on understanding new technologies and how technology is used in the industry. Research projects will provide appropriate experience and accommodate individual's interest.

Concentration Courses (9 hours)

 

  • ET 6020 - Safety Technology and Engineering

    3 credit hours

    Advanced study of the technical components of occupational workplace hazards, hazards analysis, workplace design, current regulatory requirements, engineering techniques for hazard control, personal protective systems, equipment and techniques. Includes a practical application problem of hazard analysis and control.

  • ET 6040 - Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

    3 credit hours

    An advanced quantitative study of occupational and environmental health principles, practices, and sampling techniques as required by either consensus or regulatory standards and their specific protocols to protect both workers and the public.

  • ET 6070 - Anthropometric Factors in Accident Prevention

    3 credit hours

    The necessity and desirability of a thorough consideration of anthropometric factors when designing facilities and equipment and recognition of those factors most prevalent in accidents.

Thesis Course (3 hours)

 

  • ET 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  (3 credit hours) 

    ET 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ET 6620. Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Non-thesis Option (36 hours)

 

Core Courses (18 hours)

 

  • ET 6010 - Safety Planning  3 credit hours  

    ET 6010 - Safety Planning

    3 credit hours

    Advanced study of planning in occupational safety and health management, including program planning and development methods and techniques as well as various systems approaches to hazard control.

  • ET 6190 - Six Sigma  3 credit hours  

    ET 6190 - Six Sigma

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MATH 1530 or equivalent or consent of instructor. The Six Sigma methodology is defined as a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining, and maximizing business success. Through class instruction, simulations, and hands-on projects, students will be able to identify and focus on customers' critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristics and solve problems using the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) process and its associated tools. A Green Belt certification will be awarded upon successful completion of an industry/business Green Belt project.

  • ET 6300 - PMI Project Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Project management processes and knowledge areas as sanctioned by the International Project Management Institute (PMI). Successful completion of the course will earn 23 contact hours/professional development units (PDUs) issued by PMI.

  • ET 6390 - Productivity Strategies/Lean Systems

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate standing and ET 3910 or consent of instructor. Topics include the human element (supervisory and teamwork skills), the theoretical aspect (laws and science covering service and production systems), and the practical aspect (tools for lean operational systems implementation). Theoretical and practical methods needed to complete a required industry/business project and obtain a certification in Lean Manufacturing.

  • ET 6620 - Methods of Research

    3 credit hours

    Introduces Master of Science students to scholarly research principles and to thesis formats for research reporting. A problem is researched and written up in thesis proposal format.

  • ET 6710 - Current and Future Trends in Engineering and Technology

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. The latest advancements and practices in various engineering and technology fields. Selected topics may include computers and electronics, networking and telecommunication, instrumentation, lasers, automation and robotics, manufacturing and rapid prototyping, bioengineering and biotechnology, and renewable energy sources. Takes a student-centered, hands-on learning approach and focuses on understanding new technologies and how technology is used in the industry. Research projects will provide appropriate experience and accommodate individual's interest.

Concentration Courses (9 hours)

 

  • ET 6020 - Safety Technology and Engineering

    3 credit hours

    Advanced study of the technical components of occupational workplace hazards, hazards analysis, workplace design, current regulatory requirements, engineering techniques for hazard control, personal protective systems, equipment and techniques. Includes a practical application problem of hazard analysis and control.

  • ET 6040 - Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

    3 credit hours

    An advanced quantitative study of occupational and environmental health principles, practices, and sampling techniques as required by either consensus or regulatory standards and their specific protocols to protect both workers and the public.

  • ET 6070 - Anthropometric Factors in Accident Prevention

    3 credit hours

    The necessity and desirability of a thorough consideration of anthropometric factors when designing facilities and equipment and recognition of those factors most prevalent in accidents.

Individualized Study Course (3 hours)

 

  • ET 6510 - Advanced Topics in Technology

    3 credit hours

    Independent investigation and report of current problems of particular interest to individual students directed by department faculty members.

  • ET 6910 - Problems in Engineering Technology

    3 credit hours

    Independent investigation and report of a problem in engineering technology. Designed to meet the particular needs of the students; pursued under the direction of a department faculty member.

Electives (6 hours)*

Complete 6 semester hours from approved courses.

* The program may include a cognate of 6 hours in management and marketing, computer science, economics, computer information systems, or psychology.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.

Contact and Student Information

Carol Boraiko, Program Director
carol.boraiko@mtsu.edu
615‐898‐2106

Carol Boraiko, Program Director
carol.boraiko@mtsu.edu
615‐898‐2106

Department of Engineering Technology
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 19
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132 

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 3713

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