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Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction

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Master of Science in Safety and Health Management

The Master of Science in Safety and Health Management (MS-SHM) program at Central Washington University will prepare you with executive-level skills and knowledge to administer and assess environmental health and safety (EHS) programs with an in-depth understanding of how to implement and manage programs based on the new view of safety, human factors, accountability, accident models, and resilience engineering. Our students are career-driven EHS professionals with at least two years of full-time work experience in safety, industrial hygiene, environmental management, or a closely related field who are looking to take their careers to the next level and help organizations align their safety programs with the most recent research in the field. This fully online graduate program recognizes the time constraints of a full-time career and is designed for the working EHS professional.

When:  Next master’s cohort is projected to begin Fall 2024
Duration of program:  2 years (45 credits)
Approximate Cost (Tuition and Fees):  $17,500 for Washington residents


Cohort System

Students attend this program as a cohort, beginning in fall quarter their first year and continuing in the scheduled courses over six quarters. The cohort format contributes to a feeling of support and collaborative relationships that continue beyond completion of the online program. The fourth cohort  is projected to begin Fall 2024 under a revised curriculum.


The MS-SHM program has been reviewed by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and approved as a Graduate Safety Practitioner® (GSP®) Qualifying Academic Program (QAP), providing the program’s graduates the option to apply with BCSP for the GSP designation after graduation. BCSP is recognized as a leader in high-quality credentialing for safety, health, and environmental practitioners (SH&E). BCSP establishes standards for and verifies competency in professional safety practice and evaluates certificants for compliance with recertification requirements. The GSP meets the credential requirement for the Certified Safety Professional® (CSP®), the “gold standard” in safety certification, allowing those who hold the designation to waive the Associate Safety Practitioner® (ASP®) certification examination. It demonstrates accomplishment and commitment to professional development.  More information on the GSP are available at

Online Format

The MS-SHM is a fully online program, with no in-person laboratories or required campus visits. We use modern instructional tools to engage you in online discussions, complete real-world projects, and perform research applicable to your current workplace. Each cohort begins with a preparatory online course (SHM 502: SHM Graduate Resources) that explains available resources, programs, research and case study formats, degree planning, time management, and study strategies for online courses. Many of our courses are designed using open educational resources (OERs) so that you can save money by not having to purchase textbooks.

Applied Project

Instead of a master’s thesis, the MS-SHM involves an applied project experience that integrates the principles, theories, and concepts of your intended career concentration. This applied project is completed during the spring of your second year in the program, after completing all of the required coursework.

Academic Planning

Since each cohort of students goes through the courses at the same time, and follows the same schedule, academic planning is relatively simple. Students take two courses per quarter until the winter of their second year, when they develop their pre-proposal for their applied project in SHM 582: EHS Research Methods.

The program curriculum is currently being revised to reflect the shift in safety science towards the new view of human factors, accountability, accident models, and resilience engineering. It is anticipated that the program will begin accepting applications for a Fall 2024 cohort under this revised curriculum in the Spring of 2024.

The current MS-SHM courses are offered in the quarters listed below. Please contact the graduate coordinator for information regarding current and future course offerings.

Course Number Course Title Credits Offered
SHM 501 Safety Sciences 4 Fall, 1st year
SHM 502 SHM Graduate Resources 1 Fall, 1st year
SHM 574 Advanced Safety Management 4 Winter, 1st year
SHM 575 EHS Administration and Ethics 4 Winter, 1st year
SHM 576 EHS Program Management 4 Spring, 1st year
SHM 578 EHS Analytics 4 Spring, 1st year
SHM 554 Risk Management Principles and Practices 4 Winter, 2nd year
SHM 579 EHS Sustainability and Stewardship 4 Fall, 2nd year
SHM 581 Advanced Industrial Hygiene 4 Spring, 2nd year
SHM 571 Crisis Management and Continuity of Operations 4 Fall, 2nd year
SHM 582 EHS Research Methods 5 Winter, 2nd year
SHM 700 Master's Thesis, Project Study and/or Examination 3 Spring, 2nd year



The total cost of the MS-SHM is anticipated to be about $17,500 total for Washington resident graduate students. Non-resident and international graduate students can apply for a waiver through the Financial Aid Office so that they only pay 125% (about $22,000 total) of resident graduate tuition.


Admissions are currently closed. For admission to the projected Fall 2024 co-hort under the revised curriculum please contact Jennifer Serne at

Application Checklist:

  • Admission to CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of educational and professional objectives
  • Written verification from applicant employer confirming 2 years of full-time experience in safety, industrial hygiene, or environmental management
  • Earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on your last 90 quarter credits / 60 semester credits
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Resume or CV
  • We do not require students applying to this program to take the GRE or GMAT


Please contact Jennifer Serne at if you are interested in learning more about this degree program. 

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