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Epidemiology: the Basics

4th term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Jennifer Deal

Introduction to Online Learning must be completed prior to the start of the fourth term.


Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases in populations and the applications of these study designs and is widely recognized as a cornerstone of public health. Understanding epidemiology as it relates to populations provides a lens to better appreciate public health programs, policies, and research. Students will get an overview of the basic concepts and applications of these concepts to current public health challenges.

Introduces the population science of epidemiology, including methods and approaches to measurement and outcomes, study design and inference, risk estimation, and surveillance. Provides the essential elements of epidemiology as appropriate for public health scientists.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Define and describe epidemiology as it is applied to public health science.
  2. Distinguish study designs and target and source populations.
  3. Identify, calculate, and interpret basic epidemiologic measures of disease frequency, validity and reliability, and associations
  4. Identify, describe, and critique the distinguishing features of fundamental study designs including randomized clinical trials, cohort, case-control, ecologic, and cross-sectional.
  5. Calculate basic measures used to compare disease frequencies, identify and classify sources of information and selection bias, identify concepts and frameworks useful for inferring causation, and define confounding.
  6. Summarize how epidemiologic methods are used in public health sciences, including in conducting outbreak investigation and surveillance, evaluating screening programs and health interventions, and in developing health policy.
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 50% Quizzes
  • 25% Midterm
  • 25% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Course replaces 340.688.01 Practical Epidemiology for Basic Scientists. No undergraduates allowed.