Epidemiology for Public Health Professionals
The timely detection, investigation, control, and prevention of outbreaks and major long-term public health problems require a well-trained and competent epidemiology workforce as a key component of a national public health infrastructure. The Epidemiology Workforce in State and Local Health Departments - United States, 2010 Weekly March 30, 2012/61(12);205-208
Epidemiology is an integral component of public health practice. The discipline aims to provide the basis to prevent disease and to promote the health of populations through the study of the occurrence and distribution of health-related states or events, including the study of determinants influencing such states. Professional epidemiologic methods, defined as the application of epidemiologic methods to public health practice, entail the combination of analytical methods and applied epidemiology oriented to problem solving in public health. The principal areas of professional epidemiology include epidemiologic assessment of public health data, health situation and trend analyses, public health surveillance and health program impact assessment. These areas are closely linked to the essential public health function and services. This certificate program is intended to provide the concepts, methods and tools needed for the assessment of health situations and trends of population groups.
Upon completion of the core courses in this certificate program, individuals will have gained specialized knowledge and skills on the application of epidemiologic concepts and methods to public health problems, as follows:
- Understand the place of epidemiology in public health, specifically how epidemiology is used to identify causes of disease, identify populations at high risk for disease, develop preventative methods and evaluate public health strategies.
- Calculate and interpret basic epidemiologic measures of disease frequency, identify sources of data for measuring health outcomes, and identify key aspects of measurement problems,
- Identify distinguishing features of fundamental study designs, including randomized trials, cohort and case-control studies, birth cohort and ecologic studies, and pre-post and quasi-experimental studies. Students will be able to describe strengths and limitations of the different study designs, and key sources of confounding and bias in epidemiological studies and
- Interpret and make inferences from results of epidemiologic studies.
With regard to the usual functions of public health agencies, students will be able to:
- Identify the Problem Solving Framework for measuring the severity of priority health problems,
- Recognize the role of routine and public health information systems in epidemiologic assessments,
- Identify tools and measurements used to monitor the quality of performance of public health information systems,
- Identify the main indicators for measuring the burden of diseases at global, national and local levels
- Design health situation analyses: epidemiological profiles and community health status assessments,
- Interpret measures of health burden, association and effectiveness,
- Describe the framework of the public health surveillance cycle and sources of information,
- Design, implement and evaluate disease surveillance systems,
- Communicate epidemiological information and synthesis to policy makers, professionals, and lay audiences.
Course of Study
Students should review the certificate program page on the JHU e-catalogue for a full explanation of the program's courses and requirements.
The certificate program is open to Bloomberg School students, with the exception of MAS students; graduate students in other divisions of Johns Hopkins University; and to non-students.
The certificate is designed for junior and mid-level public health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of epidemiologic methods as related to public health issues and their ability to address public health problems. It is also designed for masters and doctoral students enrolled at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and in other university divisions, including the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. JHSPH MAS students are not eligible to apply until they have completed their primary degree program.
The certificate program can be completed entirely with a combination of online and on-campus courses.
Applying to the Certificate Program as a Non-Degree Student
Students who are not currently enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are required to apply to certificate programs using SOPHAS Express. All non-degree applicants should review the general Certificates Admissions page for instructions on how to apply to a certificate program and application deadlines.
Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in these terms: Summer Institutes, Winter Institute, 1,2,3, & 4.
Prerequisites or special requirements: None
Applying to the Certificate Program as a JHU Graduate Student
Students already enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are not required to submit the School's electronic admissions application, but must complete the Notification of Intent form and email it to the Certificate Program Contact prior to starting coursework.
Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in these terms: Summer Institute, 1, 2, 3, 4 & Winter Institute.
Requirements for Successful Completion
Students must successfully complete the core courses, demonstrated by full attendance and participation in all course activities and assignments. The student should review the section of the website that addresses completion before completing certificate program requirements. The student's transcript will not indicate that the certificate was earned until the Notification of Completion has been submitted, verified by the certificate program and processed by the Registrar.
Certificate Program Contact
Name: Ayesha Khan, Department of Epidemiology
Name: Carlos Castillo Salgado, MD, DrPH, JD
Name: Moyses Szklo, MD, MPH, DrPH