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Psychopathology for Public Health

1st term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Adam Spira

Introduction to Online Learning


Examines the major mental disorders, emphasizing the current thinking regarding their essential features and their assessment in public health research. Class sessions include lectures by the instructor and by experts in particular disorders. Reviews best-practice non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to the treatment of disorders, and commonly-utilized measures in public health and clinical contexts, including self- and informant-report measures, clinician-administered scales, and structured interviews.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the history, structure, and limitations of current systems for classification of mental disorders, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), and alternative approaches
  2. Describe the presentations and key features of major psychiatric syndromes, including anxiety and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and others
  3. Describe current etiological perspectives for major mental disorders and explain how these disorders can co-occur with or reciprocally influence other health conditions in populations
  4. Identify best-practice non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to the treatment of disorders
  5. Identify appropriate measures for the assessment of particular disorders in public mental health research
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 24% Quizzes
  • 13% Participation
  • 13% Attendance
  • 50% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent is required for undergraduate students.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

LiveTalk Attendance: Students must attend 3 or more LiveTalks (out of 6) at the time that they are held (synchronously). Students must be logged in individually to the LiveTalks (i.e., two students watching the LiveTalks together must both sign in). After 15 minutes of a given LiveTalk has elapsed, attendance will no longer be recorded. LiveTalks are recorded and stored for viewing on CoursePlus. Students must watch the recordings of all synchronous LiveTalks that they miss. For each synchronous LiveTalk missed aside from the 3 that students are permitted to miss, 4% will be deducted from the course participation grade.