Climate Change and Health Concentration

Daniel Carrión, Ph.D., Director

The Climate Change and Health Concentration (CCHC) works to address the severe shortage of public health professionals with the educational background needed to address climate change as a public health issue.

The study of climate change and health is multidisciplinary and should interest students from all YSPH departments. Climate change is an environmental exposure (Department of Environmental Health Sciences) that can affect both infectious (Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases) and chronic (Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology) diseases. Research about the relationship between climate change and health can involve sophisticated modeling (Department of Biostatistics and others). Behavioral change, mental health, and social justice are major concerns (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences). Finally, health management expertise is needed to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies, and climate change involves thorny policy issues (Department of Health Policy and Management).

Concentration Requirements

EHS 547Climate Change and Public Health1
EPH 570Seminar in Climate Change and Health0
EPH 571Seminar in Climate Change and Health0
One of the following:
EHS 544Climate Equity and Health Policy Methods1
EHS 560Methods in Climate Epidemiology1
One of the following:
EPH 521Summer Internship - APE0
EPH 555Clinic in Climate Justice and Public Health1

Also Required Students must take two elective courses from a list of approved courses available from the CCHC administrator. One elective should focus on developing research or applied skills, while the other should explore topics on the social and/or environmental drivers or impacts of climate change. Students may petition the CCHC executive committee to place additional electives on the approved list.

Recommended, but not Required Students are encouraged to complete a thesis with a substantive focus on climate change and health; the CCHC executive committee and affiliated faculty are available to advise interested students on choosing thesis topics. Students are also encouraged to complete a summer internship related to climate change and health; the CCHC will develop a listing of summer internship opportunities for interested students and will also offer competitive funding.


Each student in the Climate Change and Health Concentration will master the core curriculum competencies and the competencies for the student’s department/program. In addition, upon receiving an M.P.H. degree in the Climate Change and Health Concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Describe how the climate has changed, explain the role of greenhouse gases in climate change, and describe how the climate is predicted to change in the future

  • Describe how climate change adversely impacts population health, with differing vulnerability across population subgroups

  • Explain how adaptation and mitigation strategies can reduce adverse health impacts of climate change and can generate substantial non-climate health benefits in a just and equitable manner
  • Apply basic methods used in climate change and health research
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to an applied public health research or public health practice project focused on climate change and health
  • Explain and value the relationship among climate change, public health, and justice