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Course Descriptions

Core Courses

PH 608: 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

PH 614: 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. (3 credits). Course Instructor: â€ŒDiane Marie M. St. George, PhD

PH 630: 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

PH 632: 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

PH 600: 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

PH 645: 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 

PH 621: 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: Helen Powell, PhD

PH 624: 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

PH 615: 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.  (3 credits). Course Instructor: Luis Pinet-Peralta, PhD, MSC, EMTP

Community and Population Health Concentration Courses

PH 710: 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

PH 715: 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

PH 735: 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

PREV 758: 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

PH 706: 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

PH 754: 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 

PH 722: 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

PREV 803: 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

PH 711: Global Health Security

As the world becomes more interconnected emerging infectious diseases have underscored the ability for infectious diseases to severely impact critical infrastructure, but also the complexities of preparedness and response. Since the realization that infectious diseases pose unique threats to the stability of nation states, the notion of global health security was developed as an approach to address and study these unique vulnerabilities. In this course, we will study evolution of global health security, assess the spectrum of biological threats, which will include case studies of the Ebola virus disease and COVID-19, but also the anthrax attacks, biosecurity issues such as dual-use research of concern, and biological weapons. Throughout the semester, students will learn critical public health components of pandemic response, such as nonpharmaceutical interventions, data, vaccine development, international response, and collaboration – all under the dynamics of political pressures. Within this course, students will analyze responses to infectious disease threats and the nexus of science, security, and policy. From climate change to biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance, students will discuss the role of science, geopolitics, misinformation, economics, and public opinion in responding to biological threats.  (1 credit).  Course instructor: Saskia Popescu, PhD, MA, MPH

PH 713: Topics in Nutritional Epidemiology

During this course, students will gain basic proficiency in global nutritional epidemiology.  By the end of the course, students will gain knowledge and skills in 5 key areas. First, students will be able to describe and compare common methods of nutritional assessment employed across the lifespan, in a variety of settings, including the assessment of diet, anthropometry, and physical activity. Second, students will learn to critically evaluate, compare study designs, and summarize/synthesize global nutritional epidemiologic studies. Third, students will be able to describe relationships between nutritional status and risk of developing disease. Forth, students will be able to describe public health approaches to the prevention and treatment of diseases resulting from under- or over-nutrition.  Finally, using a policy lens, students will learn the role of government and major organizations across countries in the prevention of diseases resulting from under- or over-nutrition, and be able to describe examples of prevention strategies. Course Instructor: Elizabeth Parker, PhD, R.D.

PH 717: Global Public Health Emergencies

Complex humanitarian emergencies are caused by and result in a complicated set of social and often political circumstances, oftentimes having lasting and detrimental effects on a society’s health.  Every one of the many global humanitarian emergencies is unique and intricate and should be approached as such.  The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of the public health implications of complex humanitarian emergencies - which are quite complicated, interlaced and nuanced.

 The course will begin by looking at the components of a complex humanitarian emergency and differing this with a disaster, which is also devastating but different in nature.  The course will discuss issues of vulnerable populations within Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. As public health professionals, understanding the political context of complex humanitarian emergencies is crucial in trying to assist.  In this class, we will begin to delve into this topic to ultimately understand how fragile and complicated complex humanitarian emergencies are and what we can do to be most effective.  We will finish the course by discussing resilience in complex humanitarian emergencies and reconstruction, which are important but often forgotten components. Recent humanitarian emergencies have renewed interest in this area.  Course Instructor:  Shailvi Gupta, MD

PH 719: Global Public Health Law

This course will introduce students to the basic institutions and processes of international law as they relate to global public health. Students will examine key international law materials, doctrines, and regimes including human rights, international humanitarian law, international environmental law, trade, and global health regimes. This course will also focus on non-binding standards, global public health strategies and agenda-setting, as well as national and international jurisprudence and policy-making that bear on global public health. Students will spend time analyzing pressing global health problems such as global health inequities and vulnerabilities, the climate crisis and its health effects and relationship with chronic illnesses, control of trade in dangerous products and disease vectors and the relationship between intellectual property rights and access to essential medicines and treatments. Course Instructor: Matiangai Sirleaf, JD

PH 723: 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: B. Elias Snyder, PhD, FNP-C, ACHPN

PH 727: 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: Charlotte Nwogwugw, DrPH, BSN, RN, HIV PCP, CPH-BC

PH 737: Fundamentals of 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: Manhattan Charurat, PhD, MHS

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