department menu

Program Course Descriptions

PH 501-Foundations of Public Health & Policy (3)
Introduces the major domains of public health related to the five public health disciplines, including Health Services, Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Environmental Health, and Biostatistics. Includes the biomedical basis of public health, historical developments, the role of health ethics in research, and the future challenges to public health. Also presents the fundamentals of social and behavioral science with an emphasis on theoretical foundations as well as an introduction to advocacy, informatics, diversity and culture, leadership, and public health biology.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH program.

PH 502-Foundations of Health Systems Organization, Delivery and Policy (3)
Introduces concepts and practices of health care and public health, with an emphasis on the structure and functions of the health system as well as planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of health-related programs. Includes the mission/vision, history, core functions, infrastructure, processes, and outcomes of the health system. Theoretical and practical perspectives are presented to illustrate how the health system works. Introduces current trends in health care delivery, including medical and legal issues, health policy, labor relations, managed care, group practice management, and long term care.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 503-Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3)
Examines current issues in health from a social science and behavioral perspective. Determinants of health are explored using an ecological approach to identify multilevel influences, risk factors, and health prevention and promotion strategies. A foundation for understanding of public health concepts, tools and approaches, and a critical examination of health and disease within populations is provided.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 504-Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
Covers biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. Includes descriptive statistics and plots, types of data, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. Introduces correlation, univariate linear regression, and the use of statistical software.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 505-Epidemiology (3)
General principles, methods, and applications of epidemiology for public health, research, clinical practice, and evaluation of public policy. Includes methods of outbreak investigations, measures of disease frequency, standardization of disease rates, research methods and study design, measures of risk, causal inference, disease screening, surveillance, and evaluation of health services and screening programs. Emphasizes the critical analysis of current studies in the public health literature and the identification of epidemiologic resources, databases, and problems.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisite: PH 504.

PH 506-Environmental Determinants of Health (3)
Provides an introduction to the environmental factors which affect the health of a community. Primary focus is on biological, physical, and chemical exposures associated with human health. Also covers the health-associated effects of global warming, occupational hazards, and other environmental problems.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 507-Research Methods and Proposal Writing (3)
Emphasizes research design, data collection, statistical analysis, computer application, and writing of research reports. Unique problems associated with data collection in public health settings such as public health departments, neighborhood health centers, and community-based organizations will be addressed. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research designs will be explored. Considerable emphasis is placed on evaluation of public health research published in scholarly publications. A research proposal is written as one of the course requirements.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 515-Fundamentals of Emergency Management (3)
Examines the functions of emergency management through the study of natural, man-made, and health-related disasters and emergencies. Explores the history of emergency management relative to current and future risk factors and identifies strategies to promote disaster-resilient communities. Emphasizes the integration of various sectors of emergency management (fire, law, public health) with an “all-hazards” approach, as well as the importance of emergency preparedness training.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisites: PH 501, 502.

PH 516-Public Health Preparedness and Response (3)
Explores the role of public health in disasters and emergencies, including agents of terrorism, bioterrorism, and intentional mass threats. Areas of emphasis include: bio-surveillance, detecting and monitoring public health threats, rapid-needs assessments, public health emergency incident management system (ICS), emergency operations planning and exercises, infectious disease emergencies, outbreak investigation, environmental health risk assessment, and emergency planning for medically fragile/vulnerable populations.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisites: PH 502, 515.

PH 517-Evolution of Public Health Biosecurity (3)
Overview of the global system of epidemic alert and response network, international public health security, and long-term preparedness and capacity-building as it relates to public health emergencies. Analyzes cases of biosecurity incidents; public health laboratory testing; biosecurity regulations; preventative measures to mitigate weapons of mass destruction threats; health data security; animal, plant, food, and environmental monitoring systems; food and agriculture safety and defense; medical countermeasures; and Centers for Disease Control goals and strategies.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisite: PH 515.

PH 518-Public Health Leadership and Risk Communication (3)
Intensive introduction to crisis leadership during public health emergencies. Covers public health leadership principles, leadership styles and practices, management skills and competencies, risk communication and perception before and after disease epidemics, health communication strategies, health guidance and emergency public information, crisis communications and the media, role of the Joint Information System (JIS) in the public health Incident Command System (ICS), communication and cultural sensitivity, public health case analysis, and ethics in emergency preparedness and response.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 530-Health Disparities, Diversity, and Culture (3)
Examines the importance of ethnic and cultural factors for community health practice as well as the essential theories, models, and culturally-appropriate practices for working with ethnicity, gender, and social issues. Explores the health implications of community demographics, disparities, multicultural populations, communication, aging, sexual orientation, children, and future challenges.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisites: PH 501, 503.

PH 531-Methods of Community Health Education (3)
Focuses on the assessment and analysis of community-based health needs, the application of a wide range of health education methods, and program implementation. The development of partnerships through advocacy, coalitions, and community engagement will be explored. Emphasizes the need for health communication, theoretical frameworks, and social media in community-based settings. Introduces professional and ethical standards for community-based methods and programs.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisites: PH 501, 503.

PH 532-Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (3)
Provides an overview of the development of public health programs and interventions to address the most important health issues affecting our communities at local, national, and international levels. Introduces the process of public health programming, including assessment, design, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Also includes an overview of effective public health interventions using the socio-ecologic framework (individual/behavioral, environmental/social community, and policy) as a foundation to explore various levels of program planning and evaluation.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 533-Health Promotion and Health Education Strategies (3)
Provides foundational information, tools, and teaching methodologies for health promotion, disease prevention, and health education. Explores theoretical and practical perspectives to illustrate how healthcare professionals can positively influence the ability of patients, families, and diverse communities to prevent illness and manage their health and wellness.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisite: PH 531.

PH 560-Principles of Global Humanitarian Emergencies (3)
Introduces the comprehensive nature of global public health preparedness and humanitarian response efforts for natural or human-made disasters. Includes the preparedness elements necessary for adequate responses to population shifts caused by natural and human-made disasters. Theoretical, ethical, and legal issues associated with all phases of humanitarian emergencies, including resettlement, will be presented. Methods to evaluate infectious disease and cultural epidemiologic data will be explored as resources for key decision-making.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 561-Global Health: Chronic & Infectious Diseases (3)
Provides an overview of current knowledge on mechanisms of major chronic and infectious diseases causing death and disability globally. Unique epidemiologic features, risk factors, relevant technical challenges, resource limitations, and cultural barriers that have shaped current approaches will be discussed. Successful evidence-based strategies designed to prevent and control these diseases will be reviewed. Introduces the Millennium Development Goals for reducing childhood mortality, improving maternal health, and combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 562-Global Health Policy and Practice (3)
Integrates key concepts, theories, and methods related to socio-cultural, political, and economic determinants of health and health status from a global perspective. Includes global health inequalities, social determinants of health, links between development and health, international health systems, global health diplomacy, human rights, health system reforms, and global health governance. Explores the methodological challenges of developing policy responses to global health issues, the implementation of health policy, and best practices in the delivery of effective, ethical, and culturally-appropriate health interventions for various settings.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 563-Community-Based Participatory Research (3)
Introduces a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths each partner brings. Addresses the theories, principles, and strategies of community-based participatory research, the advantages and limitations to using this approach, and some of the skills necessary for participating effectively in community-based participatory research.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisite: PH 504.

PH 690-Special Topics in Public Health (1-3)
Various topics in public health and public health research. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program.

PH 693-Internship (3)
Practical application of principles related to Public Health in a supervised 180-hour internship experience approved by the Public Health Internship Coordinator. 
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Prerequisites are completion of all core courses: PH 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, and 507)

PH 695-Capstone Seminar in Public Health (3)
Application of all prior coursework to a “real life” case study involving many of the major health service functions within a community. Emphasis on strategic planning, developing a business plan, marketing, advertising, financial and demographic analysis, and program implementation within health care organizations serving the community. Addresses the role and function of planning and marketing, community needs, administration and the medical staff, hospital and physician relations, governance, economic and political forces, and government regulations.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Enrollment requirement: completion of all prior required courses in the MPH program.

PH 697-Independent Study in Public Health (1-3)
Independent study in a public health area as outlined and agreed upon by the instructor and student. May include assistance on a faculty research project or mentored study/travel abroad experience.
Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. Enrollment restricted to students who have obtained consent of instructor required. May be repeated for credit for a total of six (6) units.

PH 698-Culminating Experience in Public Health (Project or Thesis) (1-3)
Independent research thesis or graduate project related to an approved public health area. Graded Credit/No Credit or Report in Progress (RP).
Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy and consent of department. Enrollment restricted to students admitted to the MPH Program. May be repeated for credit for a total of three (3) units. Enrollment requirement: Advancement to candidacy.