Core Course Descriptions

Epidemiology and Population Health
PBHS 30910

Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It is the study of how diseases are distributed across populations and how one designs population-based studies to learn about disease causes, with the object of identifying preventive strategies. Epidemiology is a quantitative field and draws on biostatistical methods. Historically, epidemiology's roots were in the investigation of infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. Since the mid-twentieth century, the scope of epidemiologic investigations has expanded to a fuller range non-infectious diseases and health problems. This course will introduce classic studies, study designs and analytic methods, with a focus on global health problems.

Epidemiologic Methods
PBHS 31001

This course expands on the material presented in "Principles of Epidemiology," further exploring issues in the conduct of epidemiologic studies. The student will learn the application of both stratified and multivariate methods to the analysis of epidemiologic data. The final project will be to write the "specific aims" and "methods" sections of a research proposal on a topic of the student's choice.

Applied Regression Analysis
PBHS 32400

This course is an introduction to the methods and applications of fitting and interpreting multiple regression models. The main emphasis is on the method of least squares. Topics include the examination of residuals, the transformation of data, strategies and criteria for the selection of a regression equation, the use of dummy variables, tests of fit. Stata computer package will be used extensively, but previous familiarity with Stata is not assumed. The techniques discussed will be illustrated by real examples involving biological and social science data.

Biostatistical Methods
PBHS 32700

This course is designed to provide students with tools for analyzing categorical, count and time-to-event data frequently encountered in medicine, public health and related biological and social sciences.  The course will emphasize application of the methodology rather than statistical theory, including recognition of the appropriate methods, interpretation and presentation of results.  Methods covered include:  contingency table analysis, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, Cox proportional-hazards survival analysis, logistic regression, Poisson regression.

Health Services Research Methods
PBHS 35100

The purpose of this course is to better acquaint students with the methodological issues of research design and data analysis widely used in empirical health services research. To deal with these methods, the course will use a combination of readings, lectures, problem sets (using STATA), and discussion of applications. The course assumes that students have had a prior course in statistics, including the use of linear regression methods.

Introduction to U.S. Health Policy and Politics
PBHS 35500
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the concepts needed to critically evaluate U.S. health policy issues. The course will 1) provide an overview of the U.S. health system including its institutions, stakeholders, and financing mechanisms, 2) describe the politics of health and illuminate how the structure of our political system shapes health policy outcomes, and 3)offer a framework for assessing the critical features central to health policy debates. Building upon this knowledge, the course will conclude with a discussion of strategies for influencing the health policy process and how they might be employed in future leadership roles within the health sector.