The course descriptions below are correct to the best of our knowledge as of April 2016. Instructors reserve the right to update and/or otherwise alter course descriptions as necessary after publication. The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. The Course Rotation Guide lists the expected semester a course will be taught. Please refer to the published schedule of classes for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times. In addition to the courses listed in the Bulletin and courses approved after April 1, SPH degree candidates may register for a directed (independent) study with a full-time SPH faculty member. For more information, speak with your faculty advisor or a staff member in the SPH Registrar’s office.
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SPH EH 757: Environmental Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The environmental health and epidemiology MPH core course requirements AND EH725 or consent.
This course introduces students to epidemiologic investigations of environmental health problems. Topics include both traditional and innovative subjects and strategies, such as the health effects associated with air and water contaminants, toxic waste sites, lead, and radiation, as well as environmental exposures that have received attention only recently, such as endocrine disruptors and electromagnetic fields. The course emphasizes epidemiologic methods, particularly exposure assessment, modeling, cluster analysis, and sources of bias. Students gain experience in the critical review and design of related epidemiologic studies. This course counts as concentration credit for epidemiology concentrators.
SPH EH 804: Exposure Assessment
Graduate Prerequisites: MPH Epidemiology and Environmental Health core courses and EH725 or consent
The process of assessing exposure is a critical component of occupational and environmental epidemiology, of determining compliance with health and safety regulations, and in conducting human health risk assessments. This course in exposure assessment covers the basic concepts and methods of study design, data collection, and data analysis/interpretation. Students analyze relevant case studies and conduct a study in which they develop their own exposure assessment strategy, collect and analyze data, prepare a final report, and present their findings.
SPH EH 805: Environmental Health Science, Policy and Law
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH environmental health core course is required; the MPH health law core course is highly recommended, but not required.
This course uses a case-study approach to discuss current and historic controversies in environmental and occupational health policy making. Our specific focus is on the examination of how scientific information (e.g., risk assessments, exposure analyses, epidemiologic studies, clinical case reports,) is used (or is not used) in policy decisions. Students will learn how environmental health laws and regulations are made and challenged, and gain experience looking up laws, regulations and court decisions. Case studies feature international treaties, federal and state court cases, laws, regulations, and policies. Topic areas include air and water quality, hazardous waste, environmental justice, worker safety, and the precautionary principle.
SPH EH 811: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Public Health
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH core courses in biostatistics, epidemiology & environmental health. EH811 is an introductory level course for the novice GIS user.
This course is an introductory level course for a novice GIS user. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a useful tool in the public health field. This course provides students with the skills needed to apply GIS in their careers. Topics covered include basic mapping, development of geographical datasets, and data analysis from applications of GIS in different disciplines of public health. A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to computer lab sessions. The course will use ArcGIS software.
SPH EH 840: Advanced and Emerging Topics in Toxicology
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH environmental health core course requirement, EH725, and EH768 or consent of instructor.
This advanced-level course builds on the content of EH768. The course uses a case study approach to teach the molecular mechanisms by which compounds exert their toxicity in addition to dose-response analyses that are applicable to regulatory toxicology. Experimental methods and toxicological data that are generated are presented and discussed for each of the case studies. The most recent literature is consulted to support the most up-to-date analyses of toxic mechanisms. Major topics include cellular mechanisms of action of toxicants as they relate to endocrine/reproductive toxicology, neurotoxicology, and immunotoxicology, and the use of these data in regulatory toxicology. Up and coming areas (e.g. microbiome) and contentious chemicals (e.g. glyphosate) are included each year.
SPH EH 866: Risk Assessment Methods
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH Environmental Health core course, EH725, and EH768. BS704 recommended.
Students learn practical application of risk assessment methods to various environmental problems. The focus of the course is on human health risk assessment and teaches students to quantify the risk of adverse health effects from exposures to chemicals in the environment . Students also can apply what they learn to evaluations of biological and radiological exposures. The strengths and weaknesses of risk assessment methods, the inherent uncertainties in each step, and the relationship between risk assessment and risk management are discussed.
SPH EH 914: Environmental Health Doctoral Seminar
Graduate Prerequisites: EH Doctoral students only. Consent of instructor required.
This is a doctoral-level seminar course. A new central topic in environmental health is covered each semester. Topics include carcinogenesis/mutagenesis, vaccine development and application, molecular epidemiology, microbial pathogenesis, etc. Each semester proceeds from an historical perspective, and includes both basic science and policy issues. Students are assigned readings from the literature for presentation as a formal lecture, with related discussion to be led by the student.
SPH EH 980: Continuing Study in Environmental Health
Graduate Prerequisites: Must be doctoral student working on dissertation.
Doctoral students who have completed all academic course requirements, must register for Continuing Study every Fall and Spring semester until they have successfully defended their dissertation and applied to graduate from SPH. Students are charged the equivalent of two credits of tuition, student health insurance, and all relevant fees, and are certified as full time. EH980 is a non-graded, no academic credit status. All students registered for continuing study will attend EH Doctoral Seminars scheduled by the Director of Doctoral Education for EH.
SPH EP 713: Introduction to Epidemiology
EP713 is the sole introductory epidemiology course for all SPH programs (replacing EP711 and EP712). The goals of EP713 are to introduce the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and demonstrate their applicability to public health and research and to provide fundamental skills needed to begin to interpret and critically evaluate literature relevant to public health professionals. Topics include measures of disease frequency and effect, epidemiologic study designs, bias, and screening for disease. Class lectures are interspersed with active learning exercises consisting of a mixture of in-class problems, exercises, and discussions, and online and independent learning modules further enable students to achieve the learning objectives.
SPH EP 721: Survey Methods for Public Health
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidemiology MPH core course is required. The biostatistics MPH core course is recommended.
This course stresses the theory and practice of conducting high quality survey research in health fields. Classes are a mixture of lectures, examples from real world studies, and skill exercises. Topics include research design, question construction, sampling, data collection methods, interviewing, coding, reliability,validity and preparing data for analysis. The course is appropriate for those who will do research as well as those who will be research consumers.
SPH EP 730: Epidemiology of Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH epidemiology core course requirement
This course will provide students with a thorough understanding of the epidemiology and control of vaccine-preventable diseases. This will be accomplished by focusing on a different vaccine-preventable disease each week, and using that disease to illustrate epidemiologic principles and methods related to measuring vaccine efficacy and safety, overall impact, herd effects, special populations, adverse reactions, and public acceptability. Emphasis will be placed on current developments, outbreaks, controversies, study designs, and sources of bias. This course combines short lectures with in-class discussions and will provide students with practice and feedback in the critical review and design of epidemiologic studies.
SPH EP 735: Principles of Cancer Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH epidemiology core course requirement. Students may not take both EP735 and EP752 for degree credit.
This 2-credit course is designed to provide an overview of the important concepts and tools fundamental to the understanding, design, and conduct of cancer epidemiology studies. We will present a theoretical framework, providing an overview of the biology of cancer, as well as the major epidemiologic concepts critical to cancer epidemiology. We will study many of the major cancer sites, including breast, lung, colon, prostate, and cervix, reviewing both descriptive data on incidence and mortality, risk factors, and methodologic issues involved in studying these cancers. We will review several major risk factors for cancer, including tobacco, ionizing radiation, nutrition and physical activity, infections, and environmental exposures. Assignments for the class include readings, class participation including discussions of readings, and four written critiques of articles. Students may not take both EP735 and EP752 for degree credit.
SPH EP 740: Introduction to Epidemiology of Aging
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH epidemiology core course requirement
This 2-credit course introduces public health students to major research topics regarding age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities, as well as the special considerations in the design and execution of epidemiologic studies in this field. The main objectives of each session are to 1) use web-based or public-use data on the incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and health consequences of the disease or condition to describe why it is important to study in elderly adults; 2) critically review 1-2 articles to understand the current state of knowledge on the topic; and 3) examine the special methodological issues that conducting studies of the topic in an elderly study population pose. These objectives will be met by brief student presentations each week of the epidemiology of the disease/condition, lectures by researchers who are performing studies on that condition, and journal club discussions of relevant articles that students will critique. Students will synthesize this information in a short (8-10 page) grant proposal for a study on the prevention or treatment of a disease/condition that affects elderly adults.
SPH EP 748: Drug Epidemiology (formerly EP830)
Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH biostatistics and epidemiology core courses are required; EP813 is recommended.
With the participation of active researchers in pharmacoepidemiology, this course addresses a range of study designs and analytic techniques for observational studies on the utilization, safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. Students will develop an understanding of how to plan, implement, analyze and criticize pharmacoepidemiologic studies. Lectures will provide methodological background and will cover applied issues typically encountered in pharmacoepidemiology. In addition, students will become acquainted with the drug approval process in the United States, and with issues particularly relevant or unique to the epidemiologic study of medications (e.g., risk management, post marketing surveillance).
SPH EP 751: Cardiovascular Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidemiology MPH core requirement.
The goal of this course is to enable students to understand major aspects of cardiovascular epidemiology and current strategies for primary and secondary prevention of major cardiovascular diseases (i.e. stroke, heart attack, heart failure or hypertension). The course concentrates on physiologic mechanisms leading to atherosclerosis; traditional and novel CHD risk factors; prediction models for CVD; and the role of lifestyle, dietary, and genetic factors on the development of CVD. In addition, relevant historical breakthrough and current controversies in CVD are discussed using the latest publication from lay press and peer-reviewed journals. A fair amount of time is devoted to acquiring skills in scientific writing and data interpretation. These latter skills are used by the students to design and complete a CVD epidemiology project on a topic of their choosing. Each student (group of students) then presents his/her completed project in class during the last 2 sessions of the course. The course is taught by the course Director and other senior investigators who are experts in different areas of cardiovascular disease.
SPH EP 752: Cancer Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidmiology MPH core requirement. Students may not take both EP752 and EP735 for degree credit.
This course provides an overview of the important concepts fundamental to the understanding, design, and conduct of cancer epidemiology studies. The course commences with the descriptive epidemiology of cancer, including time trends in incidence and mortality, and geographic and demographic variation in cancer rates. An overview of the biology of cancer, and a review of the major epidemiologic concepts critical to cancer epidemiology is covered. The descriptive and analytic epidemiology of major cancer sites, including breast, lung, colon, prostate, cervix and melanoma, is discussed, as well as major risk factors for cancer, including tobacco, nutrition, infections, and environmental exposures. The course format consists of a series of lectures by faculty and guests, discussion sessions, and directed readings from the current literature. Students are required to pursue a cancer-related topic of their choosing in depth, developing a proposal for an epidemiologic study that will further current knowledge based on their literature review of the topic. Students may not take both EP752 and EP735 for degree credit.
SPH EP 755: Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidemiology MPH core requirement
This course introduces students to the biology, epidemiologic methods, and mathematical models needed to study infectious diseases in populations. In addition to lecture presentations on biologic and clinical aspects of infectious diseases, their distribution within populations, and their control, the course also covers study design issues specific to infectious diseases and simple infectious disease modeling. The course includes analysis of actual infectious disease outbreaks and studies through workshops and article reviews.
SPH EP 758: Nutritional Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The biostatistics and epidemiology MPH core course requirements.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of nutritional epidemiology. In the class, we will focus on methodological issues relating to design, dietary assessment, and data analysis of studies on diet and disease. We will also review some of the literature relating nutrition to certain disease states, including coronary heart disease and cancer, in which we highlight methodological issues and interpretation of findings in nutritional epidemiologic research. Students completing this course will understand the basic principles of nutritional epidemiology and will be able to apply them in reading the literature and participating in nutrition research projects. This is a small, intermediate-level epidemiology class, which combines lectures with in-class discussion of classic and cutting-edge research articles. In addition, one-on-one meetings are set up with students throughout the semester to provide focused attention and facilitate mastery of the material.
SPH EP 759: Reproductive Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The epidemiology MPH core course requirement.
This course surveys current knowledge concerning the epidemiology of reproductive heath across the lifespan. Topics vary from year to year but may include infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, menopause, uterine fibroids, gynecologic cancers, and male reproductive health. The course emphasizes epidemiologic methods and gives the student experience in the critical review and design of epidemiologic studies in this area.
SPH EP 762: Clinical Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: The biostatistics and epidemiology MPH core requirements.
This course introduces students to topics and methods in clinical epidemiology. Covered topics include those traditionally regarded within the purview of clinical epidemiology such as the evaluation of diagnostic tests (sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and ROC curves), decision analysis, cost effectiveness analysis, outcomes assessment, and meta-analysis. At the conclusion of the course students will understand concepts of clinical epidemiology, know the indications for using each clinical epidemiology method, and be prepared to critically evaluate studies that employ these methods. Since this course uses numerous clinical examples, it is not recommended for those with no clinical experience.