Public Health Courses (PUB_HLTH)
PH 301 Behavior, Society, & Health (1)
The course analyzes the interplay of social structure, technology, culture, and demography on patterns of health, illness, and health behavior. The course focuses on the application of theories of behavioral change for solving health and public health problems, including stages of change, relapse prevention, social advertising, and social marketing methods for use in primary care and community settings.
PH 302 Introduction to Biostatistics (1)
The course focuses on descriptive statistics, basic probability concepts, probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, and simple linear regression, and the application of these methods in the medical and health fields.
PH 303 Environmental Health Sciences (1)
The course offers a broad background introduction to the analysis of the health consequences of exposure to air, weather, food, the workplace, and other special environments potentially contaminated by biologic, chemical, and physical agents.
PH 304 Introduction to Epidemiology (1)
This course introduces the science of epidemiology and its uses, including measures of disease occurrence, common sources and types of data, important study designs, and sources of error in epidemiologic studies.
PH 305 Programming for Statistical Analysis (1)
This an introductory course to programming for statistical analysis using SAS. Topics include data management, descriptive statistics, tests of association, and reports.
PH 310-311-312 Foundations in Public Health Courses (1)
This three-quarter sequence is required for all MPH students during the first year of enrollment. Students earn one unit of credit, awarded in the Spring Quarter.
PH 316 Topics in Public Health (1)
This series of topics in public health is an on-line course providing a broad introduction to public health concepts including: public health history, public health practice & infrastructure, law & government in public health, advocacy and policy.
PH 317-318-319 Seminar in Community Health Research (1)
The Seminar in Community Health Research is a weekly one-hour seminar that is required for all MPH students in the Community Health Research concentration. The student will earn one unit of credit for each year, awarded in the Fall Quarter. The seminar will provide students with an overview of methods, approaches, and research design considerations that are relevant to design, implementation, and evaluation of community health research. Many of the topics covered in this course will be discussed in greater detail in other core and elective courses within the MPH program. An emphasis will be placed on providing case examples to help illustrate key points. These case examples will highlight community health research conducted by Northwestern faculty as well as research conducted at other universities.
PH 320 The Role of Community in Public Health (1)
This introductory course in community health considers the basic elements that determine health and asks difficult questions about why the richest and most powerful country in world history is so unhealthy? Discussion will focus on differences in communities, community health assessments, principles for effective collaboration with communities, and introduction to community health research.
PH 323 Health Equity (1)
This course provides an overview of social, economic, and political inequities in the United States and their impact on the health of the poor, uninsured, elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, migrants, gendered and sexual groups, rural residents, people with mental and physical disabilities and other vulnerable and socially disadvantaged populations. Past and current policies and trends in health /medical care programs and services at the local and national levels will be discussed. Students will examine social science concepts and theoretical frameworks that will expand their knowledge and skills and empower them to become agents of social change using public health models to impact individuals, families, communities and institutions. Class topics and discussions will centered on: social and income inequalities; access (or lack of) to health care, including preventive services and other social resources; roles of government and the legislative process; quality care; legal and ethical issues; among others. Throughout the course, discussions will center on the social determinants of health – neighborhood environments and strategies toward short and long term solutions in the elimination of health disparities and achieving health equity. Discussion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and recent Supreme Court rulings will also be integrated into many of the discussions.
PH 330 Global Tobacco (1)
The purpose of the course is to provide students with information on the health problems associated with tobacco use across the lifespan; the consequences of second and third-hand smoke; new and promising clinical, public health, and legal strategies for both prevention and cessation; and international perspectives on tobacco control. Special emphasis will be directed at tobacco use and prevention among vulnerable populations, including youth, minorities, and the poor.
PH 340 Public Health in Cinema (1)
This course examines various public health topics through viewing and discussing documentaries and feature films. It includes an introduction to the role of film in public health and a model for critiquing public health films. In addition, each class includes the viewing of a film, followed by discussion. Films will include shorts, documentaries and features covering a variety of public health topics. Film is one of the richest mediums available for the investigation and dissemination of information. Thus, class discussion will allow students to analyze the content of the film(s), as well as how public health topics are portrayed and how public health practitioners and advocates may engage with film and filmmaking to inform and raise awareness.
PH 390 Introduction to International Public Health (1)
Introduction to International Public Health will orient students to the biological, socio-cultural and economic influences on population-level variation in health and well-being. The continuum between health and illness will be explored, focusing on both the proximate and distal determinants of variation in health and well-being. Students will learn about key players in international health—the multilateral and bilateral donor communities, Ministries of Health, UN agencies, foundations, NGOs—and understand important shifts in donor policies towards healthcare delivery. They will be introduced to the major health problems currently affecting the developing world, and alerted to the importance of employing a population-based vs. a purely clinical approach to solving these health problems.
PH 391 Introduction to Global Health Care Delivery (1)
The course will engage students in an analysis of case studies that describe interventions to improve health care delivery in resource-limited settings. The cases capture various programmatic, organizational, and policy-related innovations related to care delivery. Classroom discussions of these case studies will help illuminate principles and frameworks for the design of effective global health interventions. Through a focus on HIV, TB, malaria, and other health conditions, these cases will allow students to carefully consider the question of how epidemiology, pathophysiology, culture, economy, and politics inform the design and performance of global health programs.
PH 393 Introduction to Health and Human Rights (1)
The course examines the intersection of health and international human rights. Readings and discussion will focus on whether there is a universal right to health; how to maximize access to health; the health implications of war crimes and atrocities; and the meaning of rights and access in resource-poor settings such as refugee camps and fragile states. Special attention will be paid to the role of corporate social responsibility and advanced economies in access to health.
PH 410 Field Experience in Public Health (1)
The Field Experience (FE) is an opportunity for students to gain experience in the practice of Public Health. All MPH students are required to do an FE. Click on the link above for more details and required forms.
PH 411 Assessment, Planning and Evaluation in Community Health (1)
Assessment, Planning, and Evaluation (APE) are three core features of community health research. The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamental and basic skills needed for conducting research with community partners related to health assessments, program planning, and evaluation of public health programs. We will focus on efforts needed in working with community partners, and research methodologies recommended for effectively and efficiently conducting research without interrupting the flow of community organizations. You will have an opportunity to talk with representatives from community organizations and to participate in a neighborhood health assessment.
PH 412 Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Prevention (1)
This course focuses on the Public Health (PH) tools for the surveillance, identification, control, and prevention of selected infectious diseases of PH importance. Special emphasis will be focused on outbreak investigations because they provide a unique opportunity to apply many principles of PH practice, including use and interpretation of surveillance data, risk factor analysis, and implementation and assessment of control measures.
PH 413 Public Health Nutrition (1)
This course studies nutrition from the perspective of the community rather than the individual, including the scientific basis for nutritional requirements and recommendations, nutrition through the life span, and the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention.
PH 414 Injury and Public Health (1)
This course examines injury as a Public Health problem, and explores research methods, study design, risk factors, and prevention strategies applied to problem of injuries. This general framework will be applied to the study of specific injury mechanisms.
PH 415 Health Promotion (1)
This course explores the value of and barriers to disease prevention and health promotion (DP/HP), factors that influence personal health decisions, preventive interventions directed at individuals (clinical settings) and populations (community settings), strategies for using population health principles to integrate DP/HP into routine medical and Public Health practice, and the organization of federal agencies that fund DP/HP activities.
PH 416 Program Evaluation (1)
This course introduces the field of program evaluation. Students will learn to identify program theory underpinning an intervention, develop a research plan that takes into account the complexities of the intervention’s social context, create a logic model that ties the product of the evaluation to the intervention’s goals, and to pull this together into a full evaluation plan that could serve as a proposal to a group of stakeholders.
PH 417 Public Health Law: Promoting Healthy Youth Development (1)
This course examines the application of law to critical Public Health issues affecting children and youth including the constitutional and statutory foundation of Public Health law, how legislative and regulatory decisions must negotiate the balance between individual rights and public good, and the principles of parens patriae and state police powers. Case studies will illustrate the basis of Public Health jurisprudence at the national level.
PH 420 Introduction to Health Management (1)
(fulfills the Health Management core requirement)
This course describes the major components of the U.S. health services system, their interrelationships, and societal repsonses to that system. Topics include primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of care; quality assessment; epidmiology; and politics of health care.
PH 421 Intermediate Biostatistics (1)
(Degree seeking students must take either this course or PH 422 Intermediate Epidemiology)
Intermediate Biostatistics builds upon the material learned in Introduction to Biostatistics. Specifically, the course will focus on mulitvariate methods of analysis for epidemiologic and clinical studies including correlation, linear regression, logistics regression, Cox proportional hazards regression, and life table analysis.
PH 422 intermediate epidemiology (1)
(Degree seeking students must take either this course or PH 421 Intermediate Biostatistics)
This course covers epidemiologic methods used in observational epidemiologic studies including the design, conduct, and interpretation of observational studies in human populations including ecologic and migrant studies, case-control studies and cohort studies. Key issues related to the validity of measures of exposure and disease, and sourcs of potential errors in interpreting epidemiologic studies will be addressed.
PH 421 Syllabus
PH 425 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Public Health (1)
This course is an introduction to GIS and the collection, maintenance, and analysis of spatial data for health. It combines practical ArcGIS skills with study of the theory and applications of spatial data and spatial analysis in general and specifically as it relates to population health.
PH 431 Decision Analysis and Models of Medical Decision Making (1)
This course covers the quantitative analytic techniques intended to inform decision makers at the bedside as well as at the policy-making level. Topics include probability, Bayes’ theorem, sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests, Bayesian decision analysis, utility assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, and expert systems.
PH 435 Design and Analysis Strategies in Health Services Research (1)
PH 435 provides a broad overview of health services research, including an introduction to research methodologies unique to the field. The course includes a historical retrospective of economic and policy issues leading to the emergence of health services research as a distinct discipline. Class topics include small-area variations, medical effectiveness, outcomes research and case-mix adjustments for outcomes research, measuring quality of care, continuous quality improvement, guideline development, and technology assessment.
PH 437 Practicum on Epidemiologic Research Design and Data Analysis (1)
This course provides hands-on experience in the design and analysis of epidemiologic studies, with emphasis on applying methodology learned in intermediate level courses. Through independent projects and class exercises, the course covers practical aspects of conducting research. Public Health students are encouraged to bring ideas for their Culminating Experience to the course so that they can further develop and refine their research plan.
PH 438 Survey Design & Methodology (1)
This course focuses on methodological issues regarding the design, implementation, analysis, and interpretation of surveys and questionnaires in Public Health research. Various types of self-report data will be discussed, including knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and patient-reported outcomes. Issues will include formatting and layout, wording of items and response scales, multilinguall translations, sampling, timing of assessments, interviewer training, participant recruitment, data analysis, and respondent and staff burden.
PH 439 Qualitative Research Methods (1)
This course focuses on qualitative research design, sampling, data management, analysis and report writing. Methods covered include cognitive interviewing for survey construction, individual and group interview methodologies, participant observation, writing and using field notes, cognitive tasks such as decision modeling, domain analysis, and the use of mapping techniques in qualitative research. Data analysis instruction includes thematic analyses and code development, consensus and network analyses, and an overview of qualitative data management programs.
PH 441 Ethical Issues in Clinical Research (0.5)
This is a case based course of the ethical underpinnings and federal regulations of human subjects research. Issues considered include informed consent, studies of vulnerable populations, clinical trials, and epidemiologic research studies.
PH 442 Ethical Issues in Public Health (0.5)
Debate and discussion of ethical issues surrounding public health issues including conflicts of interest, social accountability, risk benefit analyses, and vulnerable populations.
PH 443 Humanitarian Relief and Health (1)
This is a seminar series focusing on the health aspects of humanitarian crisis response. The course will emphasize the public health aspects (e.g., not the medical or clinical aspects) of response, including rapid assessments, water and sanitation management, shelter, nutrition, communicable disease control, logistics, security, and ethical issues. Practical projects, based on simulated disasters, will be assigned and discussed.
PH 444 Advanced Decision Analysis (1)
This course covers advanced decision-analytic methods useful in medical decision modeling. Included are the probabilistic theory of hazard rates and modeling of age-dependent mortality, Markov modeling, stochastic tree modeling, techniques for multi-way sensitivity analysis such as probabilistic sensitivity analysis and information-value analysis, and software of stochastic tree modeling. Medical decision-analytic literature is reviewed and theoretical underpinnings of models are explored. A project using decision analysis software is required.
PH 445 Writing and Peer Reviewing for Publication (1)
Writing and Peer Reviewing is an intensive, hands-on, advanced course in writing for publication in biomedical journals and how to be a successful peer reviewer. The student will be expected to prepare an article, respond to 2 peer review cycles, and at the conclusion of the course, to be ready to submit to a journal.
PH 446 Clinical Trials (1)
This course introduces commonly used designs for clinical trails, methods for randomization, blinding and sample size determination, choice of controls, collaborative/multicenter trial requirements and operational issues, data management and data quality issues, interim analysis methods, critical review of clinical trial results, and statistical techniques for analyzing data.
PH 447 Behavioral Medicine Interventions (1)
The course provides an overview of evidence-based behavioral interventions for chronic disease and risk factors for chronic disease including tobacco use, poor quality diet, physical inactivity, and stress Interventions addressing both the individual and the population level, and the evidence most appropriate to choose and evaluate an intervention will be explored.
PH 448 Introduction to Maternal Child Health (1)
This course provides an introduction to the health needs of women and children and the services designed to meet these needs. It introduces the epidemiology of maternal and child health (MCH) and the evidence base for MCH programs. The course provides students with a comprehensive knowledge base with respect to federal funding and other public programs addressing MCH.
PH 449 Public Health Policy (1)
This course addresses how public policy development and analysis have an impact on the public’s health. The course is designed to provide professionals with the skills for collecting, analyzing and communicating information on Public Health policy issues using approaches that would be useful in the policymaking arena. Students will learn what policy is; who the policymakers are in public health; who the actors are that are affected by Public Health policy; and the major influences in determining what policy gets implemented, including the science underlying policy proposals.
PH 499 Independent Study(1)
Students must identify a faculty preceptor, develop a syllabus with the preceptor, and receive the approval of MPH Curriculum Committee.
PH 520 Artificial Epidemics and Changes in Human Culture I (0.5)
A tutorial designed for students who have completed or are in the process of completing the core curriculum.
The Artificial Epidemics and Changes in Human Culture Independent Study course will provide a close examination of how human behavior affects the development and spread of so-called “artificial epidemics,” primarily covering non-communicable diseases. Diseases and conditions reaching epidemic proportions - such as coronary artery disease, lung cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, Lyme disease, and ectopic pregnancy, among others – will be examined in order to discern how cultural influences can impact both the rise of diseases as public health issues and their subsequent decline in incidence.
PH 521 Artificial Epidemics and Changes in Human Culture II (0.5)
This course provides a close examination of how human behavior affects the development and spread of so-called “artificial epidemics,” primarily covering non-communicable diseases affecting adults. Diseases and conditions will be examined in order to discern the epidemiology of the disease and how cultural influences can impact both the rise of diseases as public health issues and their subsequent decline in incidence with a view toward prevention of future outbreaks. The course is designed with a flipped classroom; students will review materials in advance of the class session and come prepared to share and discuss the week’s topic in class. Thus there is an exceptional long reading list each week and only 1 hour of classroom, rather than 90 minutes, per week in this ½ unit class.
PH 524 Cardiovascular Epidemiology (1)
The course will cover selected topics in cardiovascular disease with critical analysis of the current epidemiologic literature. Students will have the opportunity to study methodological issues, contemporary findings, and recommendations for future research.
PH 526 Cancer Epidemiology (1)
The purpose of this course is to review the basic concepts and issues relevant to cancer epidemiology. Specifically, this course will focus on interpreting cancer statistics, and describing the current state of knowledge regarding the etiology and risk factors for the major cancer sites. In adition, issues in research design and interpretation within the context of cancer epidemiology, as well as the molecular and cellular basis of carinogensis as it pertains to cancer occurrence in populations will be discussed. The course is appropriate for students who have an introductory knowledge of epidemiology.
PH 560 Culminating Experience in Public Health (0)
Click on the link above for instructions and approval forms. Development and presentation of a culminating research or service project based on one month (or at least 200 contact hours) of fieldwork in a community agency or work on a research project of the student’s choosing (with guidance from a faculty member) in consultation with an advisor or advisory committee. Student presents a seminar and submits a paper on the project.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Courses (EPI_BIO)
EPI BIO 301 Introduction to Epidemiology (1)
This course introduces epidemiology and its uses for population health research. Concepts include measures of disease occurrence, common sources and types of data, important study designs, sources of error in epidemiologic studies, and epidemiologic methods.
EPI BIO 302 Introduction to Biostatistics (1)
This course introduces principles of biostatistics and applications of statistical methods in health and medical research. Concepts include descriptive statistics, basic probability, probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, and simple linear regression.
EPI BIO 303 Introduction to Probability Theory (1)
This course introduces probability as the theoretical framework underlying statistical methods. Concepts include a review of calculus and matrix algebra fundamentals, random variables, probability distributions, point estimation, the law of large numbers, and the central limit theorem.
EPI BIO 305 R Programming (1)
This course provides a thorough working introduction to the statistical programming language R. Concepts focus on practical issues including: installing and configuring the RStudio development environment; loading and managing data in R; accessing R packages; writing R functions; writing R scripts; debugging and profiling R scripts; organizing and commenting R code; and developing dynamic analysis reports using R MarkDown. Topics in biostatistical data analysis will provide relevant working examples.
EPI BIO 306 Applied Statistical Programming in SAS (1)
This course provides a thorough working introduction to the statistical programming language SAS. Concepts focus on practical issues relating to data management, statistical data processing, and SAS programming.
EPI BIO 401 Intermediate Epidemiology (1)
This course provides in depth study of observational epidemiologic methods. Concepts include design, conduct, and interpretation of observational studies in human populations with a focus on analytic cross-sectional, case-control and cohort designs. Key issues related to statistical approaches, validity of measures of exposure and disease, and sources of potential errors in interpreting epidemiologic studies will be addressed.
EPI BIO 402 Intermediate Biostatistics (1)
This course covers multivariate methods of analysis for epidemiologic and clinical studies including correlation, linear regression and logistic regression. Concepts include parameter estimation, model diagnostics, model fit and interpretation of results.
EPI BIO 403 Statistical Inference and Applied Techniques (1)
This course introduces statistical inference concepts and applied statistical techniques for data analysis in a mathematical framework. Concepts include point and interval estimation, maximum likelihood, large sample theory, hypothesis testing, bootstrap methods, analysis of variance, linear regression, analysis of categorical data, and Bayesian methods.
EPI BIO 418 Obesity Epidemiology (1)
This course covers major issues in overweight and obesity, including assessment, the global population distribution, determinants, health associated consequences, and public health policy issues. Obesity prevention and treatment interventions will also be discussed.
EPI BIO 427 Practical Issues in Population Studies (1)
This course covers practical aspects of conducting a population-based research study. Concepts include determining a study budget, setting a timeline, identifying study team members, setting a strategy for recruitment and retention, developing a data collection protocol, and monitoring data collection to ensure quality control and quality assurance. Students will demonstrate these skills by engaging in a quarter-long group project to draft a Manual of Operations for a new “mock” population study.
EPI BIO 428 Bioinformatics and Data Mining (1)
Bioinformatics is one of the important disciplines in modern biomedical research. Knowledge and analytic skills to retrieve the most relevant information imbedded in the large omics data is the key to the discovery for scientific researchers and data analysts. This course will cover a variety of data mining and pattern recognition techniques, including clustering, principal component analysis, feature selection, high-dimensional classification modeling, model selection via cross validation, and enrichment analysis. Bioinformatics resources such as GEO database, UCSC Genome Browser, and OBRC will be introduced as well. This course will introduce the statistical concepts behind the data analysis with emphasis on the use of several widely-used bioinformatics software (i.e., R/Bioconductor, DAVID, PANTHER, and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis) and databases to perform bioinformatics analysis and interpret the analysis result.
EPI BIO 429 Meta-Analysis in the Medical Sciences
This course covers statistical methods for meta-analysis. Concepts include fixed-effects and random-effects models, measures of heterogeneity, prediction intervals, meta regression, power assessment, subgroup analysis and assessment of publication bias. The course will emphasize basic theory and underlying statistical methods, computational approaches, and interpretation of results from published studies.
EPI BIO 446 Design, Conduct, and Analysis of Clinical Trials
This course is no longer offered in the MS program. Please see corresponding course (PH446) in the MPH course descriptions.
EPI BIO 501 Advanced Epidemiology (1)
This course builds on material learned in previous Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses. Concepts are applied to the design, implementation, analysis and interpretation of observational epidemiologic studies (cross-sectional, case-control and cohort). Students enrolled in an MPH degree program must have the consent of the instructor.
EPI BIO 502 Advanced Biostatistics (1)
This course covers advanced modern statistical methods used in the medical research and their practical implementation. Concepts include robust regression methods, nonparametric inference procedure and model building techniques.
EPI BIO 560 Statistical Consulting (0.5)
This course prepares students for collaboration and comunication with scientists of various disciplines, emphasizing analytical tools, verbal and written communication skills, and presentation skills. Concepts include sample size and power calculation, handling of various data structures, data presentation, selecting appropriate statistical methods, time and project management, reproducible research, report writing, and grant writing.
EPI BIO 561 Thesis Project (0.5)
Students who choose the Concentration in Population Health Analytics are required to submit a master's thesis. The purpose of this requirement is to apply epidemiologic principles and methods to address a clinical or public health issue of their choosing. The student is expected to select a scientifically relevant, feasible topic, review the body of epidemiological knowledge on the issue and formulate an appropriate study question and associated hypothesis and propose methods to test those hypotheses.