Public Health Core

  • SPH PH 506: Global Health and the World Health Organization
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: For undergraduate students in Geneva Internship Program only. Does not carry SPH graduate credit.
    Global Health and the World Health Organization is designed for students with an interest in the theory and practice of health management in developing countries. There are no prerequisites: students with a background in international relations, politics, and economics will all find that the course touches on issues relevant to their main field of study. The course is divided into six topics, including nutrition, maternal and child health, and infectious diseases. Policy issues involving research into the causes of illness and the treatment of disease in the developing world will also be discussed. The course will be directed and partly taught by Dr Philip Jenkins, who has worked on public health issues at the World Health Organization for eighteen years. There will also be many specialized guest lectures by international experts from the World Health Organization or other health-care organizations based in Geneva and field-trips to some of these organizations. This course is for undergraduates enrolled through the Geneva Internship Program only.
  • SPH PH 507: Controversies in Global Health
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: For undergraduates in Geneva Internship Program only. Does not carrySPH graduate credit.
    This course introduces students to the global health organizations active in the field of public health by examining the international character of health, particularly with the emergence of HIV/AIDS, multinational droughts and famine, humanitarian crisis?, and the threat of infectious pandemics. This course will place an emphasis on issues involved in best coordinating the efforts of agencies involved to achieve the greatest benefit for afflicted people. Through a series of lectures with international health specialists and structured visits to international aid institutions students will learn about the administration of international health organizations, the international difficulties arising from third party relief work, social determinants of health, healthcare and gender issues, and global pharmaceutical trade. For students in Geneva Internship Program only. Does not carry graduate credit at SPH.
  • SPH PH 510: Essentials of Public Health
    Students will gain an understanding of public health as a broad, collective enterprise that seeks to extend the benefits of current biomedical, environmental, social, and behavioral knowledge in ways that maximize its impact on the health status of a population. The course will provide an overview of the public health approach including epidemiology, disease surveillance, sustainable solutions, social determinants of health, and disease prevention. Through active learning, students will learn skills in identifying and addressing an ever-expanding list of health problems that call for collective action to protect, promote and improve our nation's health, primarily through preventive strategies. Specific topics will include: food safety, toxics reduction, HIV/AIDS & COVID-19, vaccines, and tobacco control and prevention. PH510 is a requirement for obtaining an undergraduate minor in public health. It is appropriate for undergraduates and others who are not in an SPH degree program. It does not carry degree credit for MPH students. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • SPH PH 511: Pathogens, Poverty, and Populations: An Introduction to Global Health
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Not for SPH graduate credit. Students who take PH511 may not take GH703 for MPH degree credit.
    Graduate Prerequisites: Students who complete PH511 may not take SPH GH703 for MPH degree credit.
    This course will introduce students to issues of public health importance in developing countries. For each disease or public health problem considered, the class will explore its epidemiology, natural history, risk factors and contributing causes, and responses of the public health community at local, national, regional, and international levels. The course includes six sections: Core Concepts, Child Health and Nutrition, Infectious Diseases, Women?s Health and HIV/AIDS, Chronic and Non-communicable Diseases, and Concluding Sessions. PH511 is appropriate for undergraduates and others who are not in an SPH degree program. Students who complete PH511 as undergraduates should not also take IH703.
  • SPH PH 700: Foundations of Public Health
    Effective public health requires expertise from many disciplines, and students in public health sciences need to have a broad foundation of knowledge across these diverse disciplines in order to collaborate effectively with other health professionals. PH700 Foundations of Public Health is an online course designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in the profession and science of public health and factors related to public health. PH700 (0 credits) meets the foundational knowledge criteria (as outlined by CEPH) for all MPH and DrPH students.
  • SPH PH 701: Online MPH Launch
    Students are introduced to the program's learning platforms, tools, and resources to support their success in an online learning environment. Students learn the foundations of public health, including public health history, its core functions and disciplines and biological and social factors that affect health.
  • SPH PH 702: Data, Determinants, and Decision-Making for Health Equity
    In this module, students learn about public health approaches for health and health equity, including social determinants of health. Students learn fundamental quantitative skills to analyze, synthesize, and apply data to inform decisions, and improve population health outcomes. Students develop skills in data collection, population health needs assessments, budget and resource management, managing conflict, and leadership.
  • SPH PH 703: Policy, Programs and Public Health Communication
    In this module, students learn about policymaking, globally, and culture- and context appropriate communication and advocacy strategies to improve health in diverse populations. Students learn to design theory- and evidence-based policies programs and interventions, understand ethics, evidence, and local and global politics in policymaking's, and assess health care and regulatory systems.
  • SPH PH 704: Applied Methods in Population Health Science
    In this module, students develop both quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis skills to identify and address sources of health inequities. Students develop skills in epidemiologic methods, exposure assessment, health impact assessment, big data management, data visualization and translation, coding and thematic analyses.
  • SPH PH 705: Public Health Policy, Advocacy, and Community Organizing
    In this module, students learn strategies to address public health challenges affecting their communities. Students learn to translate knowledge into practice by use of effective communication and education strategies to integrate different perspectives, audiences, and sectors. Students develop skills in stakeholder engagement, public health advocacy, resource-mapping, coalition building, community health organizing, and policy evaluation.
  • SPH PH 706: Applied Public Health Practice
    In this practice-based module, students learn to apply research skills in real- world settings to improve health outcomes of individuals, communities, and populations. Students gain real-world experiences in areas such as: community health needs assessments, intervention design, implementation, and cost estimation, and monitoring and evaluation of programs for impact and implementation fidelity.
  • SPH PH 707: Integrative Seminar
    In this final capstone module, students demonstrate the skills and knowledge they gained throughout the program in the form of a high-quality written product. Students address the ways that structural bias and social inequities undermine health and they design strategies to communicate evidence-based findings to diverse audiences.
  • SPH PH 708: Local and Global Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparing for Future Pandemics
    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a major impact on societies across the globe from high-income to low- and middle-income countries. The disease caused by this virus, COVID-19, has caused substantial morbidity and mortality yet many questions remain unanswered. Although there has been a plethora of published data on this disease and the causative agent, the quality of the available data varies widely. Given the importance of this pandemic for global and domestic health, and the way it has changed civilization, there is a need for a high level look at the epidemiology and worldwide impact of COVID-19 while delving into the disease vulnerabilities of certain subpopulations and the health disparities that have been highlighted and aggravated by the disease, and looking to future prevention and control of this disease, and optimizing preparedness and response to any other respiratory disease that might subsequently emerge.
  • SPH PH 712: Public Health Response to Emergencies in the United States
    This course provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the public health impacts and roles during emergencies and disasters in the United States. The course will use two recent cases, 2013 Boston marathon bombing and 2009-2010 pandemic flu, to explore the persons, events, decisions, policies, and systems involved in each of the events. Students will apply emergency preparedness skills to analyze preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations and to communicate risk effectively. Students will consider the question that plagues governmental authorities and residents alike: ARE WE READY? In the end, students will possess a command over how the public health system can provide essential services and support healthy communities during times of emergency. This is accomplished through a combination of case studies, panel discussions, team activities, tours, and exercises.
  • SPH PH 715: Communication and Collaboration for Public Health Leaders
    This course prepares students to develop and implement communications strategies. Students will learn how to communicate complex topics in clear and engaging ways to the public, media, elected officials and others outside of the public health discipline.
  • SPH PH 717: Quantitative Methods for Public Health
    Public health is, at its core, an evidence-based discipline. Evaluating relevant evidence to understand the distribution and determinants of disease across the population and to identify and engage in prevention activities requires the collection, analysis and communication of quantitative information. In this course, students will learn fundamental quantitative skills to evaluate data and make evidence-based decisions as a public health professional. This course will provide students with core training in the conduct and design of epidemiologic studies, basic biostatistical analyses and the use of biostatistical software, and foundational knowledge of exposure and outcome assessment.
  • SPH PH 718: Leadership and Management for Public Health
    Public health professionals rarely work alone to make anything happen. Thus, the goal of this course is to develop your ability to be a change agent for public health by furthering your abilities to communicate with, engage, and organize others in the pursuit of specific projects and change efforts. While you may not immediately hold a formal leadership position, you can always "lead from where you are" and/or informally by understanding how to effectively and ethically work with others both within and beyond your particular organizational home, and manage processes to achieve specific objectives, in order to advance the health issues that you care about.
  • SPH PH 719: Health Systems, Law, and Policy
    This is a course about who gets what health services, when and how. Policies and laws governing what services are available and on what terms strongly influence health status at both the individual and population levels. This course examines the Constitutional, regulatory, political and socio-economic bases for the policies that determine access, quality, cost and equity in health services and population health programs. While the focus is principally on US examples, the course is structured on the World Health Organization's framework for organizing and analyzing national health systems, covering governance, financing, delivery systems, workforce, and human and other resources. The course combines intensive individual preparation for each class using both written and video materials, interactive class presentations and hands-on individual and group projects in laboratory sessions.
  • SPH PH 720: Individual, Community, and Population Health
    This course is intended to provide students with a foundation for future coursework in program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. It assumes little prior knowledge of determinants of health, and various ways of addressing health problems. It aims to help give students an appreciation of health and the determinants of health at multiple levels in order to gain knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively to improve the health of individuals, communities, and populations.
  • SPH PH 728: Religion, Ethics, and Public Health
    This course will introduce students to the health related aspects of a variety of Western and Eastern religious and ethical traditions, health controversies that exist within those traditions, methods that can be used to reconcile public health needs with religious and ethical traditions. Through review of case studies, students will be challenged to harmonize public health priorities with cultural beliefs in a way that best serves the community. For example, we will study the religious and ethical controversy inherent in major public health issues such as exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws, sex education in public schools, statues outlawing female genital cutting, life support withdrawal, determination of death, faith healing, fetal stem cell research and allocation of scarce resources. Ultimately, students will generate a robust conceptual framework, enabling a nuanced approach to some of the most critical topics in the field of public health.