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Infectious Disease Threats to Global Health Security

3rd term
Environmental Health and Engineering
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Jennifer Nuzzo

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


What will cause the next pandemic or other significant international public health crisis and how do we protect countries from such events?

This course will introduce students to the major health security threats that face the US and other countries and the strategies, policies and organizations that are in place to defend against them. Throughout the course, we will make notes of areas where approaches to health security have evolved. We will also examine where important gains in health security preparedness have been made and identify areas in which progress is still needed. Given their particular challenges and frequency with which they occur, preparedness for and response to biological threats to health security will be a large focus of this class. Discussions of other health security threats and sharing of experiences from students are welcome.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Articulate the importance of public health to national security
  2. Describe major global health security threats and characterize the human, social, economic and political risks they pose to societies
  3. Describe the origin and evolution of major US and international organizations and initiatives to prevent, detect, and respond to health security threats
  4. Identify those areas of global health security where preparedness is strongest and where additional progress is needed
  5. Complete a scholarly analysis of a specific current topic in global health security and make recommendations for needed improvements
  6. Communicate important health security information in a way that enables political leaders and policy-makers to take appropriate action
Methods of Assessment:

Participation in online discussion (10%),
Short briefing memo for policy makers (20%),
Research article, ~1000-2000 words:
-Article proposal (10%)
-In-depth outline (20%)
-Final article (40%)

Instructor Consent:

No consent required