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Course Descriptions

BIOST 502: Introduction to Statistics

Credits: 4

This course focuses on basic concepts in statistics as applied to the health sciences. Topics covered include data description, probability, confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing, power and sample size determination, and correlation and simple linear regression. You will study a variety of statistical techniques, including one‐sample, two‐sample and paired t‐tests; one-way analysis of variance; nonparametric tests (Sign test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Mann‐Whitney test and Kruskal‐Wallis test), one‐sample and two‐sample binomial tests; chi‐square test; Fisher's Exact test; McNemar's test; Pearson and Spearman rank correlation; and simple linear regression.


BIOST 503: Applications of Statistics

Credits: 3

This course focuses on several multivariate statistical methods commonly used in the health sciences, paying particular attention to methods for determining the association between two or more variables. Statistical techniques covered include multiple linear regression and logistic regression.


ENV H 512: Environmental & Occupational Health for Public Health Practitioners

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to basic concepts in environmental and health sciences, including methods used to study the links between the environment and health, the health impacts of various environmental processes and exposures and the environmental public health approach to controlling or eliminating risks and promoting health.


EPI 511: Introduction to Epidemiology

Credits: 4

The goal of this course is to give health professionals the knowledge and skills needed to analyze public health problems and make clinical, program and policy decisions based on the application of epidemiological concepts, methods and procedures. You will gain an understanding of the methods of epidemiologic research.


G H 511: Problems in Global Health

Credits: 3

The course explores relationships between political, socioeconomic, cultural and demographic conditions of developing countries and their impact on health and health services. The course is based around two basic themes: the determinants of health in poor countries of the developing world and the nature of the responses to developing world health problems. Topics addressed include the evolution of primary health care; alternative responses to health problems; health as a human right; macroeconomic policy; population dynamics and  health; maternal child health and child survival policies; water and sanitation; AIDS; appropriate technologies; the role of governmental, private, nonprofit, and international organizations in health and health services; pharmaceutical policy; and human resources development.  You'll learn both about the “upstream” and “downstream” factors affecting health in the developing world and how to systematically assess international health problems, devise interventions and begin to plan implementation of programs.


HSERV 504: Health Promotion & Behavior Change Communication

Credits: 3

This course provides an overview of health communication theories, approaches and action areas, as well as considerations for communication intervention design, implementation and evaluation. Health communication is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to reach different audiences and share health-related information, with the goal of influencing, engaging and supporting individuals, communities, providers, special groups, policy makers and the public. The goal is to champion, introduce, adopt, or sustain a behavior, practice or policy that will ultimately improve health outcomes (Schiavo, 2007). The course is designed to help public health professionals apply sound judgment when making decisions about how to communicate with diverse audiences.


HSERV 514: Social Determinants of Population Health

Credits: 3

This course explores the elements and actions of a population health approach, including conceptualizing the determinants of health, synthesizing knowledge about major social determinants, and applying knowledge to improve population health and reduce health disparities.


HSERV 516: Introduction to Public Health & Health Care Systems

Credits: 4

In the United States we have, effectively, two health care systems. One of these focuses on personal health services, which we might term health care or medical care, and the other focuses on population-based health services, which we might call public health. While there is certainly an overlap between these two, for the most part they have operated separately from each other, with different goals, agendas, perspectives and outcomes – arguably to the detriment of health in general. Both public health and health care would benefit from a better understanding of the other. In this course, we will examine the history, current state and potential future of health services in the United States and around the world.


HSERV 517: Qualitative Methods

Credits: 4

This course, designed for the inexperienced qualitative researcher, provides a basic introduction to research methods aimed at discerning the how and why of human behavior relative to health and well-being. Emphasis is put on the creation and development of a qualitative research protocol with applications for observations, interviews, analysis of documents and audio-visual interpretation of human behavior.


HSERV 520: Methods in Applied Community Research

Credits: 3

This course is designed to give students the basic public health research skills and ethics training they will need to conduct their MPH thesis or capstone project.


HSERV 522: Health Program Evaluation

Credits: 3

In this course, students learn how to apply quantitative research methods to judge the success of health programs. The course focus is public health programs and health services, although the concepts and methods are equally relevant to other sectors.


HSERV 522: Program Planning, Implementation & Evaluation

Credits: 4

Green & Krueter’s PRECEDE-PROCEED model for health program planning and evaluation is used as a conceptual framework for this course. Students employ the model in order to demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of how planning informs evaluation.


HSERV 559: Public Policy & Health

Credits: 3

In this overview of health policy making, we will explore the complex array of factors that affect the policy making process. We will consider how evidence and values work together in creating, understanding and promoting health policy; how social determinants and systems thinking provide a context for how we conceptualize and create health policy; how the interplay between government and the marketplace affects policy making; and how greatly important stakeholders are to our work: who they are, what they bring to the table and why. We will also look at ways to understand policy making issues and how to get them onto the policy making agenda.


HSERV 567 I & II: Strategic Leadership of Public Health Systems

Credits: 5

This course will prepare students to become public health leaders as envisioned in the Public Health 3.0 framework. You will gain leadership and communication skills that will enable you to spearhead health promotion efforts in partnership with stakeholders such as health care clinicians and leaders. We will deliberate how to address social determinants of health and advance health equity. This course will prepare you to support community-based coalitions that examine health data, set goals, develop plans to improve health and develop strategic communication plans to address public health issues. 


HSERV 595: Practicum

Credits: 3

Students gain experience in community health activities in agencies delivering and planning health services. Sites include neighborhood clinics, health planning organizations, medical practice settings, public health agencies, specialized clinics and facilities, and environmental programs and services. For more details, see the Practicum page.


HSERV 598: Capstone 

Credits: 1 or 4

The capstone is a supervised project on a selected public health topic. It includes literature review and the development and implementation of an approach to a public health problem or need. It requires a written paper summarizing the capstone experience and conclusions. For more details, see the Capstone Project & Master’s Thesis page.


HSERV 700: Master’s Thesis

Credits: 1 or 4

The master's thesis is an original research study that is carried out using rigorous methods that are appropriate to the research questions. It should generate new knowledge, apply concepts and methods from one or more branches of science relevant to public health, and be presented in a scholarly format. The thesis demonstrates the student's comprehensive knowledge of the substantive area of study and the research methods used. It represents the culmination of the master's program and an opportunity to integrate and apply the concepts and methods learned in coursework. For more details, see the Capstone Project & Master’s Thesis page.


HSMGMT 560: Leadership & Management Practice in Public Health Organizations

Credits: 3

This course has two purposes. One is to assist current and future public health leaders and managers with the development of a conceptual framework that will enhance leadership and managerial functioning in public health organizations and programs. The other is to increase knowledge and provide an opportunity for practice of selected skills necessary for successful leadership and managerial functioning in public health organizations.


HSMGMT 572: Financial Management

Credits: 3

This course is designed to familiarize students with financial management in a health care organization. Because health care organizations can be for-profit, not-for-profit or governmental, this course will differentiate these organizational structures in terms of their objectives, their accounting rules and their budget setting processes. The course will look at financial statements and budgets of these organizations to show similarities and differences. Students will also learn many tools used by managers to make financial decisions such as budgeting, cost-volume profit analysis, cost allocation, variance analysis and performance evaluation, capital budgeting and fraud prevention.