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Risk Sciences and Public Policy


The three prerequisite courses, described below, provide a broad knowledge base that will give you a greater understanding of the application and uses of risk assessment. You must take these courses before you take 317.605 Methods in Quantitative Risk Assessment. They are not prerequisites for the other three core courses in the curriculum, but we recommend them before or at the same time as those courses as well.

You must take all three of these courses, or have taken their equivalents elsewhere, if you are in the Certificate Program.

140.622 Statistical Methods in Public Health II  (4 units)
Accepted JHSPH and JHU equivalents: 140.616 and 280.345 [JHU undergraduate students only])
Presents use of likelihood functions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests to draw scientific inferences from public health data. Discusses null and alternative hypotheses, Type I and II errors, and power. Develops parametric and non-parametric statistical methods for comparing multiple groups (ANOVA). Also introduces measures of association and simple linear regression. Addresses methods for planning a study, including stratification, balance, sampling strategies, and sample size.
Student evaluation based on problem sets and exams.

340.601 Principles of Epidemiology (5 units)
Accepted JHSPH equivalent: 340.751
This is the major course in epidemiology for various degree programs in the School. Instruction comprises lectures, laboratory problems, and seminar discussions. You will be introduced to the principles and methods of epidemiological investigation of both infectious and noninfectious diseases. Illustrated are some of the methods by which properly conducted studies of the distribution and dynamic behavior of disease in the population can contribute to an understanding of etiologic factors, modes of transmission, and pathogenesis of disease. Our work in the laboratory will give you experience in epidemiological methods and inferences. The problems illustrate a common-vehicle epidemic; the spread of infectious disease in school, home, and community; epidemiological aspects of a noninfectious disease; a controlled vaccination experiment; and the application of the epidemiological approach to evaluation of health services. This course is required for MPH students. No auditors permitted.

187.610 Public Health Toxicology (4 units)
Note: Also offered in Distance Education Format.
This course will examine the basic concepts of toxicology as they apply to environmental toxicology. We will discuss the distribution, cellular penetration, metabolic conversion, and elimination of toxic agents, as well as the fundamental laws governing the interaction of foreign chemicals with biological systems. We will focus on the application of these concepts to the understanding and prevention of mortality and morbidity resulting from environmental exposure to toxic substances. Background in chemistry (particularly organic chemistry) and biology will be useful, but not necessary.

Criteria for Prerequisite Course Equivalency

The requirement for any or all three background courses outlined above may be waived if you can demonstrate sufficient knowledge in each area. We will need Information on the content of equivalent courses taken elsewhere or on documented relevant work experience to make a decision to waive these requirements. These decisions are at the discretion of the directors of the Institute.