Curriculum

The MPH degree requires completion of 64 units. Course requirements for these units are outlined below:

Required Core Courses (36 Units)

  • FMPH 400 - Introduction to Biostatistics (4 units)
  • FMPH 401 - Introduction to Epidemiology (4 units)
  • FMPH 402 - Introduction to Health Behavior (4 units)
  • FMPH 403 - Public Health Research Methods (4 units)
  • FMPH 404 - Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health (4 units)
  • FMPH 405 - Introduction to Health Policy (4 units)
  • FMPH 406 - Scientific Writing (4 units)
  • FMPH 496 - Public Health Practicum (4 units)
  • FMPH 495 - Master's Capstone/Thesis Independent Study (2 units)
  • FMPH 499 - Public Health Master's Capstone/Thesis (2 units)

Required Concentration Courses (12-16 Units)

Please see below for the required coursework for each of our concentrations:

Epidemiology Concentration Requirements (16 units)

  • FMPH 415 - Advanced Epidemiological Methods (4 units)
  • FMPH 419 - Biostatistics II (4 units)

Any two of the following courses:

  • FMPH 413 - Ethics in Public Health Research and Practice (4 units)
  • FMPH 417 - Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (4 units)
  • FMPH 418 - Infectious Diseases: Epidemiologic Methods and Emerging Trends (4 units)

Health Behavior Concentration Requirements (16 units)

  • FMPH 410 - Health Behavior Interventions (4 units)
  • FMPH 411 - Program Optimization and Evaluation (4 units)
  • FMPH 413 - Ethics in Public Health Research and Practice (4 units)

Any one of the following courses:

  • FMPH 412 - Health Promotion and Communication (4 units)
  • FMPH 419 - Biostatistics II (4 units)

General Public Health (GPH) Concentration (12 units)

GPH students must take three 4-unit courses from our other existing concentrations. They must complete any three of the following courses:

  • FMPH 410 - Health Behavior Interventions (4 units)
  • FMPH 411 - Program Optimization and Evaluation (4 units)
  • FMPH 412 - Health Promotion and Communication (4 units)
  • FMPH 413 - Ethics in Public Health Research and Practice (4 units)
  • FMPH 415 - Advanced Epidemiological Methods (4 units)
  • FMPH 417 - Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (4 units)
  • FMPH 418 - Infectious Diseases: Epidemiologic Methods and Emerging Trends (4 units)
  • FMPH 419 - Biostatistics II (4 units)

Additional courses will be added to this list as the MPH Program grows.

Elective Courses (12-16 units)

Elective course options include any MPH course offered that does not count towards a student's core or concentration requirements. Students can also fulfill elective requirements through independent study coursework (FMPH 498) and/or graduate level courses outside the department (with approval of program director).

Note: General Public Health (GPH) concentration students who are medical students or professionals, as well as qualified students/professionals from other health-related disciplines, can waive some or all of their elective units, which will allow them to complete our MPH program in 1 year. For questions about the elective unit waiver process, contact mphinfo@ucsd.edu.

 

Course Descriptions

 

Core Courses

 

FMPH 400 Introduction to Biostatistics (4 units).  Students will understand principles of measurement of clinical data, recognize data types, and determine statistical methods for analysis of a given data set. They will gain experience in preparing a clinical dataset for analysis by statistical software. They will learn skills to conduct graphical and numerical exploratory data analysis, comparative tests of categorical, ordinal, and continuous data, linear and logistic regression, and survival analysis by life table and Kaplan-Meier techniques.

FMPH 401 Introduction to Epidemiology (4 units).  Participants will recognize and understand different types of study designs, the strengths and limitations of each, and how to choose the proper study design for their research. They will also be able to identify and calculate the measure of risk for each study design. Participants will recognize major sources of bias, confounding and misclassification, and understand design and analysis methods for dealing with each. They will also learn criteria to differentiate association from causation.

FMPH 402 Introduction to Health Behavior (4 units).  This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the theoretical issues and current methodologies related to understanding and influencing health behavior change in diverse populations. The course will focus on the social and behavioral determinants of health on the individual, interpersonal, community, institutional and policy levels. This also covers examples of application of theories to determinants and intervention research, and disparities in health behavior.

FMPH 403 Public Health Research Methods (4 units).  This course will focus on fundamental concepts in research design and measurement that will help prepare students to plan and implement scientific studies in public health and be able to critically evaluate and discuss public health research. Emphasis will be on learning how to identify significant public health problems, develop causal models for understanding those problems, create testable hypotheses, and design, implement, and interpret research studies to evaluate those hypotheses.

FMPH 404 Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health (4 units).  This course will cover the history of the recognition of chemical, physical, biological, psychosocial, occupational and environmental hazards, and associated adverse health outcomes experienced in the workplace and from environmental exposure. Major modalities of prevention will be presented and the role of health practitioners, epidemiologists, government, management, labor, community organizations and the general public will be reviewed.

FMPH 405 Introduction to Health Policy (4 units).  This course will introduce students to health policy making and the organization and financing of health services in the United States, enhance their understanding of the historical and political context of health policy, and enable them to develop strategies for analysis of health policy issues. The course aims to convey not just specific facts, but to help students develop the ability and confidence to assess current health policy issues in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and rigorous manner. 

FMPH 406 Scientific Writing (4 units).  This course will prepare students to write a scientific paper. The course is focused on developing the necessary skills to write a peer-reviewed journal publication, based on findings from students' ongoing or previous research, or based on hypothetical findings from a planned study. Topics will include overall manuscript planning, selecting an appropriate journal construction, responding to critiques, and manuscript revision.

FMPH 496 Public Health Practicum (4 units).  This required course involves participating in a short-term, field-based public-health or population-based experience. Students will work with sites such as community-based organizations or local, state, federal or international public health agencies. Students will have the opportunity to develop written and oral communication skills while employing public health concepts and methods.

FMPH 495 Master's Capstone/Thesis Independent Study (2 units).  In this independent study course, students will actively engage in work on their Master's capstone/thesis. May involve project conceptualization and operationalization, literature review, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation/writing.

FMPH 499 Public Health Master's Capstone/Thesis (2 units).  Students complete their capstone/thesis, and potentially submit their capstone/thesis for publication and/or present their capstone/thesis to stakeholders.

 

Epidemiology Concentration Courses

 

FMPH 413 Ethics in Public Health Research/Practice (4 units).  Ethics in public health are complex as questions of community, social justice, culture, autonomy and individual rights introduce unique challenges that may be difficult for a practitioner or researcher to recognize and navigate. This course will explore “applied” research and practical ethics using a broad range of both historic and contemporary public health cases. Students will learn how to recognize, analyze and discuss ethical issues associated with the field of public health.

FMPH 415 Advanced Epidemiological Methods (4 units).  Students will select the appropriate sampling method and determine the sample size necessary for specific projects and adjust for confounding. Participants will become familiar with several specialized analytic techniques, including matched, cluster, and meta-analyses. They will also be presented with methodological and ethical issues, unique to ecological, behavioral, and genetic studies.

FMPH 417 Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (4 units).  This course will provide students with background on the population frequencies and etiologic risk factors for ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Emphasis will be placed on identifying suitable epidemiologic approaches for characterizing preventable risk factors, as well as ethical considerations in CVD Epidemiology research.  

FMPH 418 Infectious Diseases: Epidemiological Methods and Emerging Trends (4 units).  Designed to increase students' understanding and skills required to investigate, prevent and control infectious diseases. Students will be introduced to a variety of fundamental and novel epidemiological methods through practical exercises and case studies of particularly important or emerging communicable diseases.

FMPH 419 Biostatistics II (4 units).  Students will understand and conduct advanced bio-statistical analyses including: multiple linear and logistic regression, survival analysis, and Cox and extended Cox regression, and longitudinal data analysis. Students will analyze data using these techniques, and learn to program using a statistical software package (e.g., R). Issues such as confounding, missing data, and causal inference will be discussed.

 

Health Behavior Concentration Courses

 

FMPH 410 Health Behavior Interventions (4 units).  This course focuses on critical analyses of success and failure of behavior theories and their applications to interventions in multiple fields, such as (but not limited to) smoking, dietary behavior, and physical activity. The course will prepare students to design and evaluate behavior change interventions covering individual and population approaches to behavior change.

FMPH 411 Program Optimization and Evaluation (4 units).  This course covers optimization and evaluation methods including formative research, experimental and quasi-experimental study designs and optimization trials as used in the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST). While this is not a statistics nor measurement course, overviews of data analyses (e.g., statistical analyses, cost and cost-effectiveness analyses, dynamical modeling) and measurement (e.g., qualitative and quantitative) will be provided as appropriate for each of the above methods.

FMPH 412 Health Promotion and Communication (4 units).  This course focuses on the principles of health promotion and health communication for public health, particularly for behavioral interventions. Students will explore how and when different promotion and communication methods can be used effectively to promote healthier living among diverse populations.

FMPH 413 Ethics in Public Health Research/Practice (4 units).  Ethics in public health are complex as questions of community, social justice, culture, autonomy and individual rights introduce unique challenges that may be difficult for a practitioner or researcher to recognize and navigate. This course will explore “applied” research and practical ethics using a broad range of both historic and contemporary public health cases. Students will learn how to recognize, analyze and discuss ethical issues associated with the field of public health.

FMPH 419 Biostatistics II (4 units).  Students will understand and conduct advanced bio-statistical analyses including: multiple linear and logistic regression, survival analysis, and Cox and extended Cox regression, and longitudinal data analysis. Students will analyze data using these techniques, and learn to program using a statistical software package (e.g., R). Issues such as confounding, missing data, and causal inference will be discussed.