The Master’s Degree program in Occupational Health is a joint program between the Universidad Nacional and the Tecnológico de Costa Rica, which is carried out by the Regional Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET) and the School of Engineering in Occupational Safety and Environmental Hygiene (EISLHA), respectively.

Both institutions share a concern with improving the living conditions of workers in the country’s productive sector and are working together to prepare high-level professionals capable of meeting workers needs in the Central American region.

In this postgraduate program, students are expected to have a proactive attitude, and to take the initiative in searching for and assimilating information beyond what is offered in classroom sessions. Faculty members are in charge of guiding the overall learning process.

Deadline for receiving admission applications for the following school year: September 1 to October 15, 2019.

Beginning of classes: January 2020.


General objective

Promote the comprehensive education of high-level professionals, capable of carrying out in-depth analyses within a multidisciplinary framework to improve working conditions in companies, public institutions and non-governmental organizations in response to the  demands and needs of Costa Rica and other countries in ​​Central America and the Caribbean, thus contributing to the region’s sustainable development.

Specific objectives

Train high-level professionals in specific aspects in the field of occupational health, with the capacity to perform the following tasks:

  • Conduct scientific research to generate new knowledge and develop solutions to important problems identified in Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Design and implement university teaching programs to meet the need to introduce occupational health in other educational careers that have components that are related to this discipline.
  • Manage occupational health programs and projects to initiate and properly carry out processes to improve working conditions in companies and institutions.
  • Transfer knowledge and technology to sectors of social interest to promote their active involvement at all levels in the defense of safe and healthy working conditions.

Perfil profesional

Academic Master’s Degree

This program is intended to assist in the formation of professionals interested in creating useful scientific knowledge through research. In the future, these professionals will be able to develop standards in the field of occupational health which reflect the ethnical, cultural and climatic characteristics of the region. These professionals will have the fundamental abilities necessary to work in research programs or continue pursuing an academic career.

Professional Master’s Degree

The professional program is oriented towards the creation of professionals interested in solving problems of specific workplaces by studying them, analyzing the results of these studies, and designing, implementing and evaluating solutions based on this analysis.

Graduates of this program may hold positions such as:

  • Higher-level occupational health administrator.
  • Researcher and academic outreach specialist.
  • Educator or promoter.
  • Officer, coordinator, or administrator (manager) of occupational health programs and projects.
  • Consultant or advisor in occupational health.
  • Specialist in research and organizational development in occupational health.


Program applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree granted by any legally recognized institution of higher education.
  • Proficiency in understanding written English of at least 80%.
  • A basic knowledge of statistics.


The master's degree has a total of 70 credits, with a total cost of $6,500, plus additional student fees which must be paid separately.

The Universidad Nacional handles financial management of the program through FUNDAUNA.

Payment of credits must be made in full for each 4-month cycle before enrollment is recognized.

You may choose to make deposits in dollars or colones at the official exchange rate, in the following accounts of the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica:

Deposit type Bank account number Project number
Colones 100-01-004-010272-9 P-012204-01
Dollars 100-02-004-0600187-5 P-012204-02


Academic fees must be paid separately (enrollment, student welfare, health insurance, and student ID card) once a year.

Differentiator elements

Agreement between the Universidad Nacional and the Tecnológico de Costa Rica

This agreement was signed in 1998, making it possible for these two public universities to cooperate in offering Costa Rica and the rest of the countries of the region a high-level master's program in occupational health, with an emphasis on environmental hygiene with two options: an academic master’s degree aimed at the formation of researchers, and a professional masters degree whose graduates can work as chiefs, managers, advisors or consultants in these areas.

This agreement makes it possible to combine more than 20 years of experience in research on occupational and environmental health issues of the Regional Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances of the Universidad Nacional, with 25 years of experience in teaching, outreach and sale of services by the School of Occupational Safety and Environmental Hygiene of the Tecnológico de Costa Rica.

Academic and Administrative Organization

The Inter-Institutional Administrative Academic Commission (CAAI), made up of two academics from each university, is in charge of carrying out the master's degree program. The CAAI also appoints a coordinator in each institution. The functions of the Commission and the coordinator are stipulated in the regulations.

As a joint program, administrative activities are distributed in each institution as follows: the TEC Registry Office is in charge of registration and enrollment procedures, while the UNA is in charge of accounting and financial responsibilities, as well as those related to regulations.

Each institution has a specialist in charge of coordinating program contents and articulating teaching activities, together with the faculty who will impart the lessons.