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LEARNING OBJECTIVES of MPH, MS and PhD Degree Programs

 
Learning Objectives for the Master of Public Health Core Curriculum
As a result of successfully completing the core courses and other teaching-learning experiences, students acquire basic public health sciences skills, analytical skills, policy and organizational skills, communication skills, and cultural skills. Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:1
  • Define, assess, and understand the health status of populations, determinants of health and illness, factors contributing to health promotion and disease prevention, and factors influencing the use of health services;
  • Apply basic public health sciences to the development and improvement of public health programs for the prevention of disease and the promotion of public health and well being;
  • Determine appropriate use of data and statistical methods for problem identification and resolution, and for program planning, implementation, and evaluation;
  • Evaluate the integrity and comparability of data and identify gaps in data sources;
  • Understand how data illuminate ethical, political, scientific, economic, and overall public health issues;
  • Understand the historical development and structure of state, local, and federal public health agencies;
  • Collect and summarize data relevant to a public health policy issue and articulate the health, fiscal, administrative, legal, social, and political implications of each policy option;
  • Decide on an appropriate course of action and write a clear policy statement;
  • Develop a policy implementation plan and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating such an implementation plan;
  • Understand how disciplines other than their own analyze public health problems and develop solutions to those problems;
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues from other disciplines;
  • Lead and participate in multidisciplinary groups to address specific public health problems and issues;
  • Communicate effectively with lay audiences;
  • Advocate for public health programs and resources;
  • Identify the role of cultural, social, and behavioral factors in determining disease, disease prevention, health promoting behavior, and medical service organization and delivery; and
  • Interact sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, and professional backgrounds, and with persons of all ages and lifestyle preferences.
MPH, Epidemiology, General Track
The general Epidemiology track combines broad training in public health with specific training in the principles and methods of epidemiology. The degree requirements include course work in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services, environmental health, and social and behavioral sciences; a practicum; and completion of a research-based master’s thesis. Learning objectives: Upon satisfactory completion of the MPH program in Epidemiology, students should be able to:
    • Meet the learning objectives for the MPH core curriculum (see above);
    • Define and calculate measures of disease frequency and measures of association between risk factors and disease;
    • Describe the major epidemiologic research study designs and their advantages and limitations;
    • Describe the major sources of bias in epidemiologic research (confounding, selection bias and measurement error) and the ways to evaluate and reduce the bias;
    • Evaluate effect modification;
    • Apply criteria to support whether an association is causal;
    • Understand the basic terms and methods used in outbreak investigation, infectious disease epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, disease prevention trials and evaluation of screening tests;
    • Critically review the scientific literature, synthesize the findings across studies, and make appropriate public health recommendations based on current knowledge;
    • Design an epidemiologic study to address a question of interest;
    • Interpret results of an epidemiologic study, including the relation to findings from other epidemiologic studies, the potential biological and/or social mechanisms, the limitations of the study, and the public health implications;
    • Write a clear description of the rationale, methods, results and interpretation of an epidemiologic investigation;
    • Apply epidemiologic skills in a public health setting, specifically in the formulation or application of public health programs or policies; and
    • For those in the International Health track or the Maternal and Child Health Track, meet the additional learning objectives of those tracks.
MS, Epidemiology, General Track 
The Master of Science program offers research training in Epidemiology. The program includes coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics, and a research-based master’s thesis is required. This degree is appropriate for physicians or other health professionals who prefer a more focused program than the MPH to prepare for research and teaching careers. We also accept exceptional individuals with a Bachelor’s degree who wish to prepare for master’s-level research careers, such as research project coordinator, or as preparation for the PhD program in Epidemiology after completion of the MS degree. Learning objectives:  Upon satisfactory completion of the MS program in Epidemiology, students should be able to:
    • Define and calculate measures of disease frequency and measures of association between risk factors and disease;
    • Describe the major epidemiologic research study designs and their advantages and limitations;
    • Describe the major sources of bias in epidemiologic research (confounding, selection bias and measurement error) and the ways to evaluate and reduce the bias;
    • Evaluate effect modification;
    • Apply criteria to support whether an association is causal;
    • Understand the basic terms and methods used in outbreak investigation, infectious disease epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, disease prevention trials and evaluation of screening tests;
    • Critically review the scientific literature, synthesize the findings across studies, and make appropriate public health recommendations based on current knowledge;
    • Design an epidemiologic study to address a question of interest;
    • Apply regression, classical methods of analysis of categorical data, and other appropriate statistical approaches to analyze epidemiologic data.
    • Interpret results of an epidemiologic study, including the relation to findings from other epidemiologic studies, the potential biological and/or social mechanisms, the limitations of the study, and the public health implications; and
    • Write a clear description of the rationale, methods, results and interpretation of an epidemiologic investigation.

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PhD, Epidemiology, General Track
The doctoral program in Epidemiology is intended to produce future academicians, highly qualified as independent investigators and teachers, and well-trained practitioners of epidemiology. The program includes course work in epidemiology and biostatistics and also requires the development and execution of an independent dissertation research project. Most candidates have completed prior graduate training to the master’s (or doctoral) degree level in a health-related field.  Learning objectives:  Upon satisfactory completion of the PhD program in Epidemiology, students should be able to:
    • Meet the learning objectives for the MS program in Epidemiology (see above);
    • Formulate study questions that will advance scientific knowledge about a topic of public health importance;
    • Develop a research proposal that presents the study aims, scientific background, public health significance and the detailed methods for carrying out the epidemiologic study;
    • Design and implement data collection, quality control and data management procedures for an epidemiologic study;
    • Develop study procedures for protection of rights of human subjects;
    • Apply regression, classical methods of analysis of categorical data, logistic regression, survival analysis and other appropriate statistical approaches to analyze epidemiologic data;
    • Present a clear oral presentation on the design and/or results of an epidemiologic study;
    • Write a clear description of the rationale, methods, results and interpretation of an epidemiologic investigation that would be acceptable for publication in a scientific journal; and
    • Demonstrate expertise in a substantive area of disease etiology, disease prevention or clinical epidemiology.

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MPH, MS, PhD in Nutritional Sciences

MPH, PhD Public Health Genetics

MS in Genetic Epidemiology

 

This page was last updated on August 21th, 2008