Executive MPH Courses

Core Courses

AEPI 515D Introduction to Public Health Surveillance (2 credit hours)

People who manage disease, injury, or disability prevention and control programs have an ongoing need for reliable information about the status of these health problems among the populations they serve. The process that public health agencies use to collect, manage, analyze, interpret, and disseminate this information is called surveillance. This course aims to provide the mid-career learner with the tools needed to design and manage a surveillance system and to be a critical and informed user of surveillance data.

APHI 501D Applied Public Health Informatics (2 credit hours)

This course introduces the mid-career learner to the emerging field of public health informatics through an overview of public health informatics areas of focus, information management techniques, and key information technology principles. The course enables participants to apply the technologies and methodologies available to improve the use and management of information for problem solving and decision making. Topics include types of data resources available, evaluating data in its context, and ways that the data may be used to affect outcomes. The course is designed for public health professionals and assumes no background in information technologists or public health informatics. [Applied Public Health Informatics students take APHI 520D instead of APHI 501D.]

BIOS 503D Introduction to Biostatistics (2 credit hours)

This course presents basic concepts and data analytic methods with an emphasis on interpretation of common statistical results. Topics covered include summary statistics; probability concepts; confidence intervals; hypothesis testing for means, proportions, and difference between means and proportions; contingency tables (including relative risk and odds ratio); and simple linear regression and correlation. Students will use Microsoft Excel for elementary statistical analyses. [Applied Epidemiology students and Applied Public Health Informatics students take BIOS 516D instead of BIOS 503D.]

BSHE 504D Social Behavior in Public Health (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to describe how behavioral and social science theories, research methods, and practice models can be used to understand and intervene upon public health problems. The social ecological

model provides the conceptual framework for the course with an emphasis on the importance of primary prevention. Students will gain an understanding of how factors at the individual, intrapersonal, community and public policy levels interact to influence health over the life course. The course introduces theories at each of these levels and how to use these theories to inform intervention design. It includes a review of risk factors for the leadings causes of morbidity and mortality and a detailed discussion of how social and economic inequalities and other factors influence health (e.g., psychological stress and coping, social class, culture, race/ethnicity, and gender). The course concludes with a discussion of translating knowledge to action and bringing evidence-based interventions to scale.

EH 500D Perspectives in Environmental Health (2 credit hours)

EH 500 is a survey course designed to introduce public health students to basic concepts of environmental sciences, to the methods used to study the interface of health and the environment, to the health impacts of various environmental processes and exposures, and to the public health approach to controlling or eliminating environmental health risks.

EPI 504D Fundamentals of Epidemiology (2 credit hours)

Epidemiology 504D is an introductory epidemiology course covering the underlying concepts and methods of epidemiology and the applications of epidemiology to public health. Topics covered in the course include: study design (clinical trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, and cross-sectional studies), measures of disease occurrence and association, bias, confounding, interaction, and analysis of two-by-two tables. [Applied Epidemiology students take AEPI 530D instead of EPI 504D.]

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GH 500D Addressing Key Issues in Global Health (2 credit hours)

Introduces the students to global public health issues, such as population growth, maternal mortality, and HIV. It presents how public health data are interpreted from a global perspective, describes future public health trends relevant in domestic public health deliberations.

HPM 500D Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System (2 credit hours)

This course provides an introduction/overview to the various components of the U.S. healthcare system. It examines the multiple determinants of health (focusing on the role that medical care plays), private and public financing mechanisms for medical care, various healthcare providers, and the effects of both market competition and government regulation. One objective of the course is for students to gain institutional knowledge of the U.S. healthcare system that is relevant to both healthcare managers and policy analysts. A second objective of the course is for students to learn to critically examine the tradeoffs associated with various health policies. These tradeoffs fundamentally result from a lack of resources to fund all desired medical care. As such, we will examine how collective interests shape the design of health policies.

PRS 500D Strategies and Resources for Online Learning (0 credit hours)

Strategies and Resources for Online Learning is a requirement for all new students in the Executive MPH program. This Online Orientation is the first introduction for students to Executive MPH courses and the Blackboard Learning platform. This course will orient students to the design and structure of Executive MPH courses, provide instruction on course navigation and use of Blackboard Tools, and simulate activities that you will participate regularly in your academic courses. The assignments throughout the course will help you prepare for your first semester. Students are required to participate in the course and complete the assignments as scheduled. [This 10-14 day course is taken prior to enrollment in the first fall semester.]

PRS 561D Public Health Advocacy (2 credit hours)

Public Health Advocacy (PRS 561D) introduces students to the systems of law and policy that influence health and public health in the U.S. and globally. Prepares students to lead the transformation of laws and policies to meet the health challenges of the 21st Century. Uses case studies to address basic legal concepts such as sources of law, ethical foundations of law, constitutional law, the tension between individual rights and public health, the law-making process, police powers, the courts and the relationship between the federal government and states. Draws from legal, political science, and behavioral science theory and applies theories for creating change to real world public health issues and covers practical techniques and approaches to policy formulation, strategic policy communications, legislative advocacy, and program development.

or PRS 565D Public Health Ethics (2 credit hours)

This course is designed to provide learners with an overview of general ethical perspectives and principles, and an understanding of how these ethical theories and constructs have been applied in medicine, bioethics, and law. This will form the basis for exploring the evolution of public health ethics and applying these lessons to practice.

PRS 595R Practicum (2 credit hours)

Enables students to apply skills and knowledge in an applied setting through a supervised field training experience in a public health setting that complements the student’s interests and career goals.

AEPI 599D, APHI 599D, or PRS 599D Thesis (4 credit hours)

Provides an opportunity to integrate the content and skills learned in the academic setting through participation in scholarly research or other culminating project.

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Applied Epidemiology Courses

Emphasizes the concepts and premises of the science of epidemiology. Introduces techniques for quantifying the amount of disease (or other health indicator) in the populations, followed by discussion of epidemiologic study designs useful for identifying etiologic factors and other relevant correlates of disease. The concepts of random variability, bias, and effect modification are examined. (Prerequisite-College Algebra)

AEPI 534D Applied Epidemiology II (2 credit hours)

Continuing from Applied Epidemiology I, further insight into confounding is explored as well as effect modification. Methods of hypothesis formulation and analysis of 2x2 tables (point estimation and confidence intervals) are described in detail as well as sample size calculations. Different approaches to control for extraneous variables in the design of studies are presented, such as randomization, matching, and restriction. The use of stratification for assessing effect modification and confounding is provided followed by an introduction to mathematical modeling. In stratification, how to calculate and interpret tests for interaction, adjusted point estimates, and confidence limits around the adjusted estimates are covered. Issues in the use of matching in case-control studies and cohort studies are presented. Statistical packages such as SAS and OpenEpi are used.

AEPI 536D Epidemiological Modeling (2 credit hours)

Methods for analyzing multivariable data in order to evaluate epidemiological research relationships between exposure and disease variables. Includes logistic regression (conditional and unconditional), risk ratio regression, risk difference regression, and survival analysis.

AEPI 538D Applied Data Analysis (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to prepare the student for actual analysis of epidemiologic data from case-control or cohort studies. It demonstrates, and gives the student an opportunity to explore, the methods taught in the epidemiology methods sequence. The student will develop a hypothesis, and test it using an epidemiologic database with stratified analysis and logistic regression techniques. The student also will use conditional logistic regression. It is expected that this course will help prepare Executive MPH students for analyzing their Thesis data.

AEPI 540D Case Studies in Infectious Disease (2 credit hours)

Provides training in the investigation, control, and prevention of infectious diseases by both descriptive and analytic epidemiological techniques. Students work with infectious diseases of national and international interest.

AEPI 545D Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (2 credit hours)

This course builds on students’ foundation in epidemiologic methods and concepts and introduces them to selected public health issues for MCH populations including non-pregnant reproductive aged women, pregnant women, fetus’ and infants, and children and adolescents. The arena of MCH is a unique blend of science, policy, and advocacy; this course introduces students to the epidemiologic and analytic tools which help identify and measure MCH health issues and communicate this evidence to inform public health action. Recurring themes will be on interpretation of indicators and measures, MCH health through the lens of a life course perspective, and the relevance of health disparities to MCH research and practice.

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AEPI 555D Chronic Disease Epidemiology (2 credit hours)

Emphasis is placed on the distribution and determinants of chronic disease within the population. Research design and analysis are not the primary focus of the course, but methodological issues are considered when pertinent to the interpretation of findings.

AEPI 565D: Advanced Modeling (2 credit hours)

Advanced Modeling will cover multivariate methods for analyzing epidemiologic data that involve examining associations between exposures and outcomes for which the outcome data are the time to an event, event rates, or a count of events. The course covers survival analysis and Poisson regression.

BIOS 516D Applied Biostatistics I (2 credit hours)

This course covers fundamental concepts and methods used in data analysis. These include techniques in graphical and numerical descriptive statistics, elementary probability calculation using the normal distribution, point and confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing for population means and proportions, differences between means and between proportions, and contingency table analyses (including risk ratio and odds ratio). Students will use SAS to perform the statistical analysis. Requirements include weekly homework, weekly quizzes, Midterm and Final Exams, and data analysis project.

BIOS 517D Applied Biostatistics II (2 credit hours)

BIOS 517D is the follow-up course to BIOS 516D. This course starts with a review of the previous course, focusing on power and sample size. Nonparametric analogues of the parametric tests introduced in the preceding semester are also covered. Students then learn about linear regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA). A good grasp of the statistical methods taught in this course is necessary to conduct biomedical and public health research and to comprehend what is reported in the published literature. This course is also a prerequisite to BIOS 518D, which is a course on longitudinal data analysis.

BIOS 518D Applied Biostatistics III (2 credit hours)

BIOS 518D is the follow-up to BIOS 517D. This course starts with ANOVA and ANACOVA and post-ANOVA multiple comparison procedures for cross-sectional data. It then introduces students to longitudinal data analysis. As in previous courses, students first learn to create descriptive and graphical summaries appropriate to longitudinal data prior to conducting formal inference. Students are introduced to multilevel models and extend the methods to more complex analytic situations that involve curvilinear and discontinuous growth trajectories and complex risk profiles, the inclusion of time-varying covariates, and the testing of complex interactions among time-invariant and time-varying predictors.

Applied Public Health Informatics Courses

APHI 520D Introduction to Public Health Informatics (2 credit hours)

For the students with an introductory knowledge of public health informatics, the purpose of this course is to provide students with foundational principles, exposing them to the tools, methodologies, data sources, terminologies, and policy issues as they relate to the emerging field of public health informatics. This course sets a pathway for understanding what specific competencies they will need to execute in the role as a Public Health Informatician. Current national e-health and health care reform priorities and strategies, and their implications for technologies in public health, will be discussed as one of the case studies that shape the competencies required for an Informatician. In addition, students will review the historical and contemporary aspects of public health practice that have required the development of public health informatics. This course also provides the foundation for the remaining courses in the applied public health informatics track.

APHI 525D Overview of Data Sources, Standards, and Information Systems (2 credit hours) 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of current public health data sources, standards, and information systems. The students will learn to identify types and sources of data, as well as their utility to public health. The students will be able to identify the characteristics and features of applications and information systems that support point of service, surveillance, response and population health activities. The students will learn the features of effective public health information system design and best practices in choosing applications, integrating them, and exchanging information across systems. Finally, students will learn to determine the role of standards in enabling information exchange, interoperability, and how to move forward the evolution of standards.

APHI 530D Interpersonal and Organizational Communication for the Public Health Informatician (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with essential social interaction and communication techniques. Students will learn to present and convey public health informatics content and solutions. Students will learn to communicate technical information, as well as the added value of improving information management in public health practice. This course will focus on the communication skills needed by the Informatician to function as the liaison between the program, scientific, and technical stakeholders so they can succeed in understanding and managing stakeholders’ expectations. Learning how to develop the communications needed to drive a successful technology deployment is another aspect to this course that is related to the basics of project management. Part of applying these communications skills is to learn how to derive the actual information and technology needs of a project or program and translate those needs into effective communications channels to a varied set of parties involved.

APHI 535D Project Management and System Lifecycle (2 credit hours) 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the skills and methods used in the management of technology deployment in public health scenarios. The evaluation of information system lifecycles and how they affect the planning and management process is also examined and students will gain experience with the tools to apply the impacts. Students will learn about ways to ensure that the milestones, change management, and quality assurance procedures are in place to deliver the solutions to meet public health needs. Students will also learn techniques, resources, and tools that assist in the analyses and documentation of workflows and business processes, which can be translated into requirements for public health information systems that drive the planning and management process. This course relies heavily on scenarios which require students to apply tools or methods taught in each module.

APHI 540D Data Management and Data Systems Architecture (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with key data terminology, concepts, and model derivation principles for data management, and to provide an understanding of data systems architecture design within the context of public health. Students will learn to apply data design methodologies that are driven by effective requirements capture and public health program outcomes. The students will utilize standard requirements derivation methods to discover and extract data attributes and the data relationships that support a public health intent, outcome, or knowledge purpose. They will also learn to aggregate, normalize, and integrate data from multiple health and public health sources into relational model structures. Finally, students will learn best practices and methodologies that are used to architect interoperable public health data systems based on use of standard systems architectures.

APHI 545D Information Security and Privacy (2 credit hours)

Information security is ultimately about risks and balances. The most secure information system is one that can hardly be used whereas the greater the access given, the more vulnerable the system may be to malicious activities.

This course will enable students to put into practice information security and privacy frameworks and controls that will help determine the best balance or risk posture to protect data and individual privacy. Students will learn key provisions of national and state legislation for protecting the privacy of individuals and populations and understand public health’s unique role within these regulations. In addition, students will work with different technology layers and associated controls that may be put in place to minimize the risk to institutions and the individual information that they protect.

APHI 550D Business Aspects of Public Health Informatics (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the business practices associated with public health informatics. Students will learn to plan for and manage fiscal and operational resources in the midst of shifting budgetary environments. Students will learn the various processes of business technology planning, business case development, resource acquisition, allocation, and managing changing informatics requirements. In addition, students will learn to procure information technology services in order to purchase, develop, modify, and maintain public health information systems using generally accepted business practices and systematic decision-making methods.

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APHI 555D Applied Public Health Informatics Evaluation and Research (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation in the methods and techniques for evidence--‐based practice of public health informatics. Students will learn basic research design concepts, be introduced to various methodologies, and critique the scientific and grey literature. Students will use scientific evidence in the solution of public health informatics challenges. Students will develop evaluation and research skills that will allow them to use authoritative sources for information management strategies and to apply established frameworks for the evaluation of public health information systems.

APHI 580 Public Health Informatics Leadership and Strategy (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to integrate knowledge learned from the course prerequisites and apply it in practical ways to real world situations. Emphasis is placed on the use of emerging technologies to provide new informatics capabilities to public health organizations. Students will develop the skills to ensure that the strategic direction of informatics aligns with the public health mission and goals of an organization, as well as broader e-Health priorities in the community. Students will be able to describe the drivers for and approaches to integration of data within an agency, interoperability across internal information systems within an agency, and interoperability with systems outside of the agency. Students will learn how to critique strategic policies that influence public health informatics and how to assess the impact of these policies on informatics priorities within organizations.

APHI 585D Informatics Solutions for Public Health Decision Making (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students an exploration of classic data warehouse and data fusion methods along with developing an understanding of the variability of data structures that support knowledge derivation and decision support in public health. The course will extend into new areas of know ledge and decision support methods and systems by exploring “big data” concepts and approaches to systems that support these new architectures. Another critical area for decision-making is the visualization of data. Data visualization, data reporting, and active data manipulation approaches and tools will be explored. This will include advanced tools like GIS, OLTP, and dashboard systems.

The introduction of concepts around data having the characteristics “velocity”, “variability”, and “volume” is discussed and how they change a decision support system. Also the three stages of data evolution being dependent, independent, and now interdependent is explored to gain a clear understanding where data analytics and knowledge derivation for decision making is progressing. These concepts evolve beyond a classic understanding of using primary and secondary data sources for descriptive analytics and data mining, which are explored in contrast in the course. Further exploration in how structured and unstructured data sources can work together to create a robust decision support infrastructure meeting challenges we are facing in today’s public health practice.

Consistent with previous courses the methods taught will be driven from a derivation of the outcome-based or practice intent requirements to drive a decision support solution.

The students will extend their skills gained in precursor courses with the data lifecycle process to derive and deploy more complex technology solutions targeting the decision making and analytic processes in public health. The deployment of systems and tools that enable decision-making and data mining is very different than the basic data collection and aggregation systems previous examined in other courses where this course draws a distinction between the two ways of using data.

Prevention Science Courses

PRS 501D Technology Tools for Public Health (2 credit hours)

This course provides an overview of technology tools used to facilitate and enhance collaboration, communication, instruction, productivity, and social networking. Students will become familiar with each of these tools through hands-on practice and will evaluate the tools' usefulness for the practice of health education and behavioral sciences.

PRS 505D Integrated Communication Strategies (2 credit hours)

Explores methods of applying behavioral and cognitive theories to communicating health and behavioral change information. Illustrates communication strategies using a variety of approaches including face-to-face instruction, technology-mediated strategies, and print-based products. Provides students with an overview of concepts and strategies used in data presentation, social marketing, and public health information campaigns. Emphasis is placed on developing skills that enable practitioners to create consumer-oriented public health intervention, advocacy, and professional development efforts. Skills include formative research, audience segmentation, and channel analysis, and multidimensional data presentation.

PRS 535D Questionnaire Design and Analysis (2 credit hours)

This course presents the basics of questionnaire development and data analysis, as well as the interpretation and reporting of findings. The course introduces students to both quantitative and qualitative data methods. Students will develop proficiency in the windows version of Epi Info – an analytic computer package commonly used in the analyses of public health data.

PRS 538D Community Needs Assessment (2 credit hours)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the academic background, technical skills and experience to conduct a health-related community needs assessment. The course assignments are a mix of individual and group assignments. Students will work in small groups. Each group will identify a community to assess and will prepare a community needs assessment report outlining the data descriptive of the community and the community health status. The report will form the basis of class presentations and other class assignments.

PRS 540D Conduct of Evaluation Research (2 credit hours)

This course will provide an overview of program evaluation, using an applied case study approach. Course assignments include required reading, analysis of case study examples and the development of an actual evaluation plan for an evaluation client.

PRS 554D Prevention Effectiveness (2 credit hours)

The Prevention Effectiveness course introduces the basic methods of decision analysis and economic evaluation in public health. Students will engage in a variety of learning activities to gain a general understanding of prevention effectiveness and its methods. Several short assignments based on an ongoing case study and a semester project will provide opportunities for reflection, skill building, and practice throughout the course.

PRS 575D Planning and Performance Measures for Nonprofits and Other Local Agencies (2 credit hours)

Introduces the basic concepts and vocabulary needed to operate, make decisions, and evaluate a nonprofit organization or other local agency. The course focuses on large and small nonprofits and other agencies that provide health education and interventions to improve the health of the public. Attention is given to the flow of funds to and from organizations with consideration given to adherence and compliance to a variety of regulatory requirements. Assignments are a combination of case studies and interactions with actual organizations. The course is designed to provide the learner with practical knowledge and tools to succeed within the nonprofit world.

PRS 580D Research Design and Grant Preparation (2 credit hours)

Explores the basics of the scientific methods used in public health research. Covers how to state hypotheses, critique the scientific literature, develop a research design to test stated hypotheses, and write a research proposal. Compares and contrasts proposal writing and grant writing.

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PICK ONE SEMINAR:  (Not all seminars are offered each spring)

PRS 528D Policy Analysis (2 credit hours)

Public policies impact virtually all aspects of health and health systems. Policy change is one of the most effective approaches to improving public health. Policy analysis is a broad term that describes the qualitative and quantitative methods used to study the phases of the policy-making process, including problem identification, agenda setting, identifying and evaluating policy options, decision making, enactment, policy implementation, policy evaluation. Policy analysis also includes the study and evaluation of the roles of policy makers, interest groups, and policy entrepreneurs in developing and setting policy. In other words, policy analysis is the method by which knowledge of and in the policy making process is created; it can be both descriptive and normative. The purpose of policy analysis is to improve policy outcomes by applying systematic analytic methodologies to policy problems.

PRS 530D Quantitative Analysis (2 credit hours)

Provides students with an introduction to measurement methods and basic knowledge of quantitative applications using SPSS software. Content will stress specific skills and knowledge of working with data sets using basic SPSS functions to analyze research questions and hypotheses, perform appropriate data analysis procedures, and interpret data outputs.

PRS 532D Qualitative Methods (2 credit hours)

Introduces students to qualitative research methods used in public health and applied settings. Content covers relevant aspects of qualitative research including research design, sampling, construction of data collection instruments, data collection techniques including observation, interviewing and focus groups, validity and reliability in qualitative research, analysis, and ethical issues.

PRS 534D Mixed Methods Research and Evaluation Practice (2 credit hours)

This course is designed to introduce students to the mixed methods paradigm in public health research and evaluation practice. The core goal of the course is to blend theory and practice in designing and conducting mixed methods research and evaluation. Students will learn the science behind developing rigorous mixed methods research and evaluation studies, including: developing aims, determining the study design and sampling plan, constructing data collection instruments, communicating study findings, and assessing reliability, validity, and ethical issues in mixed methods studies. Ultimately, students will learn to communicate about the importance of using multiple methods of data collection to enhance translation of research and evaluation findings into improving public health practice.