BSPH CORE COURSES
SPHU 1010 Introduction to Public Health: Epidemics, Revolutions, and Response
Students are introduced to the concepts and practice of public health in the U.S. and internationally by tracing its historical evolution. Classic public health problems and their resolution will be discussed in the context of the broader contemporary social environment. The latter part of the course is focused on public health practice in both the U.S. and developing countries, with a consideration of the structure, function, and financing of public health organizations. The many different roles for public health professionals in these organizations also are described.
SPHU 1020 The Cell, The Individual, and The Community
This course provides a foundation of knowledge about the human body in health and disease. It gives an overview of important concepts on the biological mechanisms of disease at the cellular, individual, and population/community levels. The course will focus on a natural progression in the development of health and disease, moving from a discussion of the cell, to the individual, and finally, to specific infectious or chronic disease states and processes. The role of the community in public health will be emphasized. This course is designed to provide a good foundation in the mechanisms of health and disease. Furthermore, each lecture will offer insights into current public health topics and research trends. Each lecture will address the following: 1) specific mechanisms of health and disease; 2) topics of special public health importance, and 3) a scientific update on research in the news.
SPHU 2150 Foundations of Environmental Health
The course is designed to identify environmental issues regarding various environmental media. Fundamental concepts addressing these issues and potential solutions will be covered. Related experiences from global to local and personal perspectives will be presented. Interrelationships between ecological and human health will be emphasized.
SPHU 3010 Foundations of Health Care Systems
This course develops conceptual and methodological skills for the design and implementation of public health policy. A solid grounding in systems theory will complement the use of practical management tools such as strategic planning, cost effectiveness analysis and decision analysis. Students will apply these concepts and tools within the context of current international and domestic policy frameworks in the field of public health.
SPHU 3110 Social and Behavioral Perspectives in Public Health
Students begin to integrate their understanding of public health science in this applied problem-solving course that brings together the elements of program development and rigorous evaluation. The course develops the concepts of problem assessment, strategic approaches to program planning, and evaluation of public health programs.
SPHU 3160 Biostatistics in Public Health
This course provides an overview of various statistical methods used in public health practice and research. Emphasis is on application of appropriate methods and interpretation of results. Examples and problems from public health settings will be included. Various statistical software will be used to analyze data (excel, SPSS and others), but prior computing experience is not required. Topics covered include methods of summarizing data and estimation and hypothesis testing techniques, including the t-test, the chi-square test, the analysis of variance, correlation analysis, and linear regression.
SPHU 3170 Foundations in Epidemiology
This course is designed to give students a general introduction to epidemiological concepts and basic tools of the field. The historic and current contributions made through the use of epidemiology in shaping our understanding of disease in populations will be described and investigated. The course will assist the student in establishing a foundation for the definition of and response to, public health challenges in the community as well as the global society. The course will introduce a number of areas of specialization within the field of epidemiology: including infectious and non-infectious diseases and other health issues.
SPHU 4010 Foundations and Formulation of Public Health Policy
Students will be introduced to the nature of health policy and the process by which it is developed. Various approaches to health policy are defined and their rationale considered. The politics of the development of health policy in democratic societies are discussed from both national and international perspectives. The ethics of public health policy are addressed. The course includes modern case studies of important public health issues (e.g., AIDS, smoking prevention, emerging infections such as West Nile Virus) to illustrate the development and application of policy to promote the public health.
SPHU 4540/4550/4560/4580 Capstone
This credit is given to students who complete an approved public service internship, independent research, or approved international study. For more information, see the capstone web page.
The following courses are only taken as needed:
SPHU 4990: Honors Thesis (3)
SPHU 5000: Honors Thesis (4)
SPHU 2016 Evolution, Microbes, and Disease Emergence
This course covers the basic concepts of infectious disease, dynamics of disease transmission, and the emerging and reemerging infectious diseases from an evolutionary perspective. The course's main focus is on the dynamic nature of host-pathogen relationships and the biological phenomena behind the emergence of new microbial threats. From an initial review of some core evolutionary concepts, the students will progress into detailed discussions on how particular pathogens evolutionary strategies allow them to establish within human populations. The course encourages a wider conversation on the implications of infectious diseases in the broader context of public health, and challenges students to think creatively about solutions for prevention and control.
SPHU 2050 Arthropods and Public Health
This course provides a broad introduction to insects and other arthropods that transmit infectious pathogens, or cause problems to humans through infestation or other contact. The impact of arthropods on the history of human civilization and development will be explored, as will their use as food and in art. Arthropod utilization in forensic science and for medicinal purposes will be discussed. Throughout the course the myriad adoptions utilized by arthropods, allowing them to become the most specious group of animals in existence, will be highlighted.
SPHU 2220 Concepts of Wellness
This course provides a foundation of knowledge about the wellness movement - personal responsibility, behavior change and risk reduction - to introduce students to the health and wellness-related information they need to thrive in today's world. The course provides a balance among the seven dimensions of wellness while at the same time emphasizing the central roles of physical fitness, nutrition, avoidance of tobacco, and stress management as keys to a healthy life. Additional fitness and wellness topics include body composition, flexibility, safety, drugs, STDs, and chronic diseases. The course also provides scientifically based information on wellness topics, as well as assessment activities and other tools for encouraging behavioral change.
SPHU 2333 Introduction to Global Maternal and Child Health
The course introduces undergraduate students to the complex public health problems that affect women and children in the USA and in developing countries. The course will introduce and use the socio-ecological framework and the life-course models to examine factors that determine omen and children's health and disease. The foundation of the course is a comprehensive review of common health issues that affect pregnancy, children and teenagers worldwide. Programs and policy to address these issues will also be reviewed and discussed in the context of socio-ecological frameworks.
SPHU 3015 Public Health Program Implementation and Management
This course develops practical skills for the design, implementation and management of public health programs. A solid grounding in personal, financial and organizational determinants of health and organizational effectiveness will complement the use of practical management tools and techniques such logic model development for program design and implementation. Students will apply these concepts and tools within the context of service delivery and policy making in the field of public health.
SPHU 3020 Data and Information in Public Health Practice
This course provides an overview of how data, information and knowledge are acquired and applied to public health problems. The philosophy of scientific inquiry and systems approaches to problem solving are covered. The course describes the methods by which data are collected, analyzed and applied to public health planning, as well as the measures and statistical tools necessary to assess the importance of public health problems. Students learn to understand and evaluate scientific publications on public health topics.
SPHU 3120 Issues and Strategies in Public Health
This seminar-style course is designed to provide students with basic biological and social concepts, control practices, and policies underlying the epidemiology of diseases of global importance. This course investigates how culture, society and the environment influence disease transmission, risk factors, disease prevention and health status. The course will be transdisciplinary, emphasizing the connections between the biological nature of disease and the social, economic and political context that influences prevention and control practices. Examples of health topics that may be addressed are malaria, neglected tropical diseases, diabetes, and vaccine preventable diseases.
SPHU 3200 Nutrition and Chronic Disease
This course will provide students the opportunity to explore the complex relationships between diet, obesity and chronic disease outcomes particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer. The emphasis of the course will be through case studies and through the shared experience of experts in various areas. The course will focus on the causal pathway from diet and inactivity to obesity to negative chronic outcomes with over-nutrition being the pivotal mechanism to disease.
SPHU 3250 Global Food Security and Public Health
This course explores theoretical and practical questions regarding how food production and security have changed over the last 150 years. What are the regulatory and policy mechanisms that shape domestic food security as it relates to public health? How does food security affect human health and development? Are local/regional food production models a viable healthy alternative to the current national model? This course presents and analyzes the changing world of food security and production and its relation to public health. Using concepts and theories drawn from interdisciplinary sources, students will be able to understand current food security policy as well as analyze alternatives with potential for different health outcomes based upon sustenance patterns.
SPHU 3300 Sustainable Nutrition for Personal, Community and Global Health
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the basic principles of nutrition. It is recommended for undergraduate students who have not had a prior course in nutritional sciences. It is designed to help students gain basic knowledge about nutrients, with emphasis on their sources, functions, and metabolism in the human body. Other topics include food selection for optimal health, energy balance, and weight control, lifestyle nutrition, diet, and chronic disease, sustainability and local food sources, and world hunger and malnutrition. An additional topic is a comparison of different food systems in exploration factors that contribute sustainability.
SPHU 3500 Public Health Approaches to Sexual Violence
This course provides an in-depth examination of sexual violence from a public health perspective. Theories of sexual violence, the epidemiology of sexual violence (scope, causes, risk factors, and consequences), and public health approaches to reducing sexual violence will be covered.
SPHU 4160 Introduction to Statistical Packages
This course covers the elementary concepts and applications for managing and analyzing data using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) and Stata statistical packages. The course focuses on managing and summarizing hospital admissions and international health data. The concepts covered are applicable to virtually all academic and professional settings. Each lecture begins with a presentation to introduce fundamental mapping concepts and is complemented with hands-on exercises to reinforce technical application. The first part of the course covers SAS applications, and the analog concepts for Stata are covered in the second part of the course.
SPHU 4200 Implementing Evidence Based Public Health
This course introduces the student to the scientific, epidemiological, organizational and management skills needed in designing and obtaining funding for an evidence-based public health intervention within an organizational or community setting. Students become familiar with the role and operation of not-for profit organizations, foundations, national and international government agencies, and the local community in this process. Students learn to access publicly available and electronic information provided by these agencies and organizations. The course illustrates how evidence-based public health is used by funding agencies in developing and awarding grants and by public health providers and community contractors in applying for and receiving them. Emphasis is placed on how evidence-based public health is used in writing grant proposals and students have an opportunity to write a grant proposal as part of the course.
SPHU 4210 Health and Environmental Risk Assessment
The course covers the principles of human health and ecological risk assessment. The National Academy of Sciences model framework for risk assessment (hazard identification, dose response assessment, exposure analysis, and risk characterization) is used to explain environmental risks of long-term exposure of humans and wildlife to air pollution and chemicals in food and drinking water. The interaction of scientific methods with focus on toxicology and regulatory requirements will be reviewed. Case studies focus on current environmental pollution issues such as exposure to lead paint, mercury in fish, arsenic from smelters and petrochemical industrial emissions. Specific topics to be covered detail include: health and ecological effects toxicology and environmental epidemiology; qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods; cancer risk models; regulatory toxicology; risk communication; reproductive risk assessment; endocrine disruption; different approaches to risk assessment by federal, state and international agencies; political and economic aspects of risk management; information resources, and field trips to state regulatory agencies.
SPHU 4240 Epidemiology of Sexually Transmitted Infections
This course is designed to provide students with the skills to conduct epidemiological research in HIV and other sexually acquired infections. The first part of the course, we discuss the etiology, treatment, epidemiology and common prevention methods for the most common and/or most serious STI's.In the second part of the course, we will cover the methodological issues or surveillance, study design in the context of clinical and behavioral research. Ethical aspects of conducting research in HIV/STI are also discussed. Students will have hands on practice examining methodological issues by completing four exercises. Finally, we put STI's into context by discussing social, economic and political ramifications of these infections in the world by reviewing two books and one movie that illustrate these concepts.
SPHU 4260 Organizational Leadership and Management
Organizational Leadership and Management in Developing Countries is an interdisciplinary course that examines the complex challenges inherent in managing non-profit and government organizations in developing regions. Central to your examination is the role of leadership in managing social, political, and financial influences upon policy decision-making. This course is designed for students intending to work in leadership and management positions at government agencies, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations in the developing world. Within this context, the class focuses on negotiating constraints in policy development and implementation and draws comparatively from experiences in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States.
SPHU 4300 Public Health Communication
This course examines the intended and unintended effects of health communication, with specific focus on how the mass media and the Internet stimulate change in knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and subsequent health outcomes. Three health communication foci will be explored: 1) planned communication campaigns designed specifically to elicit health behavioral change, 2) traditional mass media's role in influencing health outcomes, and 3) the evolving influence of the Internet on health outcomes. This course examines the linkages between communication effects and various health topics, including smoking/alcohol, sex, diet, and physical activity. By the end of the course, students will understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the linkage between communication and public health and be able to apply such to public health initiatives.
SPHU 4330 Introduction to Disasters, Resilience and the International Humanitarian Assistance System
This course addresses the field of disaster and international humanitarian studies, trends and recent developments in the field, and strategies to reduce disaster risk. It builds basic concepts and tools that will prepare students to understand humanitarian issues for disaster management. Students will learn to articulate concepts about disasters and the changing patterns of disasters, disaster resilience and international humanitarian response. They will develop a broad view of the key organizations involved in and components of the international humanitarian response system. The course methodology includes case studies of major disasters including the Haiti earthquake of 2010, Hurricane Katrina, the current crisis in Syria, famines in the Horn of Africa, Sahel, Southern Africa and the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Students will gain hands-on experience in computing indicators used to determine the effects of disasters on public health. Guest lecturers from the Centers for Disease Control will participate through tele video-conferencing.
SPHU 4350 Zoonotic Infections, Outbreaks, Emerging and Reemerging Diseases
This course provides a foundation of knowledge on the public health consequences of infections originating in vertebrate animals that cross over to humans with or without disease. Topics include: the consequences of animal-transmitted infections on the emergence of new human diseases; adaptation process of animal infections transitioning from animal microbes to become human microbes; human activities, occupational exposures, and medical practices that enable microbial transitions. Students will present reports and follow zoonotic disease outbreaks in real time.
SPHU 4400 Bioinformatics and Genomics
This course is an introduction to basic concepts, principles, methods and web resources of bioinformatics and genomics. Topics include: genome organization and evolution, scientific publications and archives, information retrieval, alignment and phylogenetic trees, structural bioinformatics and drug discovery, systems biology, metabolic pathways, gene expression and regulation. After taking the course, students will learn the terminology and notations used in bioinformatics and genomics, and grasp basic skills to access, retrieve, and analyze biological data.
SPHU 4410 Data and Information Management in Public Health
This course provides students with a full introduction to data and information management. The topics include tools for collecting data; database concepts; data-entry techniques; queries of databases; data quality control; data cleaning, sharing, and reporting; database design; implementation and management of database systems. Hands-on exercises in medicine, biology, and public health are mainly practiced MS Access. Having taken this course, students will be able to design, implement and manage a database system for use in public health.
SPHU 4910 Independent Study
The student will meet with their faculty advisor to design and independent study which focuses on a topic which is germane to their interests and future studies.
SPHU 4440 Social Aspects of Infectious Diseases (Summer)
Led by Dr. Latha Rajan, the honors course offered students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the social contexts of infectious diseases including the challenges posed by cultural, governmental and educational policies and practices related to curbing the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Malaysia. Click here for more information The school reserves the right to change its rules, regulations, courses, and requirements and to make all such changes applicable to all students, whether new or continuing, when in its sole judgment such changes are deemed necessary.
SPHU 4580 Summer International Capstone - Environmental Health Threats in Suriname
Student learning objectives:
- Describe the general characteristics of the Suriname ecosystem
- Characterize the risks posed by environmental contamination to ecosystem and population health
- Develop community-based intervention strategies to address those risks
- Identify environmental factors influencing the public’s health in Suriname
- Assess the leading causes of morbidity and mortality
- Describe the public health implications of mercury contamination potentially related to gold mining affecting indigenous food sources, specifically fish
- Assess the access and use of pesticides in large and small-scale agriculture
- Describe public health relevance of nutriceuticals and indigenous medicinal plants
SPHU 4580 Summer International Capstone - Health Systems of China
During their coursework, students will be introduced to various aspects (cultural, social, economic, epidemiological) of the country’s healthcare system. Since the course will be delivered on location in China, the classroom lessons will be augmented through a series of field visits and real world observations. Further, China’s recent health reform strategies will be critically examined through directed readings, seminar lectures, and discussions with leaders of the Chinese healthcare system. The course also will examine the financing of the health care system and will evaluate and analyze how providers are incentivized and paid. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the health sector organization, students will visit a number of sites including primary care centers, tertiary hospitals, public health entities, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, and research organizations. Also, students will travel to areas in rural China to learn how health care is provided outside the country’s major urban area. Students also do a service-learning rotation and register for one hour of service credits.
BSPH/MPH Joint Degree Program GRADUATE CURRICULUM CORE
(These are open to students completing the BSPH/MPH Joint Degree Program, and are not mandatory)
GEHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health Sciences
Major environmental health problems, including water quality, wastewater, occupational health, trace elements in the environment, municipal and hazardous waste, food protection, vector control, and air quality are discussed. Click for learning objectives.
GHSD 6030 Principles of Health Systems Administration and Mgt.
Concepts and principles of management as they are applied in the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, controlling, and evaluating in health services organizations. Includes study of managerial roles, styles, activities, and decision-making, as well as the relationship between management and organizational effectiveness. This course is most useful to students intending to work in the United States. Click for learning objectives.
GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health
An overview of the contribution of the social and behavioral sciences to health behavior. The course includes examples from the intervention levels of health promotion, health protection, and disease prevention. Click for learning objectives.
BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics
Introduction to statistical methodology in the health field. Topics include presentation of data (graphs and tables), descriptive statistics, concepts of probability, estimation of parameters, hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, correlation, and the analysis of attribute data. It is recommended for students with any mathematical or statistical background and those needing a firm foundation in statistical methods either for their careers or preparation for further quantitative courses. Click for learning objectives.
EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods
The course prepares students to function effectively as mid-level epidemiologists in public health agencies or other settings. The knowledge base and skills that are the focus of this course are fundamental to the scope of work expected of master's degree graduates in epidemiology. The course focuses on epidemiological approaches to activities that are a routine part of public health practice. Click for learning objectives.
TRMD 6010 BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF DISEASE
Professor Wiser. This course provides a foundation of knowledge about the human body in health and disease. It gives an overview of important concepts of the biological mechanisms of disease at the cellular, individual, and societal levels. At the cellular level, the course summarizes DNA and cellular function, genomics, immunology, and vaccination. At the individual and societal levels, the course addresses the most important infectious and non-infectious causes of death worldwide, providing background on their pathways, clinical aspects, patterns of disease occurrence, risk factors, and methods of prevention.