Courses

Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) Course Descriptions

 

PH101 Basics of Healthy Lifestyle (Credits:3)

The course provides an overview of concepts and issues related to mental, social, and physical dimensions of health with a focus on healthy behaviors and lifestyle. The course emphasizes preventive health practices which reduce risk factors associated with disease. The course enables students to analyze the relationship between healthy lifestyle and health and builds knowledge and skills to recognize and cope with health problems that they may face during their college years and later in life. Main topics include behavior change, mental health, stress and stress management, nutrition, addictions, physical exercise, and sexual behavior and STIs.

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PH201 Global Health (Credits:3)

This multidisciplinary course is designed to explore global health and how it impacts all of us globally and locally. The course develops skillsets for interpreting, developing and using global health indicators and methods, and to explore the application of measures to improve the wellbeing of people globally and locally.   The course will include an exploration of topics including leading causes of death, disease and disability, mental health, socioeconomic impacts on health, maternal and child health, media and health, disasters and war (including earthquakes and genocide), climatic change, gender equity and humanitarianism.  The course will confer theory and practice for developing and measuring indicators of health and wellbeing.  Students will be graded based on quizzes and exams, group projects with reallife problems, oral presentations and participation.

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Prerequisite: At least 30 credits completed

 

 

PH202 Causes, Treatment and Prevention of Cancer (Credits:3)

This course provides an overview of the biological basis of cancer, including the causes and progression of cancer, as well as the currently available treatment options. The course addresses the genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors’ contribution to cancer with the emphasis on changes occurring on molecular, cellular and organismal levels. Specific attention is paid to factors, including behavioral, social and environmental, important for prevention of cancer. This course also examines how the concept of cancer and understanding of its causes evolved throughout history based on important discoveries in the biomedical field.  Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to apply the knowledge of cancer biology in adopting appropriate lifestyle strategies.

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Prerequisite: At least 30 credits completed

 

 

PH203 Human Nutrition and Health (Credits:3)

Poor-quality diet is one of the leading causes of death and disease world-wide and in Armenia.?The course will explore this phenomenon and ask students to think about how to improve nutrition for?themselves, their families and their communities. Students will learn evidenced-based dietary guidelines, how to assess their diets, and explore the social and environmental determinants of eating behaviors.? They will also learn how health and agricultural policies can affect dietary behavior. Students will apply this knowledge in both individual and group assignments.

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Prerequisite: At least 30 credits completed

 

 

PH302 General Principles of Public Health Problem Solving (Credits:3)

An introduction to the diverse profession of public health and a guiding paradigm for public health problems solving, this course imparts foundational public health knowledge and begins developing essential skills in critical thinking and group process. Student groups will identify and analyze current public health problems, justifying recommended courses of action. Evaluation components consist of individual and group written and oral assignments.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH303 Special Studies Seminar (Credits:3)

Seminar series offered by MPH faculty for MPH students.

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PH304 MPH Elective (Credits:1)

Special seminar topics offered by guest faculty for MPH students.

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PH310 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (Credits:3)

This course reviews the importance of behavioral and social determinants as contributors to current public health problems worldwide and in Armenia through the lens of predominant behavior change, health communication and health promotion models (e.g., Health Belief Model, Theory of Reasoned Action/Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Model, Diffusion of Innovations, and Precede-Proceed Model).  Students then elucidate the implications of these behavioral and social factors on health and identify opportunities to address them, including health education and health promotion programs and national/global level policy changes. Evaluations include quizzes or examination, an annotated bibliography, individual and group presentations.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH311 Problem Investigation in Environmental Health (Credits:2)

This course presents the broad concepts and principles (theoretical and applied) used in organizing and assessing the major environmental health problems in low, middle, and high income countries. Students learn of quantitative and qualitative approaches to characterizing and managing risk such as establishing safe levels in air, water, soil, and food.  Students also learn the principles of industrial hygiene and health surveillance of workers, applying those insights to recommend workplace health promotion and disease/injury prevention strategies.  Evaluations include participation, homework assignments, examinations, and a presentation.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH319 Introductory Biostatistics (Credits:3)

This course provides the foundation for further study of biostatistics, the science of statistics applied to the health of populations.  The course covers the basic tools for the collection, analysis, and presentation of population health data.  The course begins with probability and distributions and progresses to confidence intervals and hypothesis testing of discrete and continuous variables in one and two sample setting.  Evaluations include problem sets, quizzes, and examinations.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH320 Data Management Systems (Credits:1)

Students will apply their knowledge of database, spreadsheet and statistical packages to the development of appropriate database and management information systems to process and analyze raw data.  Issues of database design, coding schemes, data cleaning, and handling missing data will be addressed.  Evaluation is based upon graded problem sets.

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PH321 Inferential Biostatistics (Credits:2)

This course furthers the study of biostatistics, focusing on inferential reasoning and simple regression.  Topics include hypothesis testing, and methods for the comparison of discrete and continuous data including ANOVA, correlation, regression and chi-square statistic.  Central to these inferential reasoning skills is assessing the impact of chance and variability on the interpretation of research findings and subsequent recommendations for public health practice and policy.  Evaluations include problem sets, quizzes, and examinations.  Prerequisite: PH 319.  Restricted to MPH students in the Evidence-based Practice Concentration or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH319

 

 

PH322 Epidemiology (Credits:3)

This course introduces the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Epidemiologic reasoning and assessment is demonstrated through faculty lectures and problem solving exercises (case studies, quizzes, and examinations).  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH323 Biostatistics: Modeling and Sampling (Credits:4)

This course advances the concepts of linear regression developed in PH 321 to a unified perspective of generalized linear models, including multivariable regression, logistic regression, and survival models.  The course addresses issues of sample size, and power calculations with respect to a number of study designs.  Students learn the concept of interaction terms in the models. Students will analyze established and recently collected data sets using these methods.  Evaluations include homework, quizzes, and examinations.  Prerequisite: PH 319, 321.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH321 AND PH319

 

 

PH324 Intermediate Epidemiology (Credits:3)

This course advances introductory coursework in epidemiology and survey design and sampling.  Students learn to assess the impact of bias and confounding and techniques for mitigating those effects in the both design and analyses. Special consideration is given to the role of case-control studies in addressing a variety of health problems.  Evaluation is based upon examinations and practical exercises. Prerequisite:s: PH322 and PH 352.  Restricted to MPH students in the Evidence-based Practice Concentration or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH322 AND PH352

 

 

PH330 Health Economics and Finance (Credits:3)

Health economics applies the tools of economics to issues of the organization, delivery, and financing of health care. Students will apply economic concepts to the health care sector, describe/diagram the system of health care financing and delivery arrangements in the health care sector, and analyze the role of economic factors in the development of public policy concerning health and health care.  Evaluations include case studies, in-class exercises, quizzes, and examinations.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH331 Comparative Health Systems (Credits:2)

This course provides an overview of conceptual aspects of universal health coverage and organization of health systems worldwide. This course utilizes a conceptual framework of health systems to compare the organization, financing, purchasing and delivery functions of health care systems that are key considerations for health policy reforms to improve equity in health, system’s responsiveness and financial risk protection.  The course covers examples from low, middle, and high-income countries, including Armenia. Evaluations include in-class exercises, quizzes, exam, and a group presentation.  Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH332 Program Planning (Credits:3)

This course addresses the analytic and practical considerations in designing and implementing a field program.  Topics addressed include manpower and facilities planning, design, and implementation considerations, and planning for evaluation.  Evaluation is based upon a student project.

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PH333 Politics of Public Health (Credits:1)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the politics of public health.  The course will take a substantive approach by focusing on how public health advocacy works across political institutions and processes, in the design and implementation of public heath policy, and the construction of effective institutions for the delivery public heath solutions. Special consideration will be given to role of advocates for public health issues, non-governmental organizations, and the types of skills needed to work successfully on inter-professional teams. Evaluation components consist of individual and group written and oral interprofessional assignments.

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PH340 Health Services Management (Credits:3)

Health services managers lead teams of workers in complex organizational settings who are concerned with cost, quality, access, satisfaction, and safety. This course focuses on the analysis, integration, and application of principles of leadership and management to health care organizations and population-based efforts across the health care delivery system.  Topics include the health care environment, functions of management, leadership principles, organizational design and assessment, organizational ethics, human resources principles, financial management, change and innovation, quality principles, organizational culture, workforce commitment and motivation, customer satisfaction, and business communication. Evaluation is based upon case analysis, self-assessment and reflection assignments, a self-directed leadership development action plan, and a team project presentation. Prerequisite: None.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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PH350 Project Development and Evaluation (Credits:4)

This course provides a thorough grounding in the basic methods of health services research and evaluation, focusing on evaluation objectives, research designs, instrument reliability and validity, sampling, and data collection consideration, proposal writing, analytic techniques for reporting, and ethical considerations in population-based programs, research, and communication.  Evaluation is based upon small group case study analyses, an evaluation proposal, a content examination or quizzes, and a critique of a published paper.  Prerequisite:s: PH310, PH 311, PH 319, and PH 322.  Restricted to MPH students or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH310 AND PH319 AND PH311 AND PH322

 

 

PH351 Qualitative Research Methods (Credits:3)

This course builds advanced competence in the methods and techniques used in conducting qualitative research.  Students will plan and implement a qualitative study to encompass the collection, management, and analysis of qualitative data useful for the design, implementation and evaluation of public health programs.  Data collection methods will include individual in-depth interviews, individual and group/social observations, and focus group discussions. Note: The formative research projects form the basis of a quantitative survey instrument developed during PH352.  Prerequisite:s: PH310.  Restricted to MPH students in the Evidence-based Practice Concentration or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH310

 

 

PH352 Survey Research Methods (Credits:3)

This course builds advanced competence through the application of health survey research methods in the field.  Students will plan and implement a quantitative survey focusing on design, implementation, and evaluation of a health survey field project.  Topics include probability sampling, questionnaire design, interview techniques, coding procedures, and planning for the analysis and presentation of the findings.  Evaluation is based upon an examination, participation in field projects, a written report, and a presentation.  Note: The data generated during the survey project could be analyzed during PH323. Prerequisite:s: PH351.  Restricted to MPH students in the Evidence-based Practice Concentration or program permission.

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Prerequisite: PH351

 

 

PH360 Training of Trainers (Credits:3)

This course prepares MPH graduates to effectively respond to the enhanced job responsibility of providing formal and informal in-service training to interprofessional colleagues and co-workers.  The course will prepare students to develop objective-based learning modules and to develop and refine effective presentation and teaching skills.  Evaluation is based upon short quizzes, presentations, and the development and delivery of a brief instructional module relevant to the student’s professional objectives.

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PH381 Graduate Research Seminar (Credits:3)

This course begins a structured emphasis on application of core knowledge and critical thinking skills.  Students will critically review and discuss a number of relevant journal articles with an orientation toward the application of these insights to the health context of Armenia and the region. Students will also critically review on-going student projects.(Pass/ Fail only).

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PH390 MPH Project Planning (Credits:1)

Students formulate a preliminary project proposal for their MPH Integrating Experience (Capstone) Project applying the knowledge and skills acquired during the first year curriculum to shape and focus a tentative project proposal and implementation plan.  Evaluation is based upon completion of a written assignment and proposal. Prerequisite:s: none.   Restricted to MPH students or program permission (Pass/No pass only).

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PH391 Integrating Experience Project Implementation I (Credits:3)

Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students will concentrate on implementing and completing the Masters Project defined during course PH 390.

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PH392 Integrating Experience Project Implementation II (Credits:4)

Under the guidance of resident faculty and academic advisors, students complete the integrating experience project, concluding with a paper/report of publishable quality and an oral presentation to faculty and relevant members of the public health practice community. This course also puts a structured emphasis on integration of core knowledge and critical thinking skills.  Students will critically review and discuss a number of relevant journal articles with an orientation toward the application of these insights to the national and international health context. Students will present and critically review on-going student integrating experience projects. Prerequisite:s: PH 391.  Restricted to MPH students in the Evidence-based Practice Concentration or program permission. (Pass/No pass only

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Prerequisite: PH391

 

 

PH393 MPH Internship (Credits:3)

During the MPH internship, students integrate and apply their first-year knowledge and skills in a professional practice setting.  Under the direction of course faculty and a practitioner preceptor, students function as part of an interprofessional team, participating in meaningful real-world projects and reflecting on their experiences. (Pass/Fail only)

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