Course Descriptions and Syllabi

Course Grids

All PHS Courses Spring 2021

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 503 Public Health and Human Rights: The Care of Vulnerable Children in Africa: 1 cr. Students will understand, critique and constructively engage with global efforts to meet the needs of orphans and other children who are in highly vulnerable situations in Africa. Exploring the tensions and synergies between public health and human rights approaches, this course will prepare students for research, practice or advocacy. It is open to upper level undergraduates (junior and senior standing), graduate students, MPH students, and special students. Approved elective for the Certificate in Global Health. Prerequisite: None

PHS 504 Health Care Quality Improvement in Low Resource Settings: 1 cr.
This course will present concepts of quality improvement and will trace the introduction and evolution of QI efforts in low-income countries, and among vulnerable populations worldwide. Students will get hands on training in QI methods and tools, and will explore how QI can strengthen health systems. Further, they will develop an understanding of how QI efforts can be linked to larger policy initiatives such as improved governance, task shifting within health care services, rights-based approaches to health care, and realization of the MDGs. This course will provide a useful introduction to the field of quality improvement and could be used to develop preliminary plans for quality improvement studies in a practice setting. It is open to graduate students, MPH students, and upper level undergraduate students (juniors and seniors). It is also open to special students who are enrolled in the Capstone Certificate in Global Health. Prerequisite: None

*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 560 Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change: 3 cr. Covers contemporary methods of impact assessment in a framework to address global environmental health threats (e.g., global climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss, and urban sprawl). Issues dovetail well (but do not overlap) with Introduction to Environmental Health. Prerequisite: Junior standing 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 644 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease: 1 cr.
Addresses a variety of global health topics through study of a specific area (Latin America, South Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America). Students will consider health data, health systems, historical and cultural information, and concepts of cultural competence and cultural humility. Prepares students for Pop Health 645, Global Health Field Study. Prerequisite: Grad standing or health professional student; or consent of instructor

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 650 Section 015: Writing for Scholarly Publication: 1 cr. This course focuses on the study of the development of skills and opportunities that culminate in publishable works in public health and other health science-related professional journals, area-specific journals, cross-disciplinary journals, and other publications. There will be an emphasis on writing, editing, reviewing, and other professional development skills that culminate in the publication in peer-reviewed professional journals and other publishing outlets. Prerequisite: MPH or Graduate student. Syllabus

PHS 650 Section 029: Advanced Mental Health Economics: 1-3 cr. This course is a seminar designed for PhD students pursuing dissertation research in health and mental health economics. The seminar emphasizes student contributions in the form of literature reviews and critiques, as well as presentations of student research projects. Topic areas vary each semester; typically one to three major themes are emphasized. Prerequisite: Graduate student or Healthcare Professional student standing. Syllabus

PHS 650 Section 077: Introduction to Survey Sampling: 2 cr. Students to sample survey methods and principles, as well as the applied skills necessary to design a sample survey. Students will learn basic sampling techniques, such as simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratification, cluster sampling, probability proportional to size, weighting, and variance estimation. Hands-on practice constructing sampling frames from census data and other auxiliary sources, selecting samples using SAS, and evaluating the efficiency of sample designs and their underlying assumptions. Prerequisite: PHS/BMI 452; PHS/BMI 551; or consent of instructor.

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 660 Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: 1 cr. Designed to improve public health professionals’ abilities to communicate with different audiences such as news media, legislators, and the public. Students learn strategies for health communication based on scientific recommendation and apply these skills by planning and executing communication activities used in the field. Prerequisite: Grad student or health professional student. Syllabus

PHS 661 State Level Health System and Coverage Reform: 1 cr. Overview of the state initiatives in health care coverage, access, and costs, trends in the public and private sectors, and current issues and debates about reform nationally and in Wisconsin. Prerequisite: MPH or Graduate student. Syllabus

PHS 662 Section 001: Intro to Social Marketing: 1 cr. This course is designed to give students an orientation to social marketing and its specific applications in public health. It is appropriate for current and future practitioners in the public health field. Class sessions will combine didactic presentations with group discussion and in-class exercises. Prerequisites: Graduate student and consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 664: Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: 2 cr. In this course, students will focus on overweight and obesity prevention, with a strong focus on pediatric obesity. Prerequisite: Graduate student or Healthcare Professional student standing; PHS 797; 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.

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.

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 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: PHS 797 and PHS 798; Human Oncology 721; or consent of instructor. Syllabus

PHS 780 Public Health: Principles and Practice: 3 cr. An interdisciplinary course addressing population-based approaches to community health improvement and features problem-based learning. A focus on contemporary issues; opportunities to work with a public health mentor and lectures by local, state, and national figures. Prerequisite: MPH or Graduate student; 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 794 Biological Basis of Population Health: 2 cr. This course covers the physiology, biology, and biochemistry of selected disease processes deemed to be important to students of Population Health Sciences by virtue of their clinical significance including incidence, mortality and morbidity. Prerequisite: Graduate student or consent of instructor. 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 803 Monitoring Population Health: 3 cr. Students learn applied techniques for community health assessment–a core function of public health. Actual population health data (including census, nationality, mortality, hospital discharge, behavioral risk factor) are retrieved from the Web for analysis and interpretation. Prerequisite: Pop Health 797. 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 820 Graduate Research Seminar: 1 cr. Research seminar for students in the Population Health graduate program. 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 879 Politics of Health Policy: 2-3 cr. Current major U.S. health policy issues and the critical processes and forces that shape them. The course discusses the politics of health policy; key economic, social and ethical forces; and central players. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional standing. 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 904 Section 003 Analytic Methods in Genetic Epidemiology: 2 cr. This course offers a unique opportunity to take part in the international Genetic Analysis Workshop (GAW16 for 2008). The purpose of the GAW is to provide an opportunity for statisticians, epidemiologists, geneticists, and other scientists to interact to address methodological issues in genetic analysis. Prerequisite: Graduate student or Healthcare Professional student standing. Syllabus

PHS 904 Section 004 Global Health Epidemiology: 2 cr. The purposes of this course are to explore the relationship between globalization and health and provide students with an understanding of: (a) major indicators and determinants of health and health disparities across populations, from less to more developed countries; (b) the role of epidemiology in developing proven and potential interventions to improve global health and reduce health disparities; and (c) methodological and ethical considerations in international health research. Prerequisite: Graduate student; or Healthcare Professional student standing; or MPH Capstone student. 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.