Course Descriptions

Core Courses (Required of all Students)


EPID-501 Epidemiology I: Principles of Epidemiology ( 3 credits)
Epidemiology overview and history; distributions of disease by time, place and person; association and causality; ecological studies; cross-sectional studies and surveys; case-control studies; analysis of case-control studies; types of bias in case-control studies; cohort studies; analysis of cohort studies; bias in cohort studies; population attributable risk; confounding factors; effect modification (interaction); analysis for confounding and interaction; multivariate analysis; sensitivity, specificity and screening; public health practice and prevention; special issues in cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology and genetic epidemiology. This course includes a discussion session.

Epidemiology overview and history; distributions of disease by time, place and person; association and causality; ecological studies; cross-sectional studies and surveys; case-control studies; analysis of case-control studies; types of bias in case-control studies; cohort studies; analysis of cohort studies; bias in cohort studies; population attributable risk; confounding factors; effect modification (interaction); analysis for confounding and interaction; multivariate analysis; sensitivity, specificity and screening; public health practice and prevention; special issues in cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology and genetic epidemiology. This course includes a discussion session.

EPID-502 Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods in Epidemiology ( 3 credits)
This is a core course required for all students in the M.S. in Epidemiology program.

EPID-503 Biostatistics I: Introductory Biostatistics ( 3 credits)
This course is designed for introductory biostatistical theory and application for students pursuing a master’s degree in fields outside of the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics. Students first learn the four pillars of exploring and displaying data appropriately, exploring relationships between two variables, issues of gathering sample data, and understanding randomness and probability. On these pillars, students then can develop the platform for statistical inference including proportions and means, multiple regression, and ANOVA.

EPID-504 Introduction to Epidemiological Statistical Software ( 1 credit, lab)
This is an introductory course to statistical software packages used in epidemiological applications, utilizing the open-source programming language R and the popular statistical software SAS.

EPID-505 Biostatistics II: Applied Biostatistics ( 3 credits)
This course is designed for applied biostatistical theory and application for epidemiology. Students are expected to have understanding of EPID 503 material. More advanced modeling for linear models, general linear models, ANOVA and ANCOVA, logistic regression, survival analysis, and sample size planning are included.

EPID-506 Computer Software Lab II ( 1 credit, lab)
This is an advanced course in statistical software and computation for applied applications of biostatistics methods in epidemiological research.

EPID-507 Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health & Health Disparities Research (3 credits)
This is a core course required for all students in the M.S. Epidemiology program. The course will be divided into two modular courses per semester:  (A) Part I:  Health Behavior Theory, Research Design and Methods; and (B) Part II: Principles and Practice of Health Disparities Research. This course introduces students to individual-, interpersonal-, and community-level theories of behavior commonly used in public health science, as well as to methods for instrument development, testing, and measurement of health behavior from multiple perspectives. It also introduces students to concepts of health disparities and health equity, provides a broad overview of existing health disparities in the US and globally, and introduces students to quantitative methods in health disparities research.

EPID-508 Introduction to Cancer Epidemiology ( 1.5 credits)
This course provides students with an overview of the dimensions of the public health impacts of cancer on populations. Through didactic and participatory instruction, students will learn about the U.S. and global distributions of specific types of cancer, gender, racial/ethnic, and other disparities, sources of the data, and methods of cancer surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. This is a core course required for all students in the M.S. in Epidemiology program.

EPID-509 Introduction to Infectious Disease Epidemiology ( 1.5 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of infectious disease epidemiology focusing on emerging and re-emerging disease agents that affect medical care and public health, e.g. viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic parasites, with special emphasis on how these infections cause or exacerbate health disparities locally and globally. This is a core course required for all students in the M.S. in Epidemiology program.

EPID-902: Thesis Research (4 credits)
This is a year long course. A candidate for the Master of Science in Epidemiology is required to perform a study, a design of investigation, under the direction of a faculty advisory committee. All master’s students must identify an advisor/mentor who will help form the thesis advisory committee comprising a total of 2 faculty. A written thesis is required to be presented, as a poster on the established annual research symposium day for the Epidemiology Program. The thesis committee and mentor/advisor must sign off on the Master’s Thesis Reviewers Report once thesis has been successfully completed.

EPID-510 & 511 Research Ethics & Professional Development Seminar
This is a core course required for all students in the M.S. in Epidemiology program.

Electives

BIST-540 Clinical Trials Design/Analysis (CE Elective) ( 3 credits)
The objective of the course is to explain in practical terms the basic principles of clinical trials, with particular emphasis on their scientific rationale, organization and planning, and methodology. Issues discussed include design of randomized and non-randomized trials, size of a clinical trial, monitoring of trial progress, and some basic principles of statistical analysis. The intent is to present the methodology of clinical trials with emphasis on the practical aspects.

TBIO-520 Cancer Prevention, Control, & Epidemiology (CE Elective) ( 3 credits)
Cancer epidemiology, prevention and control relies on the conduct of basic science research and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches, reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity and mortality, and improve quality of life. The objectives of this course are to equip students with the understanding of cancer problems from cell to society and to provide them with the evidence of the need of cross-disciplinary collaboration between biomedical and behavioral sciences. The overall goal of the course is to stimulate students to apply broad perspectives to their areas of research interest that ultimately leads to a successful research career in cancer prevention and control.

TBIO-525 Cancer Genetics (CE Elective) ( 3 credits)
This course introduces the fundamentals of the molecular genetics and molecular cytogenetics of cancer. In addition, it covers diagnostic, clinical, and population-based aspects of this rapidly advancing field.

TBIO-532-01 Social & Behavioral Science in Cancer Prevention & Control (CE Elective) ( 2 credits)
This course provides an understanding of the social and behavioral epidemiologic principles and practices underlying cancer prevention and control, highlighting the application of social, psychological, behavioral, and translational research across the cancer control continuum, from cancer prevention to early detection to survivorship.

TBIO-540-01 Biomedical Informatics (CE Elective) ( 3 credits)
This course provides an overview of the field of Biomedical Informatics from different perspectives. Particular emphasis is given to understanding the basic building blocks, various information resources and the application areas of Biomedical Informatics. Students will learn to explore the process of developing and applying computational techniques for determining the information needs of health care providers and patients.

TBIO-568 Minority Populations & Health Disparities (CE Elective) ( 2 credits)
Cancer health disparities represent a major public health problem in the United States. This course addresses the biological basis for the observed unequal burdens of cancer across racial/ethnic populations. The impact of genetic/genomic/epigenetic variability between groups that may affect cancer susceptibility and/or response to therapy which is vital to reducing the cancer gaps will be explored. The course will also explore evidence-based mechanisms that are designed to increase our understanding of biological factors and mechanisms that play a role in cancer health disparities.

TBIO-581 Molecular Epidemiology (CE Elective) ( 1 credit)
Gain familiarity with literature sources and specific laboratory tests used in determinations of risk factors involved in cancer and disease susceptibility. Learn criteria with which to assess molecular epidemiology studies. Lectures and journal club assignments will be given.

CBTA-595 Community Resilience (IDE Elective) ( 3 credits)
The impacts of disasters on a community are not necessarily determined by the scale of a disaster but are significantly influenced by the preparedness of the community. Community resilience is the capacity of groups to withstand, recover from, and respond positively to crisis or adversity. Community resilience is often described as having three properties: resistance, recovery and creativity. This course is designed to assist graduate students working in the area of social work, community development, and public health to understand and apply concepts of resilience to building the capacity of communities to successfully weather disasters whether naturally occurring or manmade.

GLOH-524-01 Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Security (IDE Elective) ( 3 credits)
The course will provide students with an overview of current emerging infectious diseases, which are threatening regional and global security. Students will learn about naturally occurring, intentionally caused, and laboratory accident-related infectious diseases. The focus of the class will be on current novel infectious diseases in 2013-2014 (e.g., MERS-Coronavirus in the Middle East and Avian Influenza H7N9 in China) and related past novel infectious diseases (SARS coronavirus 2002-2003 in Asia and Canada, Avian Influenza H5N1 in Asia and Egypt, the US/Dutch laboratory-created airborne-transmissible H5N1 flu virus, and the pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus). The class will emphasize lessons learned from prior related emerging infectious diseases (past-as-prologue). It will also cover intentionally caused infections that threaten global security such as anthrax, and the biodefense countermeasures the US government took from 2002-2014. Students will learn to analyze specific current emerging infections and how to apply key principles of infectious disease epidemiology. The class will cover the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and students will learn to identify and apply the five pillars of Outbreak Risk Communication as emphasized by the WHO. The class will teach practical skills including creating a template for preparing and responding to future outbreaks that could threaten global security, designing a poster on an infectious disease threat to global security, and learning the correct way to use a bifurcated needle to administer the vaccine against smallpox and monkeypox.

GLOH-601-01 Research Methods II (IDE Elective) ( 2 credits)
This course introduces students to a wide range of different types of global health research; covers foundational elements of empirical research including research design and data collection and analysis; addresses practical issues in the context of global health research such as obtaining research funding, proposal writing, human subjects protection, and communication of research; and affords students an opportunity to apply what they learn in the development of a research proposal. An in-depth examination of issues related to monitoring and evaluation in global public health are covered in the companion two-hour credit course, Methods, Policy and Practice of Monitoring and Evaluation in Public Health: A Survey.

HESY-594-01 Global Health and Law: An Intensive, Problem-Based Exploration (IDE Elective) ( 2 credits)
This class focuses on application of global health legal and policy principles and international organizations to discrete global health challenges. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of principles of global health law and policy through intensive examination and role play of one or more major problems in global health. Potential problems could include a naturally occurring infectious disease epidemic; an intentional introduction of a lethal pathogen; the response to large-scale food contamination, among other options. This course will meet simultaneously with a law school class to promote interdisciplinary learning. While law students are expected to have a basic level of understanding of global health law, undergraduates are not. Rather, graduate students from the main and medical campuses, as well as undergraduates, are expected to have an understanding of global public health strategies or U.S. health policy that law students often will not have. When studying and role playing these kinds of problems, students will be asked to construct innovative methods of global health governance, drawing upon existing international health law and institutions, along with a vision for more ideal models.

INTH-444 Global Patterns of Disease (IDE Elective) ( 3 credits)
This course reviews and analyzes recent trends in global health, current problems of health, and the influence of economic, population and social trends on health and living conditions in different countries. The student will acquire the basics of descriptive and analytical epidemiology and key health indicators used in international comparisons. This course discusses questions raised by the World Health Organization’s World Health Report 1998: Will the world continue to grow healthier in the 21st century, with more diseases conquered by scientific advances and life expectancy extending ever longer, or will new diseases, failing drugs, poverty, and socioeconomic gaps cancel out these gains? How does the health situation of the U.S. compare with other countries? How can the health situation of the population in developed and underdeveloped countries be improved? Looking at major determinants of health and disease in different national contexts, the student will analyze the main transnational factors that influence the transfer of risks to health and the structural conditions that determine one country’s vulnerability in a globalized economy.

MICB-524 Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Past as Prologue (IDE Elective) ( 2 credits)
This course will study recent infectious disease outbreaks including Marburg virus in Angola 2005; Nipah virus in Bangladesh 2004, Monkeypox in the USA 2003, SARS in Hong Kong and Toronto 2003, West Nile Virus in the USA 1999-2006, Plague in India 2004, Hantavirus in the USA 1993, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic 1981-2006. Emphasis will be two-fold: (1) the interaction between the infectious disease pathogen and the human immune response, and (2) common public health and political themes in these outbreaks and how they will help prepare for future emerging (entirely novel) or re-emerging diseases (new within a given environment) diseases. Students will participate in a “tabletop exercise” on how to manage an emerging disease outbreak. Grading will be based on participation in the tabletop exercise, a written final exam, and a term paper.

MICB-614 Bacteriology & Mycology (IDE Elective) ( 3 credits)
The course will focus on principle human pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The host-pathogen relationship and antimicrobial therapy will be grounded in an understanding of the structure and physiology of medically-important prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes.

MICB-619 Biology/Biochemistry of Viruses (IDE Elective) ( 3 credits)
Biology and Biochemistry of Viruses: This course will cover the general principles of virology. Topics will include: the effects of viruses on human health and disease; laboratory approaches to studying viruses; virus structure and mechanisms of replication; host responses to virus infection and viral counter-responses; virus engineering – including vaccine development and gene therapy; the role of virus ecology in emerging viral diseases. The focus will be primarily on viruses that affect human health.

CCTP-685 Survey Research Methods (SBE Elective) ( 3 credits)
Surveys are increasingly prevalent in modern society, accompanying such important events as the Arab Spring and the 2012 presidential elections, as well as such mundane activities as a stay at a hotel, or a visit to a website. Moreover, survey research design and analysis are integral skills to master in social science. This course will balance theory and practice, and serve as an introduction to the standard practices of survey research in the field today. You will learn how to conduct your own survey, from planning to design and execution to analysis. We will also focus on how to use and critique secondary sources of survey data – a much more common task. This course should be quite useful to anyone who wishes to understand survey research on substantive topics, even if they never intend to carry out their own survey. The course will include some lecture, but will be primarily conducted as a seminar. Topics covered include causal inference, the scientific method, the purpose of survey research, survey sampling and approaches to non-response, survey design, methods of survey data collection, acquisition of secondary data, issues in question wording, psychology of survey response, analysis of survey data, survey experiments, ethical issues in survey research, innovations in survey research, the role of technology in survey research, and uses of survey research in the social sciences.

GLOH-504-01 Introduction to mHealth – Understanding How to Use Mobile Technology in International Health Programming (SBE Elective) ( 1 credit)
The purpose of this course is to develop students understanding of the field of mHealth, be able to develop basic data collection tools using mobile technology platforms and to understand the state of the evidence that guide the implementation of mHealth programming in developing countries.

HEST-355 Health Equity Think Tank (SBE Elective) ( 3 credits)
This course draws on insights from a range of social science disciplines to examine the multifaceted issue of how health disparities operate within various systems. Traditionally marginalized racial, ethnic and immigrant communities and emerging groups with vulnerabilities based upon gender, sexual preference and identity, disability, mental health, geography and environment will be examined at the individual, systemic and community levels. The role of culture, socioeconomic status, health literacy, and social and community networks will be explored. Cultural competency, advocacy, policy, and social justice will serve as a foundation for discussing possible solutions to promote health equity.

LAW-364 Public Health Law and Ethics (SBE Elective) ( 3 credits)
This course is intended to provoke thought and legal and ethical debate over pressing public policy issues surrounding the major health problems facing America and globally— e.g., infectious diseases, smoking, obesity, violence, injuries, and the environment. First, the course will examine the Constitutional and historical foundations of public health law in the United States. This section will discuss the Constitutional and statutory powers and duties of government to assure the conditions for a healthy and safe population, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Second, the course will examine the conflicts between public health and civil liberties. For example, the course will probe conflicts between: (1) injury and disease surveillance and privacy; (2) labeling and advertising restrictions and freedom of expression; (3) personal control measures (e.g., screening, forced medical treatment and quarantine) and liberty; (4) commercial public health regulation and property rights. Finally, the course will examine the future of public health law. This “Future” includes a careful analysis of biosecurity — both naturally occurring (e.g., Ebola, pandemic influenza, Zika Virus) and intentional (e.g., bioterrorism such as smallpox and the anthrax attacks after September 11, 2001). This course should be important for all students considering careers in health law as well as those simply interested in exploring and debating the state of public health in America. It is a particularly unique opportunity for students given the expertise of Georgetown Law’s own O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

PPOL-706-10 Qualitative Field Research Methods (SBE Elective) ( 1.5 credits)
This course takes students through the stages of various qualitative methodologies; including the selection of a particular method or methods, the design of the instrument, conducting data collection, coding and analyzing data, and writing of the findings. The course will introduce and engage students in the design and conduct of qualitative secondary data collection, ethnographic research/participant observation, including participatory rural appraisals (PRA) and participatory learning and action (PLA), structured and semi-structured interviewing and cognitive interviewing techniques, and focus groups. The course will cover ethics in human subject research, including variation by socio-economic and cultural differences. The course is designed to allow students to apply and master the qualitative methods through engagement in participatory observation, conducting interviews, and leading and participating in mini-focus groups conducted in-class. Students will design a research study, incorporate each of these methods to collect and analyze data, and prepare a final research paper on their project. Each class will include a journal article or book chapters for reading and an illustrative journal article or book reading as an example of the methodology or topic discussed. The class will include lecture and instruction, class discussions and participation, and applied project work and papers.

TBIO-520 Cancer Prevention, Control, & Epidemiology (SBE Elective) ( 3 credits)
Cancer epidemiology, prevention and control relies on the conduct of basic science research and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches, reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity and mortality, and improve quality of life. The objectives of this course are to equip students with the understanding of cancer problems from cell to society and to provide them with the evidence of the need of cross-disciplinary collaboration between biomedical and behavioral sciences. The overall goal of the course is to stimulate students to apply broad perspectives to their areas of research interest that ultimately leads to a successful research career in cancer prevention and control.

TBIO-532 Principles and Practices of Behavioral Science in Chronic Disease Control (SBE Elective) ( 2 credits)
This course provides an understanding of the principles and practices related to chronic disease prevention and control, highlighting the application of social, psychological, behavioral, and translational research across the chronic disease control continuum, from diagnosis to survivorship. We will examine strategies to help control the impact of chronic diseases from the individual to population levels, with innovative examples from clinically-applied and research-tested approaches in the fields of tobacco control, diet and physical activity promotion, screening and management, and survivorship education and health outcomes.

TBIO-568 Minority Populations & Health Disparities (SBE Elective) ( 2 credits)
Cancer health disparities represent a major public health problem in the United States. This course addresses the biological basis for the observed unequal burdens of cancer across racial/ethnic populations. The impact of genetic/genomic/epigenetic variability between groups that may affect cancer susceptibility and/or response to therapy which is vital to reducing the cancer gaps will be explored. The course will also explore evidence-based mechanisms that are designed to increase our understanding of biological factors and mechanisms that play a role in cancer health disparities.