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Course Catalog


Department: Extradepartmental
Term: 2nd term
Credits: 2 credits
Contact: Maryann Smith
Academic Year: 2014 - 2015
Course Instructors:

Introduces the substantive and methodologic bases for public health research, emphasizing the critical roles of the quantitative, qualitative, biologic, social, and behavioral sciences in improvement of public health. Highlights principles of high-quality research, including the value of a population perspective, interdisciplinary cooperation, the importance of new measurement techniques, and the interface between theory and practice. Gives students information about the interactions between the public and the researcher.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Identify scientific methods used in public health practice and research
Formulate effective strategies for promoting health and preventing disease and disability in a population over the lifespan
Describe the interface between science and policy
Define the breadth of public health research and practice
Assess how discipline-based specialization contributes to achieving the goals of public health
Create an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students who are mutually supportive of each other’s educational programs
Explain the following about public health research: that a population perspective on health is fundamental
Describe how the interface between scientific theory and application is fertile ground for public health research
Discuss how the quality of research depends critically upon one’s ability to measure or observe accurately, and breakthroughs often result from new methods of measurement
Explain how productive public health research most often is interdisciplinary and takes advantage of cross-fertilization of ideas
Discuss how scientists must be informed about the ethical implications of their research, committed to the conduct of ethical research, and contribute to the formulation of ethical standards
Describe how public health practitioners and scientists must be cognizant of the social context of their work

Methods of Assessment: Lecture and LiveTalk attendance (evaluated electronically), completion of written assignments (posted to course bulletin board), at-home final exam.
Location: Internet
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Instructor Consent: No consent required

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.

Auditors Allowed: No
Grading Restriction: Pass/Fail
Special Comments: Required of all PhD/ScD students, ScM students, and MHS students enrolled in academic/advanced study programs. Students may obtain waivers if they have 1. completed an MPH, professional MHS, or MSPH degree at a domestic institution within the last ten years, 2. enrolled in an MSPH program or in the DrPH program, or 3. taken and passed with a B or better graduate-level courses in the five CEPH core areas that are biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health sciences, and health systems administration. Requests for waivers should be addressed to Maryann Smith ( Lecture times: Not applicable (online); LiveTalk sessions: Wednesdays at 12:00 noon or 5:30 PM online