Graduate Program in Public Health Course Descriptions

Below you will find the descriptions for the courses that are offered in the MPH program, grouped by track.

 

MPH Courses Taken for All Tracks

MPH 600: Introduction to Public Health (1 credit hour)

This is an introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of public health.  The course will use a series of lectures, readings, discussions and interactive sessions to provide students with a framework for studies during the course of the program. Emphasis is on identifying ethical issues in public health practice using lectures, readings and group discussions.

MPH 611: Social and Behavioral Sciences for Public Health (3 credit hours)

This course is a social and behavioral sciences core course for the MPH program. Psychological, social, and cultural concepts and models relevant to health and disease in society are reviewed and critiqued. The course will enable students to describe core theoretical perspectives from each of the social science disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Students will learn how to select and apply appropriate social and behavioral models to the design of public health interventions and policies. The course will also cover existing social inequalities in health status related to race, social class, and gender, and the critical intersection between social risk factors, behavioral risk factors, and the development and implementation of public health interventions. Social ecological models that influence population health at multiple levels are emphasized.

MPH 612: Statistical Reasoning for Public Health (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the use of statistics in the health field. Emphasis is on descriptive statistics, estimation, linear regression and contingency tables. Lectures, reading, demonstrations, experiential activities in a laboratory setting and written and oral assignments.

MPH 613: Principles of Environmental Health Science (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the chemical, physical and biological factors affecting human health and disease. Emphasis is on the skills to detect environmental factors in health problems and to determine methods of control to prevent disease and maximize environmental quality. Lectures, readings and required assignments.

MPH 614: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credit hours)

An introduction to epidemiology as a body of knowledge and a method for analyzing community health problems. Emphasis is on how to measure and describe the health of populations, the natural history of diseases in population groups, standardization of rates, sources of data, study designs, measurements of risk, evaluation of screening tests, causal inferences and outbreak investigation. Lectures, reading and individual and group assignments.

MPHE615: Public Health Administration and Management (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the understanding of the structure and functions of the American health-care system, public health practice in the United States and basic managerial responsibilities. Emphasis is on management tasks and styles, structure and trends in the health-care system, legal and regulatory framework for public health, organizational and community assessment, public health settings and services. Lectures, reading and written assignments.

MPH 779: Introduction to Research Methods (3 credit hours)

The goal of this course is to provide practical, step-by-step guidance to the research process.  The organizing framework used is The Scientific Method, which is applied to current health initiatives.  Students develop a unique research design proposal.

MPH 750: Community Practicum (3 credit hours)

An opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in academic courses in a working environment or community setting under the supervision of a preceptor. Written report to the preceptor and the course director; oral presentation.

MPH 770: Capstone Seminar (3 credit hours)

A synthesis and integration of knowledge gained through the coursework and other learning experiences, with the application of theory and principle to various public health issues. Students from both tracks will take this seminar.

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Epidemiology Track

MPHE624: Data Management with SAS (3 credit hours)

A beginner's course in data management, statistical programming and basic data analysis using the SAS system. The course will introduce the students to database construction, database management and statistical programming and analysis. This is a hands-on course which will be taught using demonstrations and experiential activities in the computer laboratory.

MPHE702: Biostatistics II (3 credit hours)

Topics from inferential statistics and probability modeling will be discussed and illustrated using data selected from real-life health-related applications. Data analysis emphasizing proper interpretation of results and familiarity with SAS software will be a key component of the course.

MPHE711: Epidemiologic Methods I (3 credit hours)

Introduces elements of study design, data analysis and inference in epidemiologic investigation.

MPHE715: Current Issues in Epidemiology (3 credit hours)

Discussions with experts experienced in the diverse applications of epidemiology in current research and practice. Emphasis on emerging infectious diseases, environmental and occupational health, chronic diseases and community intervention trials. Lectures, discussions, class presentations and development of research project.

MPHE718: Epidemiologic Methods II (3 credit hours)

Coverage of statistical design and analysis concepts and methods in epidemiologic research.

MPHE737: Infectious & Chronic Disease Epidemiology ( 3 credit hours)

This course is focused on substantive areas in epidemiology with an emphasis on ‘infectious disease epidemiology’ and ‘chronic disease epidemiology’. The course will also include projects focused on field epidemiology, with an emphasis on ‘public health surveillance’ and ‘outbreak investigation’. These topics are important for epidemiologists and other health professionals in public health practice. 

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Epidemiology Track

Global Environmental Health Track

ENVH 520: Communicable Diseases and Their Control (3 credit hours)

An in-depth study of the communicable disease processes as they pertain to environmental sources. A detailed discussion of specific communicable diseases that are manifested by various environmental etiologic agents. Various environmental control measures to prevent the incidence of communicable diseases are presented.

ENVH 521: Food Safety (3 credit hours)

A comprehensive study of food and milk production, processing and preservation and controls exercised for the prevention of foodborne illnesses and spoilage.

ENVH 522: Water and Wastewater Technology (3 credit hours)

Introduction to water quality management and wastewater treatment technology. Topics include the effect of organic, inorganic and thermal pollutants in water quality streams, waterborne diseases, monitoring concepts, methods of water quality management, regulatory considerations, theory and application of wastewater treatment concepts, wastewater characterization, and treatment methods and disposal methods.

ENVH 523: Vector Control (3 credit hours)

A study of the vectors of human disease and the methods utilized in their control. (offered spring)

ENVH 545: Air Pollution and Its Control (3 credit hours)

The study of air pollution in relation to air quality criteria, pollutant production, atmospheric evolution, measurement and control techniques.

ENVH 561: Hazardous Waste Management (3 credit hours)

Description of the hazardous waste problem, the fundamentals of the chemistry involved with hazardous waste transport, methods of identification, assessment, control, and disposal of toxic and hazardous waste are discussed. In addition the relevant legal statutes, risk assessment emergency response and case studies are presented. Introduction to the toxicological effects of exposure to hazardous waste is discussed.

ENVH 566: Environmental Risk Assessment & Decision Analysis (3 credit hours)

The principles of quantitative health risk assessment of toxicants are presented. Qualitative and quantitative skills necessary to evaluate the probability of injury, disease, or death in the general population from exposure to environmental contaminants are discussed.

ENVH602: Environmental Health Law and Policy (3 credit hours)

A review of the concepts and practice of administering environmental health control programs within agencies at the federal, state and local levels. The principles of administration and leadership of programs in the private sector are also discussed.

ENVH603: Environmental Epidemiology (3 credit hours)

Collection methods, analysis and interpretation of epidemiologic data with environmental and occupational disease emphasis.

ENVH643: Principles of Toxicology (3 credit hours)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of toxicology with emphasis on the interaction of environmental and industrial chemicals with humans. Exposure, dose response, kinetics and distribution of toxicants, metabolism of toxic agents, factors that affect toxicity and introductory chemical carcinogenesis are discussed.

HLSC 776: Global Health (3 credit hours)

This course will introduce the student to the political, social, cultural, and ethical issues involved in disease prevention and health promotion globally.  Specific emphasis will be on incidence/prevalence, morbidity/mortality, and identified health problems in specific regions and countries.  This course will also identify global health prerogatives aimed at improving health status through education and intervention.

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Global Environmental Health Track

Health Management & Policy Track

MPHE721: Healthcare Strategy (3 credit hours)

Examination of strategy-making issues for health-care organizations, including analysis of economic incentives, financial strategies, development of mission and goals and formulation and implementation of long-range strategies to accomplish those goals.

MPHE-723: Policy & Politics of Health (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the policy process, frameworks for understanding health policy issues, background research necessary for policy implementation and implementation strategies.

MPHE727: Organizational Management (3 credit hours)

Examine issues and principles in the management of individuals, groups and organizations. Topics include motivation and reward systems, group dynamics and organizational design and change.

MPHE733: Financing Healthcare (3 credit hours)

Students examine financial evaluation of the healthcare industry, the source of funds and effects of changing patient policies. Other topics of interest will be financial strategies, budgets and capital outlay.

MPHE736: Conflict Analysis & Negotiations (3 credit hours)

Examine issues and principles in the management of conflict and negotiation, within organizations. Topics include resolution strategies and organizational design and change.

MPH 772: International Health Exchange Program – Moldova (3 credit hours)

This course exposes students to important issues in international public health and is unique in that it involves the analysis of health problems in the broad social, cultural, economic, and political contexts that generate and sustain them. It explores the factors influencing the unequal distribution of health and disease, the taxonomy of global health, the burden of disease, epidemiology, cost-effectiveness, and health systems within the context of an exchange program with the medical university of the Republic of Moldova. It will include analysis of the major health issues in the Republic, the approaches used by the Ministry of Health to address these problems, comparison of the different ways public health organizations address the major population health issues in the Republic of Moldova and the United States, and meetings with local, state and national public health leaders in both countries.

MPH 690: Leadership: Theories, Skills, and Applications (3 credit hours)

The emphasis of this course is on the practice of leadership.  The course will equip the student with the basic managerial background, fundamentals, and the theories which will be applicable at any level in management and in a leadership position.  Students will be exposed to the interaction of leadership, change, communication, and power as seen in the healthcare environment. This course will examine the traits of leadership, developing leadership skill, creating a vision, managing conflicts, and obstacles in an organization.

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Health Management & Policy Track

Health Promotion Track

HPRO 650: Health Promotion and Education Methods and Materials (3 credit hours)

HPRO 650 is the second in a three-course sequence (MPHO 611, HPRO 650 and HPRO 660) that provides health promotion graduate students with a comprehensive overview of the practical and theoretical principles and skills needed to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs in a variety of settings. This course emphasizes program planning methods and strategies at the individual and community levels, with an emphasis on planning frameworks, assessment strategies, and model-driven intervention strategies and design. The course is designed to help the student acquire understanding and evaluation of health promotion theories and apply them to the design of health promotion programs. The course will help students apply constructs from theories to understand the determinants of health behaviors and as methods for changing determinants of behavior. Students will learn about utilizing theoretical models to conduct needs assessment, write program objectives and plan interventions. The course will assist students in identifying and gaining proficiency in the application of a variety of skills utilized by the health professional in planning and designing health promotion programs.

HPRO 660: Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credit hours)

This course provides health promotion graduate students with a comprehensive overview of the practical and theoretical principles and skills needed to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs in a variety of settings.

HPRO 670: Cultural Issues in Health Promotion and Education (3 credit hours)

This course focuses on the following: evaluation of cultural impact on health; analysis of cultural barriers and enablers to health; assessment of the relationship between traditional beliefs and health; identification of cultural issues in the prevention of chronic diseases, developing a culturally sensitive and effective plan for health behavior change.

MPHO630: Social Marketing for Health Populations (3 credit hours)

This course focuses on key social marketing principles and techniques (including the marketing mix, audience segmentation, positioning) and their application to public health. Contemporary examples of effective local and global social marketing programs will demonstrate how social marketing principles can be employed to impact health behavior change and public health practice.

MPHO672: Policy and Politics in Public Health (3 credit hours)

This course assists the student to develop systematic and analytic frameworks for understanding health care models and health care policy issues. This is a graduate level course that highlights the role of policy and the role of politics in influencing actions that affect public health practices. Students explore the policy process, the background research required for successful policy implementation, and strategies affecting the enactment of health policy.

MPHO691: Grant Writing for Public Health Practice (3 credit hours)

This course provides students with an overview of the grant proposal planning and writing process in public health. The course aims to provide students with specific skills in grant seeking and preparation including reviewing and analyzing grant announcements and how to write and submit competitive health-related grant proposals to federal and private funding sources. How funders review grant proposals will also be covered.

MPHO695: Topics – Health Disparities and Social Justice (3 credit hours)

The mandate of eliminating health disparities pervades Healthy People 2020’s agenda for improving the health of all people in the United States (www.healthypeople.gov/2020/). The term “health disparity” refers to “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.” Health disparities are often associated with demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, and geographic location. The purpose of this class is to introduce the social and environmental determinants of health disparities and the pathways and mechanisms leading to inequitable health outcomes in vulnerable groups, as well as to identify strategies for addressing these determinants in order to improve health. We will also examine the ways in which neighborhood and community contexts, as well as inequalities in socioeconomic status, materially shape health and access to health care services.

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Health Promotion Track