MPH Context Certificate: Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases are responsible for a significant burden of disease, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations worldwide. The problems posed by these diseases to both governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations focused on health and development are numerous and varied. Infectious diseases range from chronic neglected tropical diseases that primarily occur in rural communities of low- and middle-income countries, to waterborne, foodborne, and vector-borne diseases that affect both rural and urban populations in those countries, to diseases caused by multi-drug-resistant organisms that are one of the largest threats to public health in all regions of the world. Climate change, environmental changes (deforestation and increased urbanization), global travel, and international commerce facilitate the emergence and spread of novel and known infectious pathogens to new geographical locations.

This 12-credit certificate provides a foundation for a public health career that will involve working with infectious diseases in the many settings where they occur. Students will learn how data are collected and analyzed in order to identify agent, host, and environmental (physical, social, behavioral, cultural, economic, political) factors contributing to the cause and spread of infectious diseases. Upon completing the certificate, graduates will be prepared to design contextually appropriate interventions for infectious disease prevention, control, and elimination.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Collect and analyze data to describe agent, host, and environmental factors contributing to the causation and spread of infectious diseases.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate methodologies to study infectious diseases including diagnostic and environmental testing, surveillance systems, and epidemiologic study designs.
  • Discuss key public health prevention and control activities for major categories of diseases including diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases, vector-borne diseases, foodborne and waterborne diseases, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Design resource setting and socio-culturally appropriate interventions for infectious disease prevention and control; effectively communicate recommendations in both technical and non-technical terms.
  • Critically assess the infectious disease academic literature, analyzing the strength and validity of the hypothesis, study design and methods, results, conclusions, and public health significance of primary research studies.

Course Requirements

  • SPH EP 755 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (4 cr)
  • Choose 8 credits from the following:
    • SPH BS 728 Public Health Surveillance: A Methods-Based Approach (2 cr)
    • SPH BS 825 Advanced Methods in Infectious Disease Epidemiology (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 735 Environmental Determinants of Infectious Diseases (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 745 Wastewater and Health/Sustainable Sanitation (2 cr)
    • SPH EH 750 Water Quality and Public Health (2 cr)
    • SPH EP 730 Epidemiology of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (2 cr)
    • SPH EP 764 The Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the Developed and Developing World (2 cr)
    • SPH EP 784 The Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in the Developed and Developing World (2 cr)
    • SPH EP 800 Microbes and Methods: Selected Topics in Outbreak Investigation (2 cr)
    • SPH GH 715 Antiretroviral Program Management and Adherence Issues in Low-Resource Settings (2 cr)
    • SPH GH 795 Global AIDS Epidemic (4 cr)
    • SPH GH 801 How to License a New Vaccine (4 cr)
    • SPH GH 805 Controversies in Global Control & Eradication of Infectious Diseases (2 cr)
    • SPH PH 708 Local and Global Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparing for Future Pandemics (2 cr)
    • SPH PH 825 Analysis of Emerging Infections Using the One Health Approach (4 cr)