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Schoolwide Core Courses


We are excited to announce an important change in the curriculum for all entering MPH degree students. MPH students will no longer take four separate introductory courses in the other departments outside their home department. Instead, we have developed a new integrated core class – PH 200 A/B: Foundations of Public Health. This class will combine the perspectives of the core disciplines of public health, corresponding to our five departments (Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management) into a single integrated core class that will be taught during the Fall and Winter quarters of your first year.

Course Description

PH 200 A/B introduces MPH students to the foundational concepts, definitions, historical milestones, and essential methods in the core disciplines of public health. Using a mix of traditional lecture presentations, active-learning case-based classroom discussions, lab sessions, and team-based community projects, students will learn essential knowledge about public health as well as the skills needed to be effective public health professionals. This includes oral and written presentation skills for relevant audiences, data analytic skills, and multidisciplinary team-building skills working with fellow MPH students from every department in the School.


The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which is the accrediting body for all schools and programs of public health, established 12 "learning experiences" that must be demonstrated by all public health graduate students, and 22 "foundational competencies" for MPH students. These learning experiences and competencies have been integrated into the core classes for all students at the Fielding School of Public Health. 

Click on any of the syllabi below to explore how these could prepare you with skills and expertise to make important contributions to public health:

BIOSTAT 100: Introduction to Biostatistics
An introduction to methods and concepts of statistical analysis and sampling, with special attention to those occurring in biological sciences. Topics include descriptive measures, probability and distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, types of error, significance, confidence levels, sample size and power.

COM HLT 100: Introduction to Community Health Sciences
This introductory course provides MPH students and public health minors with a broad and comprehensive overview of concepts, empirical research, and public health practice in community health sciences with an emphasis on: (1) social context and determinants of population health and (2) principles of planning interventions to protect and improve public health.

ENV HLT 100: Introduction to Environmental Health
An introduction to current areas of research in, applications of, and methodologies used in the field of Environmental Health Sciences. Particular focus is given on how environmental stressors impact the health of communities, both locally and globally, and how communities can build resiliency to those impacts.

EPI DEM 100: Principles of Epidemiology
This course is designed to provide a general introduction to how epidemiologists contribute to improving public health, including through the study of the variation of disease in relation to age, sex, race, occupational and social characteristics, place of residence, susceptibility, exposure to specific agents or other pertinent characteristics. 

HLT POL 100: Introduction to Health Policy and Management
This course provides a survey of health policy and management, a multi-disciplinary field of inquiry and practice concerned with the delivery, quality and costs of health care for individuals and populations. The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of American health care organization, financing and policy.

PUB HLT C150: Fundamentals of Public Health
This course explores health challenges at the local, national and global level, the epidemiologic basis of the public’s health, the organization and financing of health services in the United States and elsewhere, and current strategies for advancing population health. The objective is to acquaint students with current public health issues and modern public health policies and practices. 

For concentration-specific courses required for degree fulfillment, please contact the academic department's Student Affairs Officers.

PDF icon BIOSTAT 100A Spring 2020 Syllabus.pdf173.03 KB