PhD Program in Public & Community Health

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PhD in Public and Community Health Course Descriptions


BIOST 04200. Biostatistics I (3cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This is an introductory course in biostatistical methods for non-biostatistics majors. Topics include elementary probability, sampling, point and interval estimation and hypothesis testing.

BIOST 04201. Biostatistics II (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: Biostatistics I
A continuation of Biostatistics I. Topics include statistical methods for categorical date, regression and correlation, and analysis of variance.

BIOETHICS 10222. Ethics and Integrity in Science (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This course provides the basis for understanding the ethical issues related to basic scientific and medical research, including animal and human subject research, fraud and misconduct, and governmental, institutional, and researcher responsibilities.

BIOETHICS 10444. Research Ethics Discussion Series (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: 10222 Ethics and Integrity in Science
The course is directed by members of the Bioethics Faculty and provides facilitated discussions of a series of topics in research ethics. Discussions are led by faculty and are focused on ethical issues that commonly come up in research. The course is meant to not only reinforce the basic ethics taught in the online course "Ethics and Integrity in Science" (Bioethics 10222B), which is a prerequisite, but also to explore the gray areas of the individual topics. The intent is to offer students illustrative examples of ethical issues that might arise in their careers, to emphasize the ethical principles that apply in such situations, and the provide practical guidance on how these types of situations should be correctly handled. This course is offered as a discussion series. Students are expected to attend and participate in the discussion.

PCH 19201. Community Health Improvement I: Foundations of Public and Community Health (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course covers the central concepts and theories of public and community health. Students will obtain an in-depth understanding of the foundations of public and community health, theoretical models and research models that are used.

PCH 19202. Community Health Improvement II: Health Disparities and Underlying Determinants of Health (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: PCH 19201 Community Health Improvement I, General Epidemiology or Basic Biostatistics
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course will provide students with an in-depth introduction to health disparities and social determinants of population health. The course will help clinicians and other public health students and professionals develop and strengthen their knowledge, skills, and ability to critically examine issues of health disparities and to develop a better understanding of some of the underlying social determinants of health disparities, from a multidisciplinary perspective. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop the skills needed to apply knowledge and theory of health disparities and determinants of health in designing health services and epidemiological studies and interventions to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.

PCH 19203. Community Health Improvement III: Principles and Practices of Community-Academic Partnerships (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: Community Health Improvement I and II
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course will examine concepts and techniques for organizing partnerships for health improvement at the community level. Students will learn about major models and methods of practice, analytical skills, and roles of partnership and coalition building in improving health outcomes. Through readings, case studies, and a community-based project, students will identify forces that facilitate and limit community partnerships and will develop action principles for work with communities. Additionally, course content will encourage students to consider the implications of health disparities in community organizing and partnerships.

PCH 19204. Community Health Improvement IV: Translating Community Health Improvement into Policy: Theory & Practice (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: Community Health Improvement I, II and III
This course is for students in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Students will apply their knowledge of community health improvement to their understanding of health policymaking in the US. Students will gain understanding of theoretical foundations of policymaking, the policymaking process, and strategies for translating community health improvement activities into policy. Students will develop a policy and advocacy agenda for a current health policy issue.

PCH 19205. Community Health Improvement V: Principles and Methods of Community-Based Participatory Research (2 cr.)
Prerequisite: Community Health Improvement I, II, III and IV
This course is for students in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Prior to engaging in community-based participatory research, students will need to understand the principles and methods involved in conducting this type of research. Students will develop an understanding of these principles and methods, and strategies for their application, as well as the key steps involved in developing and sustaining partnerships, data collection, analysis, and dissemination practices.

PCH 19206. Community Health Improvement VI: Practice of Community-Based Participatory Research
(2 cr.)

Prerequisite: Community Health Improvement I, II, III, IV, and V
This course is for students in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills obtained in CHI V as they conduct community-based research in a local, community-based setting. Students will learn how to work within a team in a community-based setting, to assemble a research team of collaborators for a specific project, to define a research question and study design with community partners, to identify study measures, recruit study participants and develop an IRB protocol.

PCH 19207. Community Health Improvement VII: Practice of Community-Based Participatory Research (2 cr.)
Prerequisite: Community Health Improvement I, II, III, IV, V and VI
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course is a continuation of CHI VI. Students will continue to work on a research project which will culminate in data analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of preliminary findings through a presentation and manuscript.

PCH 19295. Readings and Research (varied credits.)
Prerequisite: Approval from Program Director and/or student’s advisor
The course of study for Readings and Research is designed by each student with his/her advisor to focus on readings in literature in the student’s field, to build bibliographic resources for the dissertation, and to conduct supervised, independent research. During the first and second years, Readings and Research is also a time for the students to dedicate concerted efforts toward preparing for the Doctoral Qualifying Examinations.

PCH 19230. Qualitative and Mixed Methods (3cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Qualitative and mixed methods can be highly useful in the conduct of community-based population health research. This course will provide introductory classroom and field-based learning experience in qualitative methods research. Students will receive training in the design, and implementation of qualitative methods, and the integration of qualitative research in mixed methods projects. The course will include both the theoretical foundations of qualitative research and research design, and practical methods of data collection and analysis. In particular, this course will focus on linking the appropriate research methods to the theoretical and empirical questions being asked. Emphasis will be given to the appropriate uses of commonly-used methods in community-based health research. Course participation will provide students with the basic foundation necessary to develop a research study using qualitative or mixed method designs.

PCH 19232. Qualitative Data Analysis (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: Qualitative and Mixed Methods, or permission of the course director
This course will introduce students to the analysis of qualitative data in public health research. The aim of the course is to explore the process of transforming various types of qualitative data (interview transcripts, field notes, and other texts) into analyses and interpretations. We will introduce students to various analytic approaches, explore their use, and guide students in applying them to data. The course will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions of qualitative data analysis, including identifying themes, developing and using codebooks, making systematic comparisons, and building and testing models. Approaches to qualitative data analysis will include grounded theory and content analysis. Students will also be introduced to the use of computer software for coding and managing qualitative data. The course will emphasize the connection between theory and methodology, with particular attention to the relationship between the research question, study design, data sources, analytic approach, and interpretation of results. Course participation will provide students with the basic foundations necessary to analyze and interpret data collected through qualitative and mixed methods research projects. This course is for graduate students in the doctoral degree program for Public and Community Health.

PCH 19301. Doctoral Seminar in Public and Community Health (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This is a weekly seminar for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. The seminar will consist of several types of activities: 1) presentations on content areas by faculty, community organizations, and community and academic partners in collaboration, 2) sessions focused on issues of professional development, 3) sessions focused on specific research skills or methods, 4) workshop and discussion sessions that provide students with a forum for engagement and collaboration around issues of mutual concern, and 5) student presentations.  A total of 7 semester hours of this course are required for graduation.

PCH 19399. PhD Public and Community Health Doctoral Dissertation (9 cr.)
This course is required for the completion of the PhD degree. The PhD candidate must submit a dissertation based on original research of a high scholarly standard that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of public and community health. Each student is encouraged to draft one or more papers for publication in a peer-reviewed journal describing results of the research.

PCH 19420. Ethics in Public Health Research (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
This course will provide students with an introduction to the moral, social and ethical issues involved in public health research. The course begins by examining the historical as well as philosophical foundations of public health research ethics. It then goes on to examine ethical issues raised in study design, genetic research, research involving children and older populations, research involving AIDS patients, issues in international research ethics, and professional standards of conduct and IRB requirements.

CTS 20150. Introduction to Epidemiology (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
Course is open to all students enrolled in the Graduate School and to other qualified students with permission of the instructor. The course provides: 1) an overview of epidemiologic concepts; 2) an introduction to the approaches and techniques that are used to measure and monitor health status in populations; 3) an introduction to study designs to assess disease prevention and intervention; and 4) an introduction to clinical research study designs that elucidate causative factors for disease.

CTS 20300. Clinical Translational Research Seminar (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: None
The seminar series is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about the clinical outcomes, epidemiologic, and clinical translational research that is being conducted at the Medical College and its partnering institutions. It provides opportunities for students to network with experienced investigators and provides a forum in which to share and discuss research ideas. In attending the seminars, students have the opportunity to identify topics for their own research, research collaborators, and appropriate research mentors. Students are also introduced to a number of novel research study designs and institutional research resources. The seminar is structured so that the presenter provides an overview of his/her research with emphasis on the research question, the study design, research ethics, ways to solve barriers to conducting research, and research findings that result in further research ideas. The sessions are interactive and time is allotted for discussion following the formal presentation. The seminar is attended by a variety of individuals including graduate students who are taking the course for credit, graduate students who attend without credit, faculty from diverse backgrounds, research staff and individuals from outside the institution.

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