College of Health Sciences

Public Health Programs

Master of Public Health

Course Descriptions

PH 500 CAA   Introduction to Health Policy
3 credits
(Core requirement)
Students learn to understand and effectively apply health policy based on their understanding of analytical strategies presented in this course. Focus is on four substantive areas: economics and financing; need and demand; politics / ethics / law, and quality/effectiveness. Examples of these areas will utilize three specific policy issues: injury, medical care, public health preparedness.

PH 501 CAA  Fundamentals of Epidemiology I
3 credits 
(Core requirement)
First in a two series course taught over two semesters. Introduces the basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to public health problems. Emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, appropriate summaries and displays of data, and the use of classical statistical approaches to describing population health. Demonstrates the application of the epidemiologic sub-disciplines in the areas of health services/systems, screenings, genetics, and environment policy, as well as the intricacies of epidemiology and biostatistics with the legal and ethical issues in public health.

PH 502 CAA  Fundamentals of Epidemiology II
3 credits 
(Core requirement)
Second in a two series course taught over two semesters, with focus on various epidemiologic study designs for investigating associations between risk factors and disease outcomes, culminating with criteria for causal inferences. Demonstrates the application of the epidemiologic sub-disciplines in the areas of health services/systems, screenings, genetics, and environment policy, as well as the intricacies of epidemiology and biostatistics with the legal and ethical issues in public health.

PH 503 CAA  Introduction to Biostatistics I
3 credits 
(Core requirement)
First of a two course series introduces the fundamental concepts in applied probability, exploratory data analysis, and statistical inference, while focusing on probability and analysis of one and two samples. Emphasis is placed on understanding and interpreting the concepts, with a reliance on the use of formulae and computational elements in the learning process.

PH 504 CAA  Introduction to Biostatistics II
3 credits 
(Core requirement)
Second of a two course series explores the discrete and continuous probability models, expectation and variance, central limit theorem, and inference, focusing further on hypothesis testing and application of confidence for means, proportions, counts, maximum likelihood estimation, sample size determinations, elementary non-parametric methods, graphical displays, and data transformations. Emphasis is placed on understanding and interpreting the concepts, with a reliance on the use of formulae and computational elements in the learning process.  

PH 505 CAA   Environmental Health
3 credits 
(Core requirement)
Comprehensive course examining health issues, underlying causes, and public health approaches for controlling major environmental health problems in both industrialized and developing countries. Students gain an understanding of how the body reacts to environmental pollutants (physical, chemical, and biological agents of environmental contamination) and vectors for dissemination (air, water, and soil) are examined. Solid and hazardous waste, susceptible populations, and biomarkers and risk analysis concepts are addressed. Scientific basis for policy decisions are explained, with focus on emerging global environmental health problems.

PH 506 CAA  Social and Behavioral Approach to Public Health 
2 credits  (Core requirement)
Designed to help students develop basic literacy regarding social concepts and processes that influence health status and public health interventions. Allows students to develop insight into populations with whom they have worked in the past or will work in the future. Presents the essential tools for understanding and effectively analyzing psychosocial issues in public health.

PH 507 CAA  Program Implementation and Evaluation 
3 credits (Core requirement)
Interactive course introduces the basic concepts of public health practice and  includes a series of simulated public health practice exercises that clearly demonstrate the applicability of the basic concepts. Students gain a thorough understanding of types of program evaluation essential for an effective and successful public health practice. Further practical experience given through a series of exercises where students design a conceptual framework, develop a network of indicators, analyze statistical evidence, and propose an evaluation plan to measure the impact of an intervention.

PH 551 EAA   Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care 
2 credits  (Elective)
Focus is on comprehending basic economic concepts needed to understand the recommendations from the US Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Distinction between opportunity costs and budgetary costs are made from analyses of cost-effectiveness research reports. Course includes critical discussion of current articles demonstrating cost-effectiveness analyses, enabling the student to read, comprehend, and perform a basic critique of cost-effectiveness papers, and take part in discussions of planned cost-effectiveness research.

PH 552 EAA  Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
3 credits
(Elective)
A case-study approach introduces the basic methods for infectious disease epidemiology and to understand disease syndromes and entities relevant to the health of populations (respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, and other vector-borne diseases). The course covers definitions and nomenclature, outbreak investigations, disease surveillance. The tools for outbreak investigation and disease are thoroughly discussed and their application is identified in the case studies.

PH 553 EAA  Introduction to Bioterrorism
1 credit 
(Elective)
Introduces and reinforces the understanding of basic concepts and principles of terrorism preparedness and response, as well as identification of specific practical considerations.  The course is presented via case studies to illustrate plausible scenarios, first response activities, critical elements, and planning strategies.

PH 554 EAA  Introduction to Bioethics in Healthcare
1 credit
(Elective)
With a focus on ethical theory and its principles, as well as current ethical issues in public health and health policy, this course introduces concepts of resource allocation, summary measures of health, the right to healthcare, and conflicts between autonomy and health promotion efforts. Concepts relevant to research ethics also introduced.

PH 555 EAA  Humanitarian and Refugee Health
3 credits
(Elective)
Provides an introduction to the theoretical concepts and applied practices of health care provision in humanitarian emergencies.  Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the public health needs of conflict, crisis and disaster-affected populations, and the systems and practices used in the humanitarian relief field to address these needs.

PH 556 EAA  Health Literacy and Effective Communication Program Design
2 credits 
(Elective)
Presents concepts, strategies and processes needed to effectively modify health behavior and health outcomes through public awareness campaigns and training programs in various situational contexts. Students learn how to identify and assess the political, ecological, social, technological, legal and economic factors that influence the strategic development and delivery of promotional campaigns and training programs; develop the skills necessary to establishing programmatic goals, budgets and delivery models conducive to identified needs; learn different methods of evaluating education and its impact on health.

PH 557 EAA  Epidemiologic Study Design and Grant Writing
1 credit (Elective)
Interactive course to equip the students with thorough understanding of experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs, including the strengths and limitations of each. The course also outlines the methodological and logistic problems involved in designing and conducting epidemiologic studies. Students participate in the preparation of a research protocol for a study in a human population.

PH 558 EAA   Public Health Issue of Aging Populations 
2 credit (Elective)
A gerontology course designed to introduce the student to the study of aging, its impact on individuals, families and society, and what factors have driven the creation of health policy related to older persons. A wide variety of aging topics will be explored, including the prevention and management of chronic conditions; demography; biology; epidemiology of diseases; physical and mental disorders; functional capacity and disability; health services; health policies; social aspects of aging, and ethical issues in the care of older individuals, as well as hospice and palliative care. 

PH 559 EAA   Public Health Informatics  
2 credits
(Elective)
Technology and information sciences are changing the practice of public health radically. An understanding of the information tools that make this possible in this age of evidence-based decision making is important for a public health professional.  This course covers public health information needs, methods of data capture, data security and sharing, data storage and retrieval. Also examines public health informatics tools such as syndromic surveillance and GIS (geographic information system), and how they are used to predict and prevent infectious disease outbreaks.  The student learns reasonable expectations of today’s technologies, and the direction in which the field is heading.

PH 560 EAA   Public Health Genomics  
1 credits 
(Elective)
The sequencing of the human genome and the unfolding description of human genetic variation have precipitated a paradigm shift from an emphasis on mostly rare single gene diseases to an emphasis on the more common multi-factorial diseases.  These advances are also producing a paradigm shift from disease treatment to disease prevention.  The role of the genomics revolution in public health will be explored in this course.  The new knowledge about genes, gene-gene, and gene-environmental interactions, along with the application and integration of genomic/genetic technology into public health will be discussed.  The course will also cover the identification of susceptibility genes in racial and ethnic groups, as well as the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic information and testing.  The student will learn the potential that genomics has for improving societal health outcomes.

PH 561 EAA   International Development and Health    
2 credits 
(Elective)
Most healthcare professions have practitioners involved in philanthropic activity. With the expansion of the philanthropic activities of today’s healthcare professions, and the increased debates as to how limited resources can be applied in our world, debate has created a demand for further training in health and development so that health professionals are empowered to implement programs within the appropriate paradigm. This course presents evidence-based guidelines for public health interventions to build global capacity that serve populations in need.

PH 562 EAA   Survey of Public Health Issues
1 credit
(Elective)
Provides students with an introduction to public concepts and practice. Includes an overview of the social processes that influence health status and public health interventions; the strategic importance of health policy development and implementation; environment health considerations in populations; health organization and administration; and the role and impact that the concepts and tools of epidemiology and biostatistics play in public program design, implementation and evaluation.

PH 563 EAA  Capstone Project                                                         
(2 credits)
The primary objective of the Perspectives of Development course is to expose the participants to concepts and different facets of health in development.  It aims to prepare participants to critically analyze and develop policies towards poverty reduction through exploring the strong links between health and development that is in the global and local context. It provides an overview of understanding and implementing health related interventions to reduce poverty and hence improve quality of life and development.  The course uses the UN Millennium Development Goals as a framework to understand the role of health in development. It also includes an analysis of worldviews such as Welfare economics (Ex: Marxism) and Market Economics (Ex: Globalism) in health and development and its impact. The course concludes with a summary of progress of the agenda of health in development, health in development challenges, strategies and practice.

PH 564 EAA Interdisciplinary Service Delivery Models
2 credits
In healthcare, an effective team usually works with a common set of values and related ethics which are patient centered with a community or population orientation and a shared commitment. This course will discuss the history of interdisciplinary and inter-professional care, some of the basic theory of team science, and provide references for the basics of this theory. Examples of collaborative practice in healthcare will be presented and discussed. Core competencies for inter-professional practice will also be reviewed. Practical examples of healthcare teams, such as patient safety, quality improvement, disaster medicine, acute chronic and preventive care and sample exercises will be discussed.

PH 600 PAA   Practicum and Capstone Project
6 credits
(Required)
The MPH Capstone provides an opportunity for students to work on public health practice projects that are of particular interest to them, with the goal of synthesizing, integrating and applying their acquired skills and competencies to a public health problem that approximates a professional practice experience. Written and oral components are required for completion and graduation, and students will accomplish their projects under the direction of an MPH capstone supervisor (faculty member).