Graduate Program

  • About the Program
  • Career Planning & Development
  • Funding Opportunities

Courses required of all students in the Health of Agricultural Populations emphasis area include

CPH 610 – Injury Epidemiology and Control (3 semester hours). Explores the distribution and determinants of traumatic injuries and toxic exposures, sources of data, methodological approaches to studying injuries, application of the Haddon matrix, evaluation of injury interventions, and the links between epidemiology and public health policy.

CPH 728 – Advanced Agricultural Health (3 semester hours). Provides an in-depth look at the etiology of illness, early recognition of hazards and risk behaviors, and prevention strategies. Topics include pesticide exposure, respiratory diseases, zoonoses, and traumatic injuries. Includes site visits and input from researchers in multiple disciplines, including faculty of the UK Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Agriculture, Food & Environment. 

MPH students in the emphasis area must complete 42-44 semester hours to graduate, of which 15 must be directly related to agricultural safety and health and injury research.

Prospective and current students in the UK College of Public Health who are interested in work involving agriculture and rural populations should consider linking their research and learning interests with the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention.

The Southeast Center is one of a select number of agricultural disease and injury research, education, and prevention centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH). The Center’s work includes production agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing and aquaculture, and involves transdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners in public health, nursing, biological and agricultural engineering, educational psychology, ergonomics, industrial hygiene,and other fields. Interested students must complete the Declaration of Interest (pdf format) and return the form as directed therein.

The Southeast Center offers courses, seminars, and field experiences open to both master’s and doctoral-level students in all six academic departments in the UK College of Public Health: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Gerontology, Health Behavior, Health Management & Policy, and Preventive Medicine & Environmental Health. These opportunities are designed to help students:

  • Understand the economic, social, and business variables that affect populations in fishing, forestry, and agriculture.
  • Identify occupational and life-style related health risks for various populations, including farm children, older workers, minorities, persons with disabilities, hired farm workers, loggers, and fishers.
  • Assess how changes in forestry, fishing, and agriculture may affect the health of agricultural populations in years to come
  • Appreciate the benefits of working to identify and address issues in health and injury prevention as part of larger, transdisciplinary teams that may include farmers, Extension agents, teachers, nurses, physicians, engineers, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of agricultural health and safety issues within the student's chosen discipline, with an emphasis on the application of theoretical, analytical, and management principles.
  • Envision and apply research-to-practice initiatives that will benefit agricultural populations and promote public health.

It is anticipated that graduates with the Health of Agricultural Populations emphasis will be employed in state and county health departments, Cooperative Extension offices, colleges of agriculture and public health, and federal agencies such as NIOSH, EPA, and USDA. The knowledge and skills acquired will enable graduates to attain leadership roles in agricultural safety and health, particularly in the areas of needs assessment, policy development, and translation of research to practice.

In the first decade of the program, more than fifty graduate students in public health and nursing have taken at least one course in the Health of Agricultural Populations. In addition to classes, students have been able to attend important scientific conferences and professional seminars. These have included, but certainly are not limited to, the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (formerly the National Institute for Farm Safety), conferences of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), Agricultural Medicine: Occupational and Environmental Health for Rural Health Professionals: The Core Course (University of Iowa), and the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NAACT Clintox). 

Offered at a land-grant university with colleges of agriculture, medicine, nursing, engineering, public health, social work, communications, and education located on a single campus, the Health of Agricultural Populations emphasis area provides unparalleled opportunities for transdisciplinary research, learning, and professional development.

Limited funding is available to support capstone projects, practicum experiences, data collection and scientific conference travel for qualified students. Current and prospective students who are interested in public health issues and research involving agriculture and rural populations should contact the Center at 859-323-6836.

NIOSH Training Program (MPH students only)

As of 2006, the HAP curriculum began expanding from the aegis of the Southeast Center to a separate training program funded by NIOSH and backed by generous institutional support from the University of Kentucky Graduate School. Qualified students may apply for this NIOSH traineeship, which is now a component of the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center.

The emphasis on Agricultural Safety and Health can be combined with work in any of the concentrations within the College of Public Health: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Gerontology, Health Behavior, Health Services Management, and Preventive Medicine & Environmental Health. It is anticipated that graduates with this emphasis will attain leadership roles in county and state health departments, Cooperative Extension offices, colleges of agriculture and public health, and federal agencies such as EPA, NIOSH, and USDA. The skills acquired will allow graduates to maintain leadership roles in agricultural health, particularly in areas of needs assessment, policy development, and translational research.