B.S. Occupational Safety and Health at Montana Tech
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health - Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health

What is Occupational Safety and Health?

Sadie McLaughlinBusinesses employ specialists in occupational safety and health (OSH) to oversee the employer's program for protecting employees. Common work involves training employees on safe practices, conducting audits of worksites, assessing exposures to hazards, keeping records, and coordinating worker's compensation for injured or ill employees. The OSH degree curriculum is structured to prepare graduates for these careers by combining courses spanning the range of needed topics plus laboratory courses with a hands-on experience using applicable technology.

Lorri Birkenbuel, B.S. OSH Program Manager

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Program Overview

Montana Tech’s program in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) leads to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Nearly all graduates have rewarding careers as OSH professionals working in positions aimed at helping employees perform their work safely in a workplace free from recognized hazards. Core functions for OSH professionals include developing, implementing, and evaluating health and safety programs.

Three national organizations recognize the quality of this degree program:

  1. The OSH degree is accredited as a safety program by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
  2. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals designates the OSH degree a Qualified Academic Program—a designation that qualifies graduates for a credential called Graduate Safety Practitioner.
  3. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recognizes the quality of the OSH program by providing funds for scholarships, travel, and faculty development through a Training Project Grant.

Diverse employers visit the campus to recruit students for internships and career positions. More than half of the graduates start their career in industrial sectors such as construction, mining, or energy; many others start with federal, state, other governmental agencies. Nearly all large industrial companies and governmental agencies have OSH programs with career ladders providing opportunities for promotions and increased salary.

The curriculum provides students a sound technical foundation with courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Communication skills are strengthened through courses in writing and oral presentation. Of the 128 total required credit hours, 48 are in OSH. Most of these include experiences working in small groups, writing assignments, presentations, and problem solving. Laboratory courses conducted by OSH faculty use three laboratories, one is unique and dedicated to safety and ergonomics. Students and their faculty advisor track progress using a curriculum form found in the applicable Montana Tech annual catalog. The catalog provides a suggested course sequence for completing a B.S. in OSH degree in four years.

For information on enrollment and graduations rates during the past few years, visit the Montana Tech Institutional Research Office web page.

Program Educational Objectives

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation. The B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health degree program has adopted the following three PEOs:

  1. Graduates of the program will establish their OSH-related careers within a few years after graduating.
  2. Graduates of the program will use their education to competently apply OSH-related knowledge, skills, and abilities to benefit workers and employers.
  3. Graduates of the program will become stewards of the profession by engaging in career development, adhering to ethical standards, and supporting their professional community.
Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are statements of what each graduate of the program is expected to achieve at the time of graduation. The curriculum is structured so each student will have obtained the knowledge, understanding, and skills in all 6 Student Outcomes.

The OSH degree is structured to produce graduates with the abilities to do the following:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve broadly defined technical or scientific problems by applying knowledge of mathematics and science and/or technical topics to areas relevant to the discipline
  2. An ability to formulate or design a system, process, procedure or program to meet desired needs
  3. An ability to develop and conduct experiments or test hypotheses, analyze and interpret data and use scientific judgement to draw conclusions
  4. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  5. An ability to understand ethical and professional responsibilities and the impact of technical and/or scientific solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  6. An ability to function effectively on teams that establish goals, plan tasks, meet deadlines, and analyze risk and uncertainty
Career Outcomes