Course Descriptions

Core Courses

PH302 Epidemiology I (summer, fall)
Epidemiology methods give us a framework through which we can order these complex relationships into information that can be used to improve population health. Students will learn how to define populations and estimate the distribution of health-related conditions and their determinants. We will apply epidemiology methods to surveillance, screening, and study design, and understand how to assess causality and control for factors that may mask our ability to find a relationship between an exposure and a health outcome.

PH307 Epidemiology II (spring, fall)
This course builds upon PH302 Epidemiology I which introduced students to the basic concepts of epidemiology. Epidemiology II allows a more in-depth examination of epidemiologic methods and the application of those methods in carrying out various types of epidemiologic studies.
Prerequisite: PH302: Epidemiology I, PH303: Biostatistics I

PH303 Biostatistics I: Applied Research in Public Health (spring, summer, fall)
Includes biostatistics, research designs, and qualitative approaches with an emphasis on evaluating research articles in public health. Based on real-world applied research needs and how those needs can best be met, the course includes discussion and critiques of published articles, presentations by the instructor, and working with example qualitative and quantitative data sets. The course will be divided into 12 modules. Requirements include critiques of articles and situations presented by the instructor, mandatory participation in chat/blog-based discussions, and developing a research proposal for an applied research project.

PH309 Biostatistics II (spring)
This is an advanced applied research methods course with the main goal of helping students understand and apply multivariate regression analyses, nonparametric methods, survival analysis, and advanced concepts with confounding and effect modification. Emphasis is placed on the critical thinking that goes into using and interpreting data in public health applications.
Prerequisite: PH303: Biostatistics I

Electives

*Please note: this list is subject to change based upon instructional availability. The following courses are examples of electives that have been previously offered by the UVM Public Health program.

PH301 Public Health & Health Policy (summer, fall)
In the United States, we spend vast resources on health care and lag behind other developed countries in measures of health. Students will examine current health issues and barriers to improving health, as well as identify credible sources of health information to understand health topics such as preventing obesity, vaccines, global tobacco use, alcohol, environmental health topics, emerging infectious diseases, and access to health care. Students will learn about the compelling need for creative and multidisciplinary solutions, and how stronger policies to improve the health of the public might be accomplished.

PH310 Public Health Law and Ethics (fall)
Public health law examines the government’s authority, at various jurisdictional levels, to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms. Public health ethics seek to understand and clarify principles and values that guide public health actions, offering a framework for making decisions and a means of justifying them.

PH315 Public Health Surveillance: Tracking Health Behaviors and Disease (fall)
Surveillance of infectious and non-infectious diseases, as well as health behaviors and population characteristics, is fundamental to nearly all fields of modern public health practice. By definition, public health surveillance is the “ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice” (CDC/ATSDR). To understand the practice of surveillance, students will examine many examples of surveillance systems from the developed and developing world with emphasis on U.S. State and Federal systems.
Prerequisite: PH302 Epidemiology I

PH318 Improving Health of Patients and Populations (summer)
This course uses population health as a context to develop students’ knowledge and appreciation of the impact of chronic conditions and social determinants, including culture, on health, linking care of individual patients and populations. Students will discover how social determinants of health (related to “place”) impact the health of populations and individual patients. Finally, students will apply these principles to the specific chronic conditions prevalent in the population of individuals over the age of 65, and evidence-based strategies to prevent and manage disease in this population.

PH322 One Health: Zoonoses (summer)
Zoonoses and vector-borne disease account for the majority of emerging and re-emerging diseases, and most bioterrorism agents are zoonotic. The role of other animals as reservoirs and transmitters of disease requires consideration of human, animal, and environmental factors. In this course, students will examine the drivers that influence infection in animals and humans including: weather and climate, land use, biodiversity, poverty, globalization, domestication, population pressure, and anthropogenic change.

PH324 Public Health Informatics (fall)
Public Health Informatics is an emerging field that seeks to employ information technology tools and methods in order to address public health challenges and improve public health practice. Because data is the currency of public health professionals, informatics is essential to successful and efficient completion of public health goals given its fundamental role in every step of the data life cycle: collection, storage, analysis, representation, and dissemination.

PH325 Investigating Disease Outbreaks (fall)
Field epidemiology is the term used for the investigation of outbreaks that are creating current, urgent health problems, and to inform the selection and implementation of appropriate interventions. In conducting such investigations, epidemiologists work with colleagues from a variety of disciplines (e.g., laboratory science, environmental health, communications, clinical medicine, governmental agencies). Students will gain insight to the importance of understanding outbreak investigation principles for health professionals working within these settings.

PH327 Climate Change and Human Health (spring)
Following an introduction to climate science, this course explores the associated health risks, including respiratory disease, vector-borne disease, food-borne disease, malnutrition, mental health, and disaster-related illness. Students explore how these changing health risks vary by geography and socio-demographics resulting in differences in population vulnerabilities.

PH328 Epidemiology for Practice (spring)
Epidemiology is the basic science of understanding disease and health at the population level. This course is designed to teach students basic concepts and terminology of epidemiology and how epidemiology is used in determining causes of disease, public health practice, and healthcare delivery. The focus is less on detailed mathematical analyses and more on applications of epidemiologic principles. This course is ideal for health administrators, health care and public health practitioners, and students seeking an introduction to epidemiology.