Course Descriptions and Syllabi

Course Grids

All PHS Courses Fall 2024

All PHS Courses Spring 2024

All PHS Courses Spring 2023


Course Descriptions and Syllabi

* Indicates course open to undergraduate students

*PHS 370 Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives: 3 cr. Introduces students to the principles of public health. Using local and global health problems as examples, students are introduced to epidemiology and evidence-based public health, with a focus on closing the gap between science and practice. Prerequisite: Nutr Sci 375 or a college-level, introductory science or biology course. Syllabus

PHS 451 Introduction to SAS Programming for Population Health: 2 cr. The course provides graduate student in the Population Health Sciences programs with a basic understanding of the use of the SAS programming language for the management and analysis of biomedical data. The following topics are covered: importing data into SAS, creating and redefining variables, printing and summarizing data, exporting data from SAS, use of the Output Delivery System (ODS), basic graphics and statistical analyses and the SAS macro facility. Prerequisite: Population Health Graduate student. Syllabus

*PHS 471 Introduction to Environmental Health (Cross-listed with Environmental Studies): 3 cr. Impact of environmental problems on human health; biological hazards to human health from air and water pollution; radiation; pesticides; noise; problems related to food; occupation and environment of the workplace; accidents. Prerequisites: Junior status and a course in biology. Syllabus

*PHS 502 Air Pollution and Human Health (Cross-listed with Environmental Studies): 3 cr. Toxicologic, controlled, and epidemiologic studies on major air pollutants. Overview of study methods, lung physiology and pathology; air pollution sources, types, meteorology, sampling methods, controls and regulations. Prerequisites: Junior status and a course in biology. Syllabus

*PHS 548 The Economics of Health Care (Cross-listed with Econ, Public Affairs): 3-4 cr. Analysis of the health care industry. Markets for hospitals and physicians’ care, markets for health manpower, and the role of health insurance. Prerequisite: Econ 301; Public Affairs 880; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 551 Introduction to Biostatistics for Population Health (Cross-listed with BMI): 3 cr. Course designed for population health researchers. Topics include descriptive statistics, elementary probability, probability distributions, one- and two-sample normal inference (point estimation, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals), power and sample size calculations, one- and two-sample binomial inference, underlying assumptions and diagnostic work. Prerequisite: college algebra; Population Health Graduate student; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 552 Regression Methods for Population Health (Cross-listed with BMI): 3 cr. Introduction to the primary statistical tools used in epidemiology and health services research; multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis. Prerequisites: PHS/BMI 451 and PHS/BMI 551; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

*PHS 553 International Health and Global Society (Cross-listed with Med Hist, Hist Sci): 3 cr. Major problems in international health from 1750 to the present. Med Hist Department Homepage. Syllabus

*PHS 603 Clinical and Public Health Microbiology (Cross-listed with Med Microbiology and Immunology): 5 cr. This course, offered only in the spring semester, covers all the major bacterial infectious diseases and is more advanced than what medical students receive in the first year of medical school. Only bacterial infectious diseases will be covered; other microbiological agents are not presented. MM&I Department Homepage. Syllabus

PHS 621 Introduction to Nutritional Epidemiology (Cross-listed with Nutritional Sciences): 1 cr. Nutri Sci Department HomepageSyllabus

PHS 625 Toxicology I (Cross-listed with Environmental Toxicology, Medicine, Oncology, Pathology, Pharmacology, AHABS, Pharmacy Science): 3 cr. Toxicology Department Homepage.

PHS 626 Toxicology II (Cross-listed with Environmental Toxicology, Medicine, Pathology, Pharmacology, AHABS, Pharmacy Science): 3 cr. Toxicology Department Homepage. Syllabus

PHS 636 Public Health Genomics: (formerly PHS 888) 1 cr. Public health genomics uses knowledge gained from genetic and molecular research along with a consideration of ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) to prevent disease and improve the health of the population. Students enrolled in this course will be provided an introduction to public health genomics through a review of fundamental principles of genetics, followed by lectures and discussions on the use of genetic information in clinical and research settings and its implications for disease management and prevention. Students will also gain an awareness of policies that guide public health and will be able to discuss current ethical, legal, and social implications of these policies. These learning objectives will be met through readings and videos, lectures, and discussions of recent journal articles and current topics in public health genomics. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional standing. Syllabus

PHS 640 Foundations in Global Health Practice: 1 cr. Interdisciplinary course designed to prepare graduate students in the health sciences and related fields, as well as health professionals who are special students, for specific global health field experiences. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional student standing and consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 650 Special Topics: 1-3 cr. Variable content courses. Prerequisite: Varies by topic. The Population Health 650 course number is used for temporary courses. Each section is a distinctly separate course.

PHS 651 Advanced Regression Methods for Population Health (Cross-listed with Biostatistics and Medical Informatics): 3 cr. Extension of regression analysis to observational data with unequal variance, unequal sampling and propensity weights, clusters and longitudinal measurements, using different variance structures, mixed linear models, generalized linear models and GEE. Matrix notation will be introduced and underlying mathematical and statistical principles will be explained. Examples use data sets from ongoing population health research. Prerequisites: PHS 798 and PHS 552; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 652 Topics in Biostatistics for Epidemiology: 1-3 cr. The course will consist of multiple modules covering a variety of statistical topics. The length of modules will vary based on the breadth and depth of the specific topic. Each module will adopt an in-depth focus on a biostatistical method of particular relevance to epidemiology such as measurement error, missing data, intermediate variables, complex study designs, meta-analysis, splines, propensity scores, causal inference, spatial statistics and resampling. One or more modules will be offered every spring semester. Prerequisites: BMI/PHS 551 and PHS/BMI 552; Stat 850 or PHS/BMI 651; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 699 Independent Reading: 1-5 cr. To gain additional information on specific research problems or advanced training in the areas covered by Population Health staff. Prerequisites: Graduate student and consent of instructor.

PHS 703 Quality of Health Care: Evaluation and Assurance (Cross-listed with ISYE): 1-3 cr. Implementation, oversight and management of quality-oriented activities in health care settings. Overview of current and historical activities, approaches, and issues confronting health care related to quality assessment, assurance, and improvement. Prerequisite: Major or Minor in Population Health or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 709 Translational and Outcomes Research in Health and Health Care: 3 cr. This course seeks to review the conceptualization of translational and outcomes research in health and health care settings; to illustrate basic concepts and methods in research as applied to current issues in health and health care settings; and to understand the diverse perspectives that can be used to inform translational and outcomes research in different organizations, including those based within communities. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 712 Integrating Medicine and Public Health: 1 cr. The purpose of this elective is to provide 1st and 2nd year medical students and physician assistant students with an introduction to public health and opportunities to meet and discuss key concepts with an exciting variety of physician leaders who have integrated medicine public health in their careers. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional standing.  Syllabus

PHS 713 Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS: 1 cr. This course provides an overview of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the United States and worldwide. Topics covered include a review of the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, the natural history of HIV disease, strategies to prevent and treat HIV, and local and global health impact with a focus on historically significant milestones as well as promising current and future research. Prerequisite: PHS 797 or consent of instructor.  Syllabus

PHS 718 Principles of Global Health Care Systems: 2 cr. Addresses and analyzes differences in health status and methods of organizing and providing health services in countries with varying levels of development and types of socio-political systems. Develops an understanding of the various avenues of international cooperation in health. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional standing

PHS 739 Climate Change, Human and Planetary Health
Provide tools to identify and address real-world global environmental health issues, stemming from climate change, habitat destruction leading to disease spillover events, food insecurity, and urban design.  Syllabus

PHS 750 Cancer Epidemiology: 3 cr. This course will cover current knowledge on cancer occurrence and control in human populations. Design and analysis approaches appropriate for cancer epidemiology will also be discussed. Prerequisites: Graduate or professional standing; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 789: Principles of Environmental Health: A Systems Thinking Approach: 3 cr. Students will participate in a 1.5 hour discussion of a selected peer review journal articles relating to a traditional (air pollution and cardiovascular disease) or emerging (nano-technology/social and built environment) environmental health topic. Students lead the discussions using a guided set of discussion questions. Instructor will serve as the facilitator. Prerequisite: Advanced Population Health Sciences, MPH, or Epidemiology student or graduate level Environmental Health student with at least one introduction to epidemiology and/or study design course. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 791 Physical Activity Epidemiology (Cross listed with Kinesiology): 3 cr. Recommendations for and surveillance of physical activity in the U.S., and associations with health and disease at the population level. Emphasis on measurement techniques, study design and research considerations. Prerequisite: Graduate student or consent of instructor. Kinesiology Department Homepage. Syllabus

PHS 795 Principles of Population Health Science: 3 cr. Introduces students to the multiple determinants of health including medical care, socioeconomic status, the physical environment and individual behavior, and their interactions. Also covered will be the definition and measurement of population health, economic concepts in population health, and ethical and managerial issues in population health improvement. Prerequisite: Graduate student in Population Health or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 796 Introduction to Health Services Research: 3 cr. Introduces students to a variety of perspectives, substantive areas and methodological approaches to health services research that provide the foundation for understanding the structure, process and outcomes of the U.S. health care system. Prerequisite: PHS 795 or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 797 Introduction to Epidemiology (Cross listed with Sociology): 3 cr. Lectures and discussions on design, implementation and interpretation of epidemiologic studies; emphasis on methodologic problems in the measurement of disease frequency, natural history and risk factors. Prerequisite: Graduate student; Healthcare Professional student standing; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 798 Epidemiologic Methods: 3 cr. The main emphasis of this course is the design and interpretation of epidemiologic studies. The course includes hands-on experience in the evaluation of epidemiologic evidence, the analysis of epidemiologic data, and the discussion of strategies aimed to improve study validity and efficiency. Prerequisite: PHS 797 or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 801 Epidemiology of Infectious Disease: 3 cr. This course introduces basic methods to studying the epidemiology of infectious diseases and reviews infectious diseases of major public health importance. The course will cover the basics of microbiology, immunology, and laboratory-based methods and the principles of disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, mathematical models of disease transmission, and prevention strategies. The etiology, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of ancient, modern, and emerging infectious diseases will be examined. Prerequisite: PHS 797 or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 805 Advanced Epidemiology: Causal Inference in Epidemiological Studies: 3 cr. The focus of the course is on the use of viewpoints and design/analytical tools to render possible the estimation of causal effects in epidemiologic studies. Students learn about the rationale and use of study designs/analytic tools that build upon but are substantially different from the most common approaches used in epidemiologic research (experimental studies, case-control studies, and cohort studies). Prerequisite: POP HLTH/SOC 797 and POP HLTH 798. Syllabus

PHS 806 Advanced Epidemiology: The Practice of Epidemiology: 3 cr. The primary goal of this course is to apply and extend methodological knowledge learned in prior courses in the Population Health Sciences epidemiology methods sequence to selected key activities of a practicing epidemiologic researcher, including study implementation, scientific writing and presentation, manuscript and grant peer-reviewing, measurement validation and sensitivity analyses, and an overview of commonly-used epidemiology field instruments and methods. Prerequisites: PHS 797 and PHS 798; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 819 Social Network Analysis and Health
Provides an overview and synthesis of research utilizing social network analysis in relation to health, drawing on studies by sociologists, economists, computer scientists, physicians and health services researchers. Enables students to understand how social network data are collected and processed; how to calculate appropriate network measures; how to apply statistical modeling of social network effects on health behavior. Surveys social network studies related to substance use, smoking, contraception, HIV/AIDS, obesity and many other health conditions. Also looks at the social networks of health organizations in relation to patient outcomes. Prior coursework in data analysis and statistical methods is recommended.  Syllabus

PHS 820 Graduate Research Seminar: 1 cr. Research seminar for students in the Population Health and Epidemiology graduate programs. Presentations by graduate students, professors, public health professionals and experts designed to cover the depth and breadth of research in the field of population health. Prerequisite: Graduate student in Population Health Graduate Program. Syllabus

PHS 845 Seminar in Health and Mental Health Economics: 1-3 cr. This doctoral seminar provides an overview of current topics in health and mental health economics. The main objectives of this seminar is to acquaint students with important current topics, literature, and scholarship in this field. Prerequisite: Students who are predoctoral trainees in the NIMH Training Program are expected to take this seminar all semesters it is offered. For other graduate students studying health economics, enrollment is by consent of instructor (to manage seminar size). Graduate-level study in microeconomics and econometrics is expected for any student enrolled in or auditing the course. Syllabus

PHS 848 Health Economics (Cross listed with Econ): 3 cr. Health economics issues including demand, supply and pricing, market structure, medical malpractice, technological change, value of life, role of insurance, and other aspects of uncertainty. Prerequisite: Graduate student. Syllabus

PHS 849 Genetic Epidemiology: 3 cr. This course will provide an introduction to genetic epidemiology, particularly genetic association studies. Topics will include a general overview of genetics and Mendelian and complex inheritance. We will discuss the various elements of study design, including definition of study population, participant ascertainment, phenotype definition, selection of genetic markers, determination of the type of biologic sample to be collected for extraction of the DNA, data collection and management, and choice of analytic methods. Prerequisite: Graduate student or Healthcare Professional student standing. Syllabus

PHS 875 Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health and Healthcare (Cross-listed with Industrial Engineering): 2-3 cr. Basic ideas and tools of cost effectiveness analysis as applied in evaluating medical technologies. Addresses special problems and methods in assessing diagnostic technologies, including ROC analysis, and in measuring health for technology assessment. Uses “classical” and current journal literature. Prerequisites: Graduate student in Population Health, PHS 797, and PHS 552; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 876 Measuring Health Outcomes : 3 cr. How do we know if population health improving, declining, or staying the same? How does health in one group compare to another? A therapy may extend quantity of life, but how can we assess the quality of those years? These questions are important to policymakers, patients, clinicians, and researchers. This course is intended for graduate students who wish to understand and use measures of health outcomes in clinical research, population surveillance, and/or policy development. This course will familiarize students with current methods of assessing health outcome measures and provide a conceptual basis for understanding health outcomes assessment and other patient experience measures of health care. During the semester, we will explore 1) methods for developing health outcome measures, 2) commonly used health outcome measures, and 3) how health outcome measures can be applied to answer a research question. Major data sets containing health outcome measures will also be visited. Prerequisites: Graduate student in Population Health, PHS 795, PHS 797, and PHS 552. Syllabus

PHS 881 Benefit-Cost Analysis: (Cross-listed with LaFollette School of Public Affairs): 3 cr. This course will present the welfare economics underpinnings for evaluating the social benefits and costs of government activities. Issues such as uncertainty, the social discount rate, and welfare weights will be discussed; case studies from the environmental, social policy and agricultural areas will be studied. Prerequisites: Grad Student, Pub Affr 818 and 880; or PHS 875 and at least one course in econ; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 904 Section 001 Cardiovascular Diseases Epidemiology: 1 cr. This course is directed to graduate students interested in the epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases. The main emphasis of this course is the discussion of the population distribution, health impact, risk factors, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Prerequisite: PHS 797. Syllabus

PHS 915 International Health Systems and Policy: 2 cr. The course is designed as an independent study, allowing students considerable flexibility in scheduling the work and reporting the lessons learned. All readings and other materials are available in portable, electronic format. The intellectual approach is highly interdisciplinary, encouraging students to examine health systems from the perspectives of philosophy, history, sociology, demography, epidemiology, economics, and politics as well as clinical medicine. Prerequisite: 4th year Med Student. Syllabus

PHS 955 Seminar – Physical Activity Epidemiology:(Cross-listed with Kinesiology) 1 cr. Current research developments in physical activity epidemiology. Prerequisite: Graduate student or consent of instructor. Kinesiology Department Homepage. Syllabus

PHS 990 Research: 1-8 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.