The Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS) is a multi-component training program dedicated to prevention of work-related injury and illness in the four federal Region X states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington by providing academic training for professional workforce needs and professional education and research services to employers, workers, and health and safety professionals.

Since 1977, the NWCOHS has been funded as a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Education and Research Center (ERC), the only one in the region. The NWCOHS is housed within the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

The NWCOHS is housed within the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, in Seattle, WA. Its location provides a vast array of opportunities for training and research activities – the UW is among the top public universities in the country and, in addition, Seattle is home to a number of significant preventive health-oriented institutions with close ties to the UW, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.


The NWCOHS provides advanced degree programs in 6 core fields of study related to worker health and safety. Click on a training program below to learn more.

Traineeships, which pay tuition, fees, and monthly stipends are awarded to a select number of highly qualified students each year based on merit and available student support funds. Applicants are encouraged to contact the director of their desired training program for further information about traineeships.

Industrial Hygiene

The Exposure Sciences (ES) program trains MS and PhD professionals and scientists in the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazardous exposures in the workplace. PhD and MS students may obtain a traditional research thesis; MS trainees have the additional option of replacing the thesis with a portfolio including practical experience and an applied capstone project.

Occupational Health Nursing

Students in the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) Program are enrolled in one of two graduate degree options – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science through the UW School of Nursing, or Master of Public Health (MPH) through the UW School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Training emphasizes a socio-ecological view of population health through which employment and work experiences are understood to operate as social determinants of worker health. Recognizing that multi-level societal factors influence industry presence, job opportunities, and working conditions, OHN trainees are provided an orientation to worker health that goes beyond learning about measures to control workplace hazards or the clinical management of occupational injury and illness. Consideration of worker population characteristics is stressed as a key dimension to occupational health and safety.

Occupational Medicine Residency 

The OEM Residency provides training of physicians specializing in the prevention and management of workplace illness and injuries; promotion of health and productivity of workers; and environmental health of individuals as well as communities. The OEM  residency is a two-year, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) certified training program, leading to board eligibility in Occupational Medicine (certification through the American Board of Preventive Medicine).

Occupational Health Services Research 

The Occupational Health Services Research (OHSR) program culminates in a PhD degree in Health Services, with a research focus in occupational health. The OHSR program curriculum consists of four components: (1) health services core competency courses, (2) advanced health services theory and methods courses, (3) occupational health emphasis courses, and (4) supervised research training. The OHSR program offers advanced training in health services research methods and health care policy analysis to prepare students for careers as researchers or policy makers in the area of occupational health. The program is designed to augment the limited supply of occupational health services researchers, and to foster interaction and collaboration among occupational health disciplines.

Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health 

CMOSH (Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health) is an exciting new track within the Master of Science in Construction Management degree program at the University of Washington. The track aims to produce future construction management leaders who will have the knowledge and skills to integrate project management and occupational health and safety for true project success. CMOSH students will have a well-rounded and interdisciplinary learning experience covering subjects from construction management, occupational health and safety, and industry practices.

Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface

The Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface (OHHAI) research training program will support students in the development of new competencies for research and provision of preventive occupational health services to workers in a wide range of animal contact settings, ranging from research facilities to veterinary hospitals, zoos, and agriculture using an innovative and interdisciplinary “One Health” paradigm. OHHAI trainees will complete the requirements for the MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science, and take supplemental coursework in zoonotic infectious disease, ergonomics, and safety principles.


In addition to our academic programs, the NWCOHS houses a large and active continuing education and outreach program that provides up-to-date training and resources for practicing professionals. Professional development training is available on a wide variety of topics, from Leadership in Health and Safety, to Special Topics in Agricultural Medicine, with courses offered in-person and online. Please visit the continuing education program website, osha.washington.edu, to view all upcoming and currently available training opportunities.

Continuing education courses are open enrollment and do not require that participants be affiliated with the University of Washington.


The Professional Training Opportunities Program (PTOP) provides small grant funding to support students from all disciplines and fields of study for projects and activities that address worker health and safety.

Students (Associates Degree, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post-Doctoral-seeking from any discipline or field of study) are eligible to apply for PTOP funding, as well as non-profit staff and community-based organizations interested in developing occupational health and safety expertise.

For more information see our website, deohs.washington.edu/nwcohs/grants, or contact Dr. Noah Seixas at ptop@uw.edu.

To learn more about the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety, including our degree program, please visit deohs.washington.edu/nwcohs

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