Master of Science in Occupational Safety

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The Master of Science in Occupational Safety (MSOS) prepares graduates for leadership positions in occupational safety and related fields. An academic experience in the design and management of enterprise-wide safety systems is provided.

The focus of this Program is in the core discipline of occupational safety (OS). Foundational principles and overarching academic goals of the MSOS program include ensuring effective communications skills, the ability to think critically and problem solving, and to develop applied research skills. The coursework includes analysis of occupational safety and health problems, accompanying problem-solving and decision making techniques, and the application of established principles of accident prevention, control, and reduction in occupational settings.

Since its foundation in 1994, the program has had about 150 graduates with high placement rate within the professional fields identified. The overall program purpose is to continue to satisfy the ongoing demand for academically trained and competent occupational health and safety practitioners by training highly qualified and skilled graduates capable of assuming the day-to-day responsibilities of safety professionals.

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The mission of the Master of Science in Occupational Safety Program at East Carolina University is to provide society with servant leaders who possess the highest ethical values and technical capabilities to make a positive impact through strategically managing risks associated with occupational safety and health.


The overall program goal is to provide the highest quality of academically well trained competent safety practitioners for business and industries as well as government and municipalities in Eastern North Carolina and globally.

Program objectives include training graduates with hands-on working knowledge and general understanding of all aspects of occupational health and safety. The areas of training include but are not limited to, safety regulations, environmental health, ergonomics and biomechanics, risk assessment and risk management, insurance and workers' compensation, construction safety management, fire safety, transportation safety, organizational and behavioral aspects of safety, environmental aspects, and legal implications. Upon completion of the MS in Occupational Safety program, graduates will be able to:

  • anticipate, recognize, evaluate and develop control strategies for hazardous conditions and work practices;
  • demonstrate the application of business and risk management concepts;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental aspects of safety, industrial hygiene, and environmental science, fire science, hazardous materials, emergency management, ergonomics, and/or human factors;
  • design and evaluate safety, health, and/or environmental programs;
  • apply adult learning theory to safety training methodology;
  • identify and apply applicable standards, regulations, and codes; conduct accident investigations and analyses;
  • apply principles of safety and health in a non-academic setting through an intern, cooperative, or supervised experience.