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Public Health Perspectives On Research


2nd term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Course Instructor s:
Maryann Smith

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


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 Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify scientific methods used in public health practice and research
  2. Formulate effective strategies for promoting health and preventing disease and disability in a population over the lifespan
  3. Describe the interface between science and policy
  4. Define the breadth of public health research and practice
  5. Assess how discipline-based specialization contributes to achieving the goals of public health
  6. Create an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students who are mutually supportive of each other’s educational programs
  7. Explain the following about public health research: that a population perspective on health is fundamental
  8. Describe how the interface between scientific theory and application is fertile ground for public health research
  9. 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
  10. Explain how productive public health research most often is interdisciplinary and takes advantage of cross-fertilization of ideas
  11. Discuss that scientists must be aware of the ethical implications of their research, committed to the conduct of ethical research, and contribute to the formulation of ethical standards
  12. 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.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

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