MPH Functional Certificate: Design and Conduct of Public Health Research

Public health is a dynamic field, with knowledge and practice driven by research. This certificate is targeted to students with an interest in participating in public health research studies, as research assistants, data managers and analysts, or study managers, and provides training in the conduct of public health research and in research methods relating to both qualitative and quantitative data. Students gain an understanding of study design and procedures, research ethics and the responsible conduct of research, and the protection of human subjects in public health research. Students gain skills in analyzing public health data and translating research results for policy and practice. Students can focus on methods relating to other certificates, including Global Health, Maternal and Child Health, and Environmental Hazard Assessment.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate relative strengths and weaknesses of various study designs to address a specific public health research question.
  • Identify methodological and practical issues involved with planning and implementing a public health research study, including issues relating to the responsible conduct of research and the protection of human subjects.
  • Access and analyze publicly available public health data sets, such as the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
  • Identify, conduct, and interpret an appropriate statistical analysis for a given public health research question and study design.
  • Interpret and communicate the results, strengths, and limitations of a public health research article in both technical and non-technical terms.

Course Requirements

  • BS 723 Introduction to Statistical Computing (4 cr) or BS 730 Introduction to R: Software for Statistical Computing (4 cr)
  • BS 740 Design and Conduct of Public Health Research (4 cr)
  • GH 811 Applied Research Methods in Global Health (4 cr)
  • Choose 4 credits from the following:
    • BS 805 Intermediate Statistical Computing (4 cr)
    • EH 811 Geographic Information Systems in Public Health (4 cr)
    • EP 721 Survey Methods for Public Health (4 cr)
    • GH 775 Field Practicum in Tanzania (4 cr)
    • SB 818 Qualitative Research Methods (4 cr)
    • SB 822 Quantitative Methods for Program Evaluation (4 cr)
    • PH 801 Community-Engaged Research: Theory Methods and Applications (4 cr)

Integrative Learning Experience

Students will complete a written product demonstrating both MPH program competencies and competencies relating to the design and conduct of public health research certificate. Two options for the ILE are a statistical analysis or a research study proposal.