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MPH 503 Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (3 Credits)

This course provides graduate students with an overview to the role of epidemiological methods and their application to understanding public health and issues of public health importance. Students will be expected to develop their critical thinking skills and apply the concepts presented in class to applied problems, both in and outside the field of health.

Learning Outcomes:

The study and practice of biostatistics (along with epidemiology) is the historical and practical foundation for all public health efforts. Epidemiology is "the study of patterns of disease and injury in human populations and the application of this study to the control of health problems." (source: Association of Schools of Public Health "Master's Degree in Public Health Core Competency Development Project" [version 2.3], May 2007)

The learning materials and activities in this course should permit the MPH graduate student to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Identify key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes.
  • Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.
  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
  • Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic and political discussion of health issues.
  • Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
  • Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
  • Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
  • Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
  • Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.