Graduate Programs in Public Health Course List & Descriptions
This list of public health course descriptions applies to both the Master of Public Health (MPH) and the Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) programs. *Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information.
All MPH students must complete the following required courses (34 credits)
This course will examine public health principles and concepts. It will provide a broad framework for understanding public health’s role in community health, prevention, and medicine. Using the five core public health knowledge areas and the ten essential public health services as a foundation, students will explore public health infrastructure, surveillance, social determinants of health, policy, and emerging issues. In addition, the course will weave public health areas such as chronic disease, infectious disease, environmental health, maternal and child health, and injury into discussions and assignments.
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of epidemiology as they apply to public health practice. Content will include: a historical perspective on epidemiology, descriptive epidemiology, effect measures, study designs, bias, surveillance, and screening for disease. Emphasis will be placed on investigative techniques, epidemiological methodology, and critical thinking about epidemiological studies and data.
This course provides you with an introduction to the procedures used in the summarization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of research data. Topics include sampling, experimentation, measurement, descriptive statistics, correlation, probability, confidence intervals, testing hypotheses, 2-way tables, and simple linear regression. This course is deliberately broad and not intended to give students an in-depth understanding of statistical testing, analysis of categorical data or regression analysis. Rather, its intent is to provide an overview of some of the main areas of statistics and a working knowledge of basic summary statistics, graphs, and simple statistical tests for hypothesis testing. At the end of the course a student should be able to evaluate simple statistical usage in everyday life and their own discipline, especially in relevant research publications; and interact knowledgeably with statisticians in planning, conducting, analyzing, and reporting research projects. Prerequisite: GPH 712. Stata statistical software is required for this course.
This course is designed to introduce core topics necessary to understand and conduct ethically sound and scientifically valid public health research. It is designed to build on the skills gained in other fundamental public health courses such as principles of epidemiology and biostatistics. Students will work to understand the importance of proper study and experimental design, using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Students will also gain skills in the design and execution of secondary data analysis and manuscript preparation. Foundational issues in sampling, data collection and structure, survey design and administration, and analytic interpretation will be covered. Prerequisite: GPH 712 and GPH 716.
Using an ecological approach, health behaviors will be considered within the context of influences on individual behaviors. The course will address the use of behavioral and social science theory to inform the development and implementation of health promotion and disease prevention programs, and consider the inherent ethical dilemmas involved in planned social and behavioral change efforts.
This course provides an overview of the development of public health programs and the evaluation of those programs. The course will help students develop skills required to assess community needs and assets, identify and adapt evidence-based programs, evaluate program effects, and seek funding for these programs. Prerequisite: GPH 726.
This course brings together graduate students in public health, education, social work, nutrition, and health informatics to work collaboratively to learn the fundamentals of policy-making as applied to the broad issue of student mental health in an educational setting. Students work in interprofessional groups to identify the social problem, describe the policy context, map potential policy solutions, and make final recommendations in an individual written policy analysis that incorporates learning from their interprofessional peers. Students will explore the structure and function of government systems as they relate to values-driven policy decisions.
This course provides an overview of the history, content, scope, and processes of public health administration. Emphasis is placed on administration, public health structure and framework, organizational culture, management functions and roles, leadership, motivation, and performance management. Basic principles and tools of budget and resource management will be addressed.
The world about us provides for our life, but also can be dangerous to our health. This dichotomy is the essence of the study of environmental health. Students completing this course will be able to apply scientific knowledge to evaluate the risks that exist in the world about them. This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of environmental health in an ecosystems context. The course will emphasize the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards including toxic chemicals, fibers and dust, ionizing radiation, and infectious agents. General principles and global processes will be linked to local issues and the regulatory environment through case studies and interviews with subject matter experts.
The goal of the applied practice experience (APE) is for students to demonstrate the application of public health concepts and to enhance skills such as leadership, communication, and collaboration. Students will work with experienced public health practitioners in a community-based setting to create products of use to the host organization and demonstrate mastery of public health competencies.
The Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) is comprised of two courses which the student completes in the final phase of the program. The first is GPH 744, a 1-credit ILE planning course, followed by the 3-credit project course.
The 1-credit ILE planning course is designed to develop a proposal for the student’s ILE project course (GPH 751, GPH 752, or GPH 753). In addition, the student will complete and submit the appropriate IRB documentation for the proposed ILE project. Upon successful completion of this course the student will be allowed to enroll in the 3-credit ILE project course.
GPH 751, GPH 752, or GPH 753 – Integrative Learning Experience – Project Course (3 – credit)
This 3-credit ILE project course is to be taken following the 1-credit ILE planning course, GPH 744. This ILE project course is the second and final ILE course that the student will complete as part of the Integrative Learning Experience. In the ILE project course, the student will create a high-quality written document that synthesizes public health concepts reflecting competencies established by the program and The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). This written document is based on an original project that the student will develop and complete during this 3-credit ILE project course. The student will select one of the following tracks for the 3-credit ILE project course; GPH 751 Advanced Policy Analysis, GPH 752 Advanced Research Methods, or GPH 753 Advanced Program Evaluation.
Select one of the following ILE Project courses:
Advanced Policy Analysis offers the opportunity for students to develop and complete their own analysis of public health issue that intersects with government actions as partial fulfillment of the requirements for their MPH degree. All MPH students must create a high- quality written product, synthesizing competencies established by the program and The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Based on their selected topics, students will analyze data related to a real-world problem and present their findings in a high-quality written document. Readings and lectures will provide further education and guidance, and all assignments are designed to guide students through the analysis and writing process.
Advanced Research Methods offers the opportunity for students to develop and complete their own focused research study as partial fulfillment of the requirements for their MPH degree. All MPH students must create a high-quality written product, synthesizing competencies established by the program and The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Based on their selected topic, students will analyze data related to a real-world problem and present their findings in a high-quality written document. Readings and lectures will provide further education and guidance, and all assignments are designed to guide students through analysis and writing process.
Advanced Program Evaluation offers the opportunity for students to conduct their own program evaluation and collaborate with a public health site that they have identified to evaluate an aspect of a program as partial fulfillment of the requirements for their MPH degree. All MPH students must create a high-quality written product, synthesizing competencies established by the program and The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Based on their selected topic, students will analyze data related to a real-world problem and present their findings in a high-quality written document. Readings and lectures will provide further education and guidance, and all assignments are designed to guide students through the analysis and writing process.
All MPH students must complete 4 of the following electives (12 credits)
A fundamental goal of government is to protect and support the health of the public, but implementation of health policies may infringe on the protected rights and liberties of individuals and businesses. This conflict is sometimes characterized as “private interest versus public good.” This course explores the inherent tension between promoting the public health and protecting the legal and ethical rights and interests of individuals. The course will focus on the legal foundations of the American public health system and resulting ethical dilemmas that must be reconciled when the interests of the larger community may be at odds with those of individuals.
We will examine key elements of the U.S. legal system that govern and influence public health, including federal and state constitutions and laws, administrative law, and judicial decisions. Students will use the case study method approach to scrutinize ethical and legal issues in public health practice, administration and research, and analyze functions and interactions between courts, legislators and regulators. Class activities and assignments will provide students with opportunities to read and discuss case law, statutes and regulations, and probe relevant legal and ethical principles in public health.
Prerequisite: GPH 702.
Natural and man-made disasters present complex problems that require coordinated responses from multiple municipalities and emergency responders. In this course, students will gain expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive emergency prevention and response plans. The influence of legal, social, environmental, and medical requirements and limitations on emergency management policies will be explored with additional focus on post disaster recovery.
Why do some public health issues receive so much political attention and others do not? How can advocates create political interest in a public health issue to generate legislative or regulatory change? Under what circumstances do public health issues tend to precipitate public funding?
Government action is a frequent driver of the practice of public health on the ground. From executive decisions to funding decisions to laws and regulations, our public health system- both its structure and its function – is built on public policy. In this course, you will gain a firm understanding of public health policy from the perspective of the public policy theories and frameworks we use to better understand the motivations, implementation, and impact of government action at the federal, state, and local levels. Prerequisites: GPH 702.
This course is designed for students who would like build on the basic principles of epidemiology to study infectious diseases in populations. By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) describe the general principles of infectious disease epidemiology, 2) analyze epidemiologic study designs and measures in the context of infectious diseases, 3) apply outbreak investigation steps to an infectious disease outbreak, 4) describe infectious disease dynamics, 5) apply principles of disease transmission to develop disease prevention and control practices, 6) design data collection tools to investigate an infectious disease outbreak using computer-based software, 7) Analyze quantitative data about infectious diseases using biostatistics, 8) Interpret results of data analysis of an infectious disease investigation, 9) communicate audience-appropriate content reporting on an infectious disease outbreak both in writing and through oral presentation, and 10) describe the use of system thinking tools in infectious disease epidemiology.
Prerequisites: GPH 712
Applied Epidemiology is for individuals who want to practice and refine their epidemiological skills and ultimately participate in investigating health and disease in communities. This course will focus on the application of epidemiological tools and skills and offer a more in-depth experience for students who have completed the required courses.
Prerequisites: GPH 712 and GPH 716. Stata statistical software is required for this course.
This course is a continuation of GPH 716 (Biostatistics). The course will assume familiarity with the basic principles of data collection, one-and two-sample confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, as well as one-way ANOVA and the fundamentals of simple linear regression. It will focus on a more in-depth look at simple linear regression extending to multiple linear regression. Additionally, it will cover topics in probability, diagnostic and screening tests, nonparametics, and logistic regression.
Maternal and child health provides a foundation for a community’s development and sustainability. Students will apply public health frameworks to maternal and child health concepts and issues; in the process, they will gain a broad understanding of the field of maternal and child health from local and global standpoints. By the end of this course, students will be able to use data for action, apply evidence-based information, examine systems based approach to addressing issues, and examine cultural effects on maternal and child health.
Prerequisite: GPH 738.
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of Occupational Health. The course will emphasize the recognition, evaluation and control of hazards in the work environment. General principles and global processes will be linked to local issues and the regulatory environment through case studies.
This course provides students with an understanding of the importance of financial planning in healthcare, the difference between financial and managerial accounting, and using financial data to aid in business decisions. This course builds on students’ understanding of the basic concepts to enable them to plan, budget, control, and evaluate financial performance. This course covers fixed and variable expenses, capital management, and revenue streams. The course uses a combination of case-studies and exams to enable students to gain necessary analytical skills in health care finance.
Recommended: GPH 706
In this course students will have the opportunity to focus on the grant writing process (as it is designed and directed by a federal or state public health funding agency). Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying and applying the requisite skills to have a potential public health program funded. The course will feature hands-on assignments based on (current) real world topics, resources, and grant funding guidelines. While students do not need to have a background in accounting, many components of a grant application (including a line-item budget) will be addressed.
This course examines the concepts, methods, and practices for assessing the health of a community. Topics include measuring community health status, developing community health profiles, identifying the determinants of health, and the utilization of community health assessment in developing public health interventions.
Recommended: GPH 738
Informatics—the interdisciplinary practice of managing and analyzing large datasets—is rapidly establishing itself as a core feature in all areas of healthcare. As public health adapts to this new information-driven reality, public health informatics itself is also evolving, bringing forth both obstacles and opportunities. This course will address the challenges of collecting, analyzing and communicating data, and will introduce how this data could be used to inform public health initiatives and improve health outcomes. It will also look at the ethical concerns that arise when dealing with the sensitive information this data often carries, which is now more easily collected—and shared—than ever.
Prerequisite: GPH 716
Obesity epidemiology presents current research on the burden of obesity, causes, health consequences, and strategies for prevention within the framework of epidemiology. Students will gain familiarity with publicly available datasets and research resources as well as methods to assess body composition, dietary intake and physical activity. Students will apply critical thinking informed by course content to critically evaluate studies in obesity epidemiology. Students will also practice skills in data analysis using publicly available datasets to analyze the association of lifestyle behaviors with body weight.
Prerequisites: GPH 712, GPH 716, GPH 719; Stata statistical software is required for this course.
This course introduces you to critical issues in global health emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to understanding global health problems. The concepts and issues of global health will be considered as well as emerging issues and future concerns. Selected critical global topics in such areas as maternal and child health, food security, environmental health, chronic disease, and infectious disease will be covered.
Students enrolled in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program may propose independent or directed studies to further special scholarship or research interests. Students should complete all core MPH courses prior to the independent/directed study course. The proposed course requires the approval of the faculty sponsor, the Program Director, and the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Public Health students also have the option to take electives from other UNE Online graduate programs. You can see a full list of these interprofessional courses here:
If you have any questions about the coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.