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Course Descriptions

Core Courses

Foundations of Public Health
This course introduces students to foundational concepts in public health by focusing on the profession and science of public health and the factors related to human health. (1 credit). Course Instructor: Gregory Branch, MD

Professional Skills for Public Health
This course provides students with the academic and professional skills needed for success in the MPH Program and careers in the field of public health.  Students will hone skills in written and oral communication and develop foundational competence in software for data analysis and presentation.  The course will also prepare students with the skills needed for entering and thriving within the public health workforce. (2 credits). Course Instructor: ‌Diane Marie M. St. George, PhD

Health Equity and Social Justice
his course examines the connections between social determinants of health and health equity. The social ecological model will be applied in the analysis of population health problems.  Root causes of health disparities will be explored considering cultural, political, social, racial, class, gender and economic factors.  Social justice principles will be the guiding ethical foundation for the course. Strategies and skills for collaboration and advocacy with diverse populations and groups will be discussed and designed. (3 credits). Course Instructor:  Lori Edwards, DrPH, RN, PHCNS-BC

Concepts in Qualitative Research for Public Health
This course provides an overview of the development of a qualitative approach within public health research and practice. It introduces various interpretive approaches, explores their use, and guides students in applying them to data. Students will analyze data and write up results in a final paper. (3 credits). Course Instructor: Nadine Finigan-Carr, PhD

Principles of Epidemiology
This introductory course presents a comprehensive overview of the concepts and methods of modern epidemiology. A major emphasis is placed on understanding the strengths and limitations of the various epidemiologic study designs. Bias, confounding, effect modification, and causal inference are covered in detail and the students are given the opportunity to apply these concepts in critiques of the published epidemiologic literature. Learning approaches include lectures, readings, discussions, in-class exercises and workshop (3 credits). Course Instructor: Rebecca Nowak, PhD

Program Planning and Evaluation
The focus of this foundational course is the systematic inquiry of health program planning and evaluation in public health practice. Emphasis is on the assessment, planning and evaluation of population focused health promotion and disease prevention programs and projects. Learning approaches include lectures, readings, discussions, in-class exercises, oral presentations, workshops, and field experiences in the community. Students work individually on an evidence-based program critique and short papers; students work on a team-based program plan for a chosen population. (3 credits). Course Instructors:  Susan Wozenski, JD, MPH & Jessica Brown, PhD

Principles of Biostatistics
This is an introductory course in statistics with coverage of elementary probability and statistical theory, and common statistical procedures used in the biomedical and health sciences. Topics include: elementary probability; random variables; binomial and Poisson distributions; sampling distributions; estimation and significance testing; power analysis; elementary study design; numerical and visual summary; inference for means, proportions, risk ratios and odds ratios; two-group comparisons; two-way tables; Wilcoxon Rank-Sum, McNemar's, and Fisher's Exact tests; correlation and simple linear regression. (3 credits). Course Instructor: Helen Powell, PhD

Biostatistical Methods
This course is designed to introduce the students to a broad range of methods commonly used in biomedical and public health research, and 30 to provide some hands-on data analysis experience. Topics to be covered include the role of statistics in science, properties of distributions, exploratory data analysis, inference about means, proportions and survival distributions, and introduction to multivariable methods (3 credits). Course Instructor:  Olga Goloubeva, PhD, MSc

Public Health & Health Care Systems and Policy
This core course presents a comprehensive overview of organization, functions and financial structure of U.S. health care, public health and regulatory systems. A major emphasis is placed on understanding the development and implementation of policy, influence of stakeholders, evidence and ethics in population health. Methods for policy development and evaluation are covered in detail. Students are given the opportunity to apply these concepts through policy analyses of major U.S. public health issues. Learning approaches include lectures, readings, discussions, in-class exercises, debates and case analyses. (3 credits). Course Instructors:  Luis Pinet-Peralta, PhD, MSC, EMTP

Interprofessional Education
Responding to public health problems requires a collaborative approach bringing together experience and perspectives of several professional disciplines.  This course, developed and facilitated by a team of faculty from Law, Public Health and Social Work, explores a current public health problem from an interprofessional lens. Students from Law, Public Health and Social Work will learn with and from each other and together to explore the contemporary issue from various contexts and frameworks. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies serve as a foundational framework for the course. (1 credit). Course Instructors: Diane Marie M. St. George, PhD (MPH Faculty); Michele Beaulieu, LCSW-C (MSW Faculty); Toby Treem Guerin, JD (JD Faculty)

Leadership for Public Health Professionals
This course provides students with the leadership skills required by the contemporary public health workplace.  As a result of this course, students will recognize the importance of applying leadership principles at all levels of a public health agency. Students will assess their own leadership styles and skills and will develop goals for strengthening their capacity to lead.  (2 credits). Course Instructor: Luis Pinet-Peralta, PhD, MSC, EMTP

Community and Population Health Concentration Courses

Community-Based Engagement Methods
This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which social scientists, health professionals, and community members can collaborate to address public health problems through research that leads to improvements in health and quality of life, and organizational or community change. Students and faculty from multiple scholarly disciplines will examine the approaches to community-based participatory research that go beyond the domain of any one discipline. Students will receive training in the skills and knowledge needed to apply mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approaches in designing, implementing, and evaluating public health programs and community-based participatory research. Attention will be given to the scholarly debates and practical/logistical issues in conducting community-based participatory research. Ethical principles of social justice will be applied to public health program planning and evaluation which uses community-based participatory methodology (3 credits). Course Instructor: Bruce DeForge, PhD

Urban Health
Using Baltimore City as a case study, this course will discuss the public health context of the US urban environment. Students will delve into the assets and challenges facing populations in urban centers and how those impact upon health status.  (3 credits). Course Instructor:  Nadine Finigan-Carr, PhD

Health Communication for Behavior Change
This course is designed to expose students to the principles of health communication, health education and health promotion to encourage health behavior change.  These public health practice skills are essential to a public health professional in a wide variety of work settings.  Here we will build on the foundations of social and behavioral influences on public health by reinforcing the links between theory and practice, as well as address such skills as motivational interviewing, cultural sensitivity, and uses of technology in health communication.   Mastering these skills will expand the professional toolkit of our emerging public health professionals to improve population health (3 credits). Course Instructor: Jessica Brown, PhD

Health Survey Research Methods
This course leads students through the steps in survey research from developing a survey questionnaire, to administering it and analyzing the data. The final results of the survey are presented in a paper. (3 credits). Course Instructor: Jessica Brown, PhD 

Epidemiology Concentration Courses

Applied Epidemiology
This course will focus on applying epidemiologic methods to analysis of data on current issues. Students will choose a relevant question, develop testable hypotheses, conduct descriptive analyses, report and discuss results, and consider study limitations. Each step in the process will be supported by lectures and student presentations of their findings to the class. Student evaluation is based on class presentations, participation and a final written paper (3 credits). Course Instructor: Sally Adebamowo, MBBS, MSc, ScD

Observational Studies in Epidemiology
This course provides an in-depth examination of study designs, including case-control and cohort studies. Special emphasis will be placed on possible biases that can occur in epidemiologic research. Some special topics will also be addressed in detail, including screening, misclassification, and questionnaire construction (3 credits). Course Instructors: Jennifer Albrecht, PhD & Patrick McArdle, PhD

Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
This course provides instruction on the specific statistical techniques used in the analysis of epidemiological data. Topics include: treatment of stratified and matched data, detection of interaction, conditional and unconditional logistic regression, survival analysis, and proportional hazards models (3 credits). Course Instructor: Min Zhan, PhD

Clinical Trials/Experimental Epidemiology

This course presents a rigorous overview of the experimental method as applied in therapeutic evaluations. A variety of experimental methods and their clinical applications are studied in detail. Guest speakers of unique expertise and experience in clinical trials also are drawn upon. (3 credits). Course Instructor: Michael Terrin, MD, CM, MPH

Global Health Concentration Courses

Nutritional Epidemiology
This course provides lectures, “hands-on” class demonstrations and activities, and discussions of assigned readings during 15 three-hour sessions. Following an introduction to basic principles of nutritional epidemiology, the topics to be covered will include dietary assessment and analyses; collecting and analyzing anthropometry and body composition data; physical activity measurement and analyses; behavior change theories; principles and applications of biomarkers; relationship between diet and risk of developing diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, infection), international nutritional epidemiology; and the global application of methods relevant to nutrition and disease risk across the life-span. In addition the students will critique and discuss papers selected from the literature. (3 credits). Course Instructor:  Erin Hager, PhD

Global Burden of Disease
The course teaches students about the major causes of global morbidity and mortality and the patterns of variations among and within countries. Communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as injuries will be covered.(3 credits). Course Instructor: Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, RN, CRNP

Critical Issues in Global Health
A series of seminars, lectures and reading assignments designed to give students an overview of the global health problems facing the world today and equip them with tools to navigate the world of international health. The course focuses on teaching students about the global burden of disease and pattern of disease variations between and within countries. It addresses cross cutting issues such as poverty, environmental degradation and the impact of globalization on health. Topics include maternal and child health, gender and violence, nutrition, water and sanitation (3 credits). Course Instructor: ‌Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, RN, CRNP

Integrative Systems Praxis for Implementation Science in Global Health
Implementation science is an emerging field with an aim to identify strategies that accelerate the adoption of evidence-based health interventions into clinical and public health practice.  Implementation of health innovations in a global context frequently means introduction of change into complex adaptive systems.  Systems thinking addresses this challenge by acknowledging the importance of context and looking for connections between the parts, actors, and processes of the system.  This course provides students with an operational methodology to apply the frameworks, methods, and theories of implementation science in research practice.  The course follows the Integrative Systems Praxis for Implementation Research (INSPIRE), which is grounded in participatory action research (PAR) and systems thinking.  In this course, students will learn how to apply frameworks, theories, and quantitative and qualitative research methods from other courses to adapt health innovations and interventions to local and global contexts (3 credits).  Course Instructor:  Patti Gravitt, PhD

Fieldwork Experience

Public Health Practicum
The practicum is a 240-contact hour field experience that takes place in a public health agency under the supervision of a trained public health preceptor.  Students will identify a field site and project that will allow them to apply and demonstrate public health core and concentration competencies.  (4 credits).  Course Instructor:  Jessica Brown, PhD

Culminating Experience

Integrative Public Health Seminar
This seminar serves as the integrative culminating experience for the MPH degree program.  Students will apply what they have learned throughout the curriculum to conduct in-depth reviews of seminal case studies in the field of public health.  Building upon their own experiences in the field, students will prepare a comprehensive final written report and oral presentation.  (2 credits). Course Instructor: Diane Marie St. George, PhD