University of Massachusetts/Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences

Blended MPH Program on the Worcester Campus
Master of Public Health Program

Elective Courses

PubHlth 632 Applied Epidemiology: 
An intermediate level course which reinforces the basic concepts and principles of epidemiology. The major focus of the course is to apply epidemiological methods to a variety of public health issues, including research in disease etiology, disease prevention and heath services assessment. Students develop and use a systematic assessment technique to critically evaluate and guide the discussion of published scientific studies. Prerequisites: BIOEPI 630 and PH 540 or permission of instructor.

PubHlth 640 Intermediate Biostatistics: 
Principles of statistics applied to analysis of biological and health data. Continuation of BIOEPI 540 with emphasis on the use of the computer and the student's research interests in public health and biostatistics. Topics include: analysis of variance, nonparametric statistics, categorical data methods, regression analysis, and sampling. Prerequisite: BIOEPI 540 or permission of instructor.

PubHlth 780 Public Health Law
The main purpose of this course is to introduce non-lawyers to the important role played by the law in determining the public's health.  Students will analyze judicial opinions, statutes, and regulations in classroom discussions.  Law and Public Health will explore substantive legal topics including the balance between individual rights and public health initiatives, privacy, medical malpractice and informed consent.  The course begins with an overview of the law and the legal system.  Chiefly it will examine the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as other provisions that protect us from our government and how those protections shape public health regulation and policy.  Throughout this exploration, public health students will familiarize themselves with both jurisprudence and legal terminology.

PubHlth 636 Epidemiological Assessment
Epidemiologic methods can be used to identify causes of disease and evaluate prevention strategies.  Epidemiologic principles can also inform the activities of clinical care and medical practice.  Familiar techniques can help to answer questions about how clinical decisions are made most effectively, determine the value of medical interventions, and assess the comparative benefits of alternative clinical care strategies.  Through epidemiologic methods we can answer questions that relate to improving care for individuals and use populations-oriented strategies to assess the performance of the larger health care system.    This course will examine components of the clinical process with an epidemiologist's eye to address various health-related questions.

PubHlth 628 Financial Management of Health Care Institutions 
Providing qualify affordable health care for all Americans is a top priority for policy makers today.  Increased emphasis is being placed on the financial implications of both managerial and clinical decisions.  This emphasis has created a need for financial skills among clinicians and managers who in the past did not need these skills.  This course intends to provide health care professionals and policy makers with a foundation of financial and managerial skills.  The subject matter will be covered through lectures, readings, casework and examinations.  The lectures will introduce and reinforce the concetps in the readings and the cases are designed to give students the opportunitiy to apply finance concepts to "real world" healthcare organizations in a classroom setting with team exercises.

PubHlth 624 Research Methods in Public Health
In this course students will learn to evaluate research, how to conduct research using the most important study designs and some basic simple statistical methods.  The course lectures build upon each other, and some of what students learn in one section will be useful in others. 

PubHlth 691F Practical Date Management and Statistical Computation:  (online through the PHP Program)
This course is an introduction to the use of IBM compatible microcomputers for study management. Major components include an overview of micro computing, the Disk Operating System (DOS), principles for computer programming, documentation, applications of data entry software, editing software, and the Statistical Analysis System (SAS-PC). The course is microcomputer intensive. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to define the specific aims of a research question, formulate an appropriate study design, enter and formulate an appropriate study design, enter and manage data into an IBM compatible microcomputer using Epi Info or Dbase, program simple statistical analyses using the Statistical Analysis System for Windows (SAS-PC for Windows), develop and interpret multivariable regression analyses, and reports on its findings. Prerequisite: BIOEPI 640 or permission of instructor.

PubHlth 583 Global Health: 
Major issues and controversies in international health including the global burden of illness, barriers to health, policies and programs which impact health outcomes, ethical issues in research and health care and the role of various international institutions and agencies in the global health agenda will be presented. Students will apply a framework for problem solving incorporating the socio, economic, political and ethical factors confronted in international health. The vital importance of health in the developing world to the globalization of the world's economies will be discussed.

PubHlth 621 Health Care Organization and Administration: (online through the PHP Program)
This course will cover the basic theories of organization and management and demonstrate their application to the health care system. The assumption is that students have taken PH620, and that they are familiar with the health care system. The course will be conducted as a seminar, with students preparing and conducting most of the discussion. Topics in the course will include policy issues affecting organizations in their entirety, as well as operational issues affecting segments of organizational activity. Class discussion will be developed through the analysis of cases, using theoretical concepts.

PubHlth 524 Introduction to Health Politics and Policy: 
This course is designed to sensitize students to the political dynamics of health care issues in legislative and administrative contexts. This course is concerned with the determinants of health policy in the United States, including decisions and non-decisions made by institutional and political actors at all levels of government and by private sector actors. This course covers the social and cultural development of American medicine, historical efforts to pass national health insurance legislation at the federal level, and growth of government's involvement in healthcare. Particular attention will be paid to the recent failure of health care reform.