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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Public Health for a Global Community

Doctor of Public Health

  • Academic Requirements
  • Course Descriptions

Doctor of Public Health Academic Requirements

The entering Doctor of Public Health student must have completed an MPH degree or equivalent degree that includes coursework in the five core disciplines of public health:  Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management.  Previous experience in public health is desirable. Completion of the Doctor of Public Health Program requires a total of 45 credits: 30 credits of required course work, a 3 credit Field Experience, and 12 credits of Dissertation, which would include public health research and/or practice. The Doctor of Public Health Program maintains the MPH Program focus on urban and immigrant health while greatly expanding the opportunities of students to develop broad and deep competence as public health practitioners.

Doctor of Public Health Trajectory

  • Graduates will complete thirty (30) credits of course work, a three (3) credit Field Experience, plus twelve (12) credits for the dissertation, for a total of 45 credits.
  • The requirements for the DrPH are:

    Twelve (12) credits of Doctor of Public Health core courses, preferably completed by the end of the second semester.

    Twelve (12) credits of the Concentration core courses taken early in the course of the program.

    Six (6) credits of electives.

    Three (3) credits of a Field Experience.

    Passing Grade on the Qualifying Examination

    Twelve (12) credits of dissertation.


Requirements for Course Work

Academic Advising

Each Doctor of Public Health student will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will be available to the student throughout the program. The advisor and student will meet at least once a semester to discuss the student's course work, status, and plans throughout the degree completion. This Faculty Advisor will have expertise in the Concentration chosen by the student: Epidemiology, Environmental Health, or Community Health. That Faculty Advisor will also work with the student in considering doctoral Dissertation topics and guiding the student to select other appropriate faculty to serve on the committee.

Courses
  • Doctor of Public Health Core Courses:
    • 4 courses at 3 credits each for a total of 12 credits
      • Quantitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice
      • Study Design in Public Health Practice
      • Public Health Management and Ethics
      • Public Health Policy and Politics Seminar
  • Concentration Core Courses:
  •  

    • 4 courses at 3 credits each in one of the following disciplines for a total of 12 credits:
      • Community Health Sciences
      • Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
      • Epidemiology
  • Doctor of Public Health Elective Courses, by Concentration:
    • 2 elective courses, at 3 credits each, for a total of 6 credits
    • While electives are usually taken within the selected discipline, the student may, with faculty approval, take at least one elective outside of his/her discipline. Students will also have the option of developing individualized courses of independent study to enhance competencies for their intended career.
  • Field Experience in One of the Concentrations
    • 3 credits of Field Experience.
  • Passing Grade on the Qualifying Examination (QE)
  • Dissertation
    • 12 credits of dissertation.
  • Dissertation Credits: A student may enroll for Dissertation credits after the student has passed his/her Qualifying Examination. Twelve (12) credits are required to complete the dissertation. The 12 credits can be allocated in several ways, but must be done with the approval of the student's advisor.
    • The preferred method is for the student to take a minimum of three (3) credits per semester upon successful completion of his/her Qualifying Examination.
    • If the student has finished all 12 credits and still has not completed the dissertation, then the student must continue to sign up for 1 Dissertation credit each semester until the Final Dissertation has been completed.
    • In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Faculty Advisor, a student can sign up for all 12 credits in one semester.
    • Students who register for Dissertation credits in any semester are expected to produce satisfactory work during that semester for which they will receive a grade. Dissertation credits are graded as either PASS or FAIL. Students who do not produce satisfactory work while registered for Dissertation credits will receive a failing grade. The amount of work produced by a student while registered for Dissertation credits must be proportional to the number of credits for which they are registered.

 Steps required to complete the Doctor of Public Health degree:

  • Passing the Qualifying Examination (QE), which may be taken only after a student completes all DrPH core and DrPH concentration core courses, as well as the Field Experience.
  • Completion of the Dissertation Proposal and Oral Defense of Dissertation Proposal,
  • Completion of the written Dissertation, and
  • Completion of the Dissertation Defense.

These items and associated tasks are delineated below.

 

Advancement to Candidacy/Dissertation

A student may enroll for Dissertation credits after the student has passed his/her Qualifying Examination. S/he is then able to register for Dissertation credits.

Qualifying Examination (QE) Format

2 day exam (the two days are separated by 1 week)

  • Day 1:
    • Student will choose to answer 4 out of 6 short essay questions that originate from the core courses within her/his department; in each question the student is asked to apply core content to a specific real-world situation. The student will have approximately 6 hours to complete the exam questions; Laptops with no internet access will be provided to the students. Students will not be allowed to refer to notes/texts from coursework.
  • Day 2:
    • Part 1: Student will choose to answer 2 out of 4 short essay questions that cover breadth topics stemming from the 4 Doctor of Public Health core courses. By answering these questions the student is expected to demonstrate the ability to work with a range of issues as public health leaders. The student will have approximately 3 hours to complete those questions. Laptops with no internet access will be provided to the students. Students will not be allowed to refer to notes/texts from coursework.
    • Part 2: Student will be given an empirical research article to critique. The student will need to respond to approximately 10 questions regarding the article. The questions will focus on core Doctor of Public Health competencies and will not be specific to a content area; in answering this set of questions the student can demonstrate the ability to use professional literature in a meaningful and practical way to address public health problems. The student will have approximately 3 hours to complete this. Laptops with no internet access will be provided to the students; Students will not be allowed to refer to notes/texts from coursework

Sitting for the Exam:

The exam will be scheduled for two days (separated by 1 week) at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, as needed. For a student to be eligible to take the exam, s/he needs to have completed all DrPH core and concentration core course work, as well as the Field Experience. The Program of Study Form needs to be completed with all the courses, the semesters in which they were taken and the corresponding grades filled in. The student can get an updated copy of the form from the Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Affairs. The student needs to have his/her Department Chair and Faculty Advisor sign off on the form and then the form needs to be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Affairs. The student needs to present the form and give the Department Chair (and the resulting Qualifying Exam Ad Hoc Committee) at least 8 week notice (prior to the end of the semester), so that there is time for the exam questions to be generated. If the student does not feel that s/he is ready, then the student will need to wait until the two dates at the end of the following semester to take the exam.

Qualifying Exam (QE) Ad Hoc Committee:

A student to be eligible to take the exam after s/he has completed all DrPH core and concentration core course work, as well as the Field Experience. The Qualifying Examination evaluates how well the student has mastered the DrPH core coursework and the DrPH concentration core coursework. The QE Ad Hoc committee will consist of three members: 2 from the student's home department and 1 from an outside department; The chairperson of the home department will choose the two faculty from her/his department and will designate 1 as the chair of that student's QE committee. The department chair will also contact a chair from another department to choose 1 faculty member as the outside department QE committee member.

The two members from the home department will generate the six exam questions from the home department with input from the faculty in their department who taught the departmental core courses for the particular student/s. These two members will also generate a set of bullet points of content that needs to be covered in the student's responses to the questions. They will ultimately be responsible for deciding whether the answers to each of the home department questions warrants a pass or a fail. The QE committee member from the outside department will be responsible for generating the four questions derived from the core Doctor of Public Health courses and their answers with the assistance of others in their department as well as the instructors of the student's core courses. This person (with oversight from the rest of the QE committee) will decide whether the answers to the two (out of four) questions warrant a pass or a fail. If there is more than one student from the same cohort taking the exam (i.e., students who took the same courses at the same time with the same professors), then the “outside” faculty members from all the QE committees can work together to generate the four exam questions so that the students receive the same questions.

The article critique will be given to all students as it will likely be an article from American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) or a similar journal that is not specific to any one department. The Chair of the QE Ad Hoc Committee/s (depending on how many students are taking the exam), will generate the questions and criteria for passing the article critique portion of the exam.

If a student fails only one part of the exam (Day 1 or Day 2), s/he is only required to retake that part of the exam. The student should retake the exam the next time the exam is given (either the following Dec or May). If a student fails both parts of the exam, s/he is required to take the entire exam over. A student is only allowed one opportunity to retake the exam.

Doctor of Public Health Dissertation: 12 credits

Purpose: The purpose of the Doctor of Public Health Dissertation is to demonstrate that the student:

  • understands the diverse aspects of the field of public health and his or her particular concentration area  within that field
  • is able to appropriately frame his or her study question(s) and related tasks to answer the question(s)
  • can carry out the tasks necessary to complete the study can produce a final paper that is worthy of publication
Dissertation

The Doctor of Public Health Dissertation must be

  • based on an original public health project
  • worthy of publication
  • acceptable to the sponsoring Department and to a committee of Dissertation readers

The Dissertation process consists of two (2) major stages:

  • the Dissertation Proposal and Oral Defense of Dissertation Proposal
  • the written Dissertation and Dissertation Defense.

Dissertation Proposal: The Dissertation Proposal should contain a literature review and a conceptual/methodological framework and follow the format of a grant proposal in the student’s area of concentration. The proposal must include:

  • a literature review
  • a statement of the research question and research objectives
  • the methodological approach to be utilized
  • anticipated results and limitations
  • the overall significance of the proposed research
  • a timeline for completion of the Dissertation

Oral Defense: If the Faculty Advisor (the Chair of the Dissertation Proposal Committee), and the other members of the Dissertation Proposal Committee find the proposal to be acceptable, an Oral Defense of the Dissertation Proposal will be scheduled. If the student successfully completes the Oral Defense, he or she will proceed to the actual research and writing of the Dissertation.

Dissertation Proposal Committee: The Dissertation Proposal Committee will consist of a minimum of 3 people—2 from the full-time faculty in the student's department at SPH and 1 from outside the SPH. Outside members must hold a Doctoral degree in a relevant subject. The Chair of the Dissertation Proposal Committee will not be a member of the QE Ad Hoc Committee.

Dissertation: Once the Dissertation Proposal Committee has found the Dissertation Proposal to be acceptable, the student will then proceed to the research and Dissertation writing guided by the Dissertation Committee and the Faculty Advisor. It will be incumbent on the student to ensure that the Dissertation format meets the standards and requirements of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. When the student, Dissertation Committee and Faculty Advisor believe that the process has been completed, the student will submit the draft Dissertation to the Committee.

Dissertation Defense: The draft Dissertation will be submitted to the Dissertation Committee at least one month prior to the scheduled date of Dissertation Defense. The defense of the Dissertation will be announced and open to the public.

Dissertation Committee: The Dissertation Committee will be comprised of the same members as the Dissertation Proposal Committee. Changes to the Committee are allowed only with the approval of the Dean.

Time Limits: The student will have a total of 8 years in which to defend his or her Dissertation calculated from the date of entry into the doctoral program. Students who take longer than the allotted time will be required to prepare an explanation of the delay to the Chair of their Department and the Dean.  They will decide, on a case by case basis, if the student will be allowed to remain in the program, or if he or she will have to re-take courses and/or demonstrate competency in a specific area.

 

Doctor of Public Health Core Requirements

All Doctor of Public Health students must complete 12 credits of core requirements, which provide the basic knowledge in major areas of public health.

 

Course Number Course Title Credits
BIOS 7200 Quantitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice 3
PUBH 7201 Study Design in Public Health Practice 3
HPMG 7200 Public Health Management and Ethics 3
PUBH 7200 Public Health Policy and Politics Seminar 3
Total
12

Doctor of Public Health with Concentrations in:

Community Health Sciences

This program prepares students to be leaders in the area of health promotion and risk reduction by developing the knowledge, values, and skills needed to effectively plan, design, implement, and evaluate social and behavior change programs. Graduates will be prepared to serve in a leadership capacity in health promotion organizations, will be able to effectively conduct program planning and evaluation, and will be able to teach and conduct health promotion research in academic and practice settings.

Community Health Science Concentration Core Courses

All students enrolled in the Community Health Sciences Concentration must complete the Concentration core requirements listed below.

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHSC 7201 Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice 3
CHSC 7202 Methods of Community Intervention and Research 3
CHSC 7203 Program Evaluation: Theory, Practice, and Research 3
CHSC 7204 Health Promotion Seminar 3
Total
12

Community Health Sciences Concentration Field Experience

 

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHSC 7000 Field Experience in Community Health Science
3

Course Number Course Title Credits
PUBH 8001 Doctor of Public Health Dissertation 12

Community Health Sciences Concentration Elective Requirements

Students must complete 6 elective credits to satisfy the requirements for a Doctor of Public Health degree. Two courses may be chosen from the list below.

 

Course Number Course Title Credits Prerequisites
CHSC 7300 Theories of Health Behavior 3
BIOS 7200 or BIOS 5204
CHSC 7301 Psychosocial and Behavioral Epidemiology 3  
CHSC 7302 Health Communication Theory and Practice 3  
CHSC 7303 Survey Research Methods 3  
CHSC 7304 Culture, Class, and Ethnicity in Health Promotion 3  
CHSC 7305 International Case Studies in Community Health 3  
CHSC 7320 Independent Study 1-3  

Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Environmental health science is concerned with the study of the adverse impacts of physical, chemical, and biological agents in the environment on human health. To characterize the interface between human health and the environment, it is necessary to utilize a set of tools and methods to quantify or categorize exposure.

The Doctor of Public Health with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, prepares a practitioner with scientific knowledge and managerial skills to assess and resolve environmental issues through applied research, program management, policy guidance, and broad communication.

Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Concentration Core Courses

All students enrolled in the Environmental Health Sciences Concentration must complete the Concentration core requirements listed below.


Course Number Course Title Credits
EOHS 7202 Advanced Topics in Risk Assessment and Management 3
EOHS 7203 Environmental Health Policy and Management Systems 3
EOHS 7205 Safety of the Food Supply 3
EOHS 7300 Advanced Topics in Occupational Health 3
Total
12

Environmental Health Sciences Concentration Field Experience

The field experience provides depth to the Doctor of Public Health by reinforcing the didactic coursework, and it also acts as a bridge to the dissertation research.


Course Number Course Title Credits
EOHS 7000 Field Experience in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
3

Course Number Course Title Credits
PUBH 8001 Doctor of Public Health Dissertation 12

Environmental & Occupational Health Concentration Elective Requirements

Students must complete 6 elective credits to satisfy the requirements for a Doctor of Public Health degree. Two courses may be chosen from the list below.


Course Number Course Title Credits
EOHS 7204 Organization of Work, Occupational Stress, and Health 3
EOHS 7301 Emerging Issues in Local, National and Global Environmental Health 3
EOHS 7320 Independent Study 1-3

Epidemiology

The Doctor of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology is intended to prepare students for advanced leadership positions as epidemiologists. Students will gain the skills and knowledge essential to plan and conduct applied epidemiologic research as independent investigators.

Epidemiology Concentration Core Courses ↓

All students enrolled in the Epidemiology Concentration must complete the Concentration core requirements listed below.

Course Number Course Title Credits
EPID 7201 Advanced Epidemiological Research Methods I 3
EPID 7202 Advanced Epidemiological Research Methods II 3
BIOS 7201 Probability Theory 3
BIOS 7202 Statistical Inference 3
Total
12

Epidemiology Concentration Field Experience

 

Course Number Course Title Credits
EPID 7000 Field Experience in Epidemiology
3

Course Number Course Title Credits
PUBH 8001 Doctor of Public Health Dissertation 12

Epidemiology Concentration Elective Requirements

Students must complete 6 elective credits to satisfy the requirements for a Doctor of Public Health degree. Two courses may be chosen from the list below.

 

Course Number Course Title Credits Prerequisites
BIOS 7301 Applied Statistics and Data Mining 3  
EPID 7203 Principles of Surveillance and Disease Control 3 EPID 5200, BIOS 5200, EPID 7202
EPID 7300 Epidemiology of Communicable Disease 3
 
EPID 7301 Molecular Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Toxicology 3 EPID 7201, EPID 7202
EPID 7302 Cancer Epidemiology 3
EPID 7303 Chronic Disease Epidemiology 3
EPID 7320 Independent Study 1-3  

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DOCTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH CORE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: Each course represents 3 credits for a total of 12
BIOS 7200: Quantitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice (3)

This doctoral course is designed to illustrate mastery of concepts and proficiency in the principles of epidemiologyand biostatistics used for public health research. By the end of the course the successful student should have attained a sound understanding of these methods and a solid foundation for further study.

PUBH 7201: Study Design in Public Health (3)

Study Design in Public Health Practice provides a review of methodology for conducting research in public health. We will cover both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. At the end of the course, students will demonstrate understanding of all major types of study designs used in public health research, and will have a working knowledge of how to identify and address potential biasing and confounding factors. We will also cover methodology important for the implementation of studies, including questionnaire design and measurement.

HPMG 7200: Public Health Management and Ethics (3)

The Institute of Medicine has called for a public health leadership that "defines vision, focuses effort, optimizes resources, builds and sustains systems, facilitates communication and learning, fosters productive relationships and attends to success, planning, and knowledge transfer." This seminar seeks to equip students with these public health management and ethical skills across a wide range of practice settings. Emphasis will be given to cross-disciplinary approaches to addressing and resolving public health problems through the development of key management and leadership skills. Special attention is given to ethical considerations in strategic planning, decision-making and problem solving, and the requirements governing the conduct of human research. Course content will be a mix of case studies and in-class presentations from students and invited guests.

PUBH 7200: Public Health Policy and Politics Seminar (3)

This course will go beyond the basics of health policy (actors, processes, etc.), and require students to apply their knowledge of the framework of the American health care system toward the end of evaluating contemporary developments. Students will analyze different models of reform, and discover how the health care system comes to reflect the values prioritized by a given nation. The course will explore in systematic fashion how local, state, and federal bodies work in concert to collectively comprise what we call the American health care system, as well as the ways in which actors fail to work together--uncovering the 'asystematic' aspects of our country's arrangements in the arena of health care. Students will also learn how health care providers, specifically, relate to the broader system, and some of the ways in which they can hope to effect change.

COMMUNITY HEALTH SCIENCES CORE COURSES (12 credits)
CHSC 7201: Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health Practice (3)

This course offers advanced training in qualitative methods and analysis. Students will explore a range of qualitative research methods, including participant observation, unobtrusive methods, in-depth interviewing, and focus groups. They will carry out hands-on observation and interviewing during the course and will receive feedback from the instructor and other class participants. Research design issues will be discussed along with the use of qualitative data for health education theory building and program planning. Readings draw on different methodological guidelines, including Grounded Theory approaches.

CHSC 7202: Methods of Community Intervention and Research (3)

Active academic and community partnerships are vital for improvements in community health and for reducing health-related disparities. This course will review key methods for engaging in community-based research, will involve students in active discussion and debate regarding current issues in the conduct of community-based research, and will provide an interdisciplinary perspective on how these approaches are applied across public health disciplines.

CHSC 7203: Program Evaluation: Theory, Practice, and Research (3)

This course focuses on the application of program evaluation models and approaches. Addresses formative and summative evaluation strategies for health promotion programs, and incorporates decision-making surrounding the use of quantitative and qualitative methods of assessment. Examines the planning of evaluation, construction of instruments and strategies of measurement, and methods of effective data collection, management, and analysis.

CHSC 7204: Health Promotion Seminar (3)

This course is an in-depth exploration of topics and issues related to the design and conduct of health promotion programs and accompanying evaluations, with a focus on programs that seek to address disparities in health outcomes and public resource allocation. Students will develop expertise on a specified topic of interest, will develop a detailed multi-level analysis of a specific risk factor, and will critically analyze the evidence-base for programs designed to reduce identified risk factors.

FIELD EXPERIENCE IN COMMUNITY HEALTH SCIENCES (3 credits)
CHSC 7000: Field Experience in Community Health Sciences (3)

Students will gain in-depth work experience through supervised internships relevant to the student's career plans. The field practice is selected jointly by the student and the faculty advisor, and will involve opportunities to apply skills related to program planning, implementation, and/or evaluation as applied to behavior change efforts.

COMMUNITY HEALTH SCIENCES ELECTIVE COURSES: 2 elective courses, at 3 credits, each for a total of 6 credits
CHSC 7300: Models and Theories of Health Behavior (3)

The course will involve an examination and critique of current and evolving models of health promotion and behavior change. An emphasis on this course will be the selection and utilization of health behavior theories to the design, measurement, and evaluation of public health interventions. Students will gain skills in the application of major individual, social, and community-level approaches to behavior change.

CHSC 7301: Psychosocial and Behavioral Epidemiology (3)

This course provides an in-depth exploration into the social, psychological, and behavioral issues that influence patterns of health and health care delivery. The focus is on the integration of the biomedical, social, psychological, and behavioral factors that must be taken into consideration when public health initiatives are developed and implemented. The course will also include the application of epidemiologic methods to the study of social, psychological, and behavioral influences on health, disease, and recovery/mortality. Students will explore in depth both micro and macro level determinants of a public health issue and explore themes of social justice as it pertains to public health disparities.

Prerequisites: BIOS 7200 or BIOS 5204

CHSC 7302: Health Communication Theory and Practice (3)

This course will examine how health communication theory, marketing, and theories of behavior can be utilized to construct health communications that have the greatest impact on public health. Students will gain exposure to the practice and theory involved in communication design through critiques of health promotion interventions and campaigns and through development of communications to address public health issues.

CHSC 7303: Survey Research Methods (3 credits)

This course provides students with knowledge and skills in the design, sampling, implementation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of results of surveys.

Lectures will focus on designing and assessing the items used to assess risk and protective factors and related public health outcomes. Students will have the opportunity to design measures and to assess survey data using statistical software packages.

CHSC 7304: Culture, Class, and Ethnicity in Health Promotion (3)

This course is a series of experiential training exercises to develop skills for practitioners who will conduct interventions or research with target populations of various cultures, social classes, and ethnicities. Emphasis is on critical awareness of the practitioner's own values and presumptions, historical experiences of abuse in public health programs, in-depth understanding of the values and perspective of target populations, and the development of leaders from within the target population.

CHSC 7305: International Case Studies in Community Health (3)
This course will explore topics and issues related to public health in communities in selected countries through in-depth analysis and discussion of case studies. Themes and countries covered during each course may vary in different semesters.

ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SCIENCES CORE COURSES: Four courses of 3 credits each for a total of 12 credits

EOHS 7202: Advanced Topics in Risk Assessment and Management (3)

This course reviews the core foundations of risk assessment including hazard identification, dose response, exposure assessment, and risk characterization and provides practical experience in the study of risk management. Students will have the opportunity to explore ethical challenges to public health practitioners in the field. Specific case studies will focus on risk management and communication issues in urban and immigrant populations.

EOHS 7203: Environmental Health Policy and Management Systems (3)

This course examines the social, political, and legal foundations of the policy and management of current environmental health issues. This course focuses on environmental and occupational health laws, regulations, and guidance concerning air and water pollution, pesticide and toxic chemical manufacture and use, worker protection, disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, and worker and community right-to-know issues. Students will gain an understanding of existing occupational and environmental health management systems and regulatory requirements. Through structured assignments and presentations students will assess local and international environmental and occupational health issues, environmental justice, workers compensation laws, and state/federal agencies in a systems framework.

 

EOHS 7205: Safety of the Food Supply (3)

Substantial public health resources are devoted to assure that the food chain from American and imported venues are free from pathogens and toxic chemicals. There are strict governmental standards and mandates and delegated responsibility for enforcement. Food borne illness has severe economic costs and consequences for those affected and for those responsible. Epidemiologic investigations and root cause analysis provide evidence for corrective actions and deterrence to continue to provide a safe table.

 

EOHS 7300: Advanced Topics in Occupational Health (3)

This doctoral course focuses on the advanced analysis of key current issues in occupational health, including limitations in current systems of injury reporting, proposals to revise the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Mine Safety and Health Act and their regulations, the effectiveness of participatory action research methods, the effectiveness of behavioral safety programs, and the impact of a stressful work organization on risk of injury and disease. Students will also apply the basic methods of occupational epidemiology to the identification of occupational hazards and associated health effects. This course is designed for those pursuing leadership positions in occupational health or in closely allied fields.

 
FIELD EXPERIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SCIENCES:

EOHS 7000: Field Experience in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (3)

The field experience provides depth and reinforces the didactic core Doctor of Public Health coursework through structured field practice. It acts as a bridge to the dissertation research through application of research and practice methods learned in the core courses to urban and immigrant environmental and occupational health problems in the local community. Under the guidance of the instructor and in collaboration with community environmental and occupational health project leaders, students will have a structured hands-on experience that will call upon core skills in survey/evaluation research, leadership, communication, monitoring, and health assessment.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES ELECTIVE COURSES: Two courses of 3 credits each for a total of 6 credits

EOHS 7204: Organization of Work, Occupational Stress, and Health (3)

This course provides an in-depth evaluation of current topics related to the health impacts of workplace psychosocial hazards and methods for reducing and preventing those health impacts. The application of public health principles and decision-making processes will be discussed in relation to the prevention of injury and disease, health promotion and protection of worker populations from workplace psychosocial hazards.

 

EOHS 7301: Emerging Issues in Local, National and Global Environmental Health (3)

Examines current and emerging environmental health issues such as air and water pollution, energy usage, climate change, sanitation, urban poverty, pesticides, hazardous waste, economic globalization, food security, and war. This course will explore the connections between these issues and public policies in developing and developed countries alike as well as the implications for the health of urban and immigrant populations.

 
EPIDEMIOLOGY CORE COURSES: Four courses of 3 credits each for a total of 12 credits
EPID 7201: Advanced Epidemiological Research Methods I (3)

This course explores the nature of causal inferences in epidemiology, and the methods by which they may be determined. Most sessions involve student presentations of relevant examples from the epidemiologic literature to illustrate concepts and methods, followed by general discussion. Topics to be covered include assessing bias, confounding and interaction, dealing with threats to validity and issues of reporting and application of epidemiologic results.

EPID 7202: Advanced Epidemiological Research Methods II (3)

This course uses the SAS statistical software package to perform advanced quantitative methods used in the analysis of case-control studies and cohort studies. Students will acquire experience with the following types of data analysis: stratification, Mantel-Haenszel methods, survival and life tables, Kaplan-Meier methods, logistic regression, Poisson regression, Cox regression (proportional hazards), and generalized estimating equations (GEE).

BIOS 7201: Probability Theory (3)

This doctoral level course is designed to provide students with experience in applied probability theory, including axiomatic foundations of probability, independence, conditional probability, joint distributions, transformations, moment generating functions, sampling distributions, modes of convergence and their interrelationships, laws of large numbers, and the central limit theorem.

BIOS 7202: Statistical Inference (3)

This doctoral level course is designed to provide students with experience in applied statistical inference, including probability theory and distributions, sampling theory, general principles of statistical inference, goodness of fit, probability distributions and statistical inference for small samples, and probability models and statistical inference for continuous bivariate random variables.

FIELD EXPERIENCE IN EPIDEMIOLOGY
EPID 7000: Field Experience in Epidemiology (3)

Provides depth to the core Doctor of Public Health by reinforcing the didactic core coursework through structure field practice and acts as a bridge to the dissertation research through application of research methods learned in the core courses to actual public health epidemiological practice.

Under the guidance of the instructor and in collaboration with governmental or community resources, students will have a structured hands-on experience. Examples of potential sites are: hospital departments of infection control or tumor registries; the New York State Department of Health Zoonoses Program; the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene HIV Epidemiology Program. Students will be expected to write a written report on the experience and to make a professional presentation of their experience at the interdisciplinary Doctoral Departmental seminar.

EPIDEMIOLOGY ELECTIVE COURSES: Two courses of 3 credits each for a total of 6 credits
EPID 7203: Principles of Surveillance and Disease Control (3)

Public health surveillance is the continuous systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice. Success depends upon the timely dissemination of these data to practitioners trained in interventions that prevent and control disease. This course reviews the major epidemiological surveillance programs, such as the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, and newer approaches like syndromic surveillance. Students will have hands-on experience in utilizing selected datasets and will be expected to demonstrate competence in the accessing and management database systems.
Prerequisites: BIOS 5200, EPID 7200, EPID 7202

EPID 7300: Epidemiology of Communicable Disease (3)

This course reviews the use of epidemiologic methods in the assessment of selected communicable diseases of national and international importance. Students focus on methods of transmission, the role of surveillance, and methods of control and prevention. Specific disease examples to be covered will include: tuberculosis, HIV, legionellosis, SARS, influenza, measles, Lyme disease, syphilis, as well as nosocomial, food-borne, and enteric infections. The principles of controlling antibiotic-resistant organisms will receive special attention. Students use case studies to practice the skills necessary for an outbreak investigation and other common procedures in this field.

EPID 7301: Molecular Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Toxicology (3)

This course presents the techniques used in genetic and molecular epidemiology. Emphasizes the scientific basis of molecular epidemiology and provides examples of the application of molecular biology, analytical chemistry, and toxicology to the study of chronic disease etiology and its public health application. Topics to be covered include fundamental concepts of genetics; study designs and methods of statistical analysis used to evaluate the role of genetic inheritance in the occurrence of human disease; techniques to determine the location of the gene(s) and allele responsible for a disease; ethical implications of genetic research and databanks; common genetic diseases and their control; and use of genetic and molecular techniques in human exposure assessment.
Prerequisites: EPID 7201, EPID 7202

EPID 7302: Cancer Epidemiology (3)

This course reviews the concepts and methodological issues in epidemiologic studies of cancer etiology and control. Students learn the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, the role of experimental studies in assessing human risk, the classification and nomenclature of human cancer and the morphology, as well as the natural history and etiologic importance of precursor lesions. Students will examine in depth a variety of types of cancer of public health significance and discuss the role of public health practitioners in cancer control and cancer screening.

EPID 7303: Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)

This course focuses on the epidemiologic concepts and methods appropriate to the study of chronic (mostly non-infectious) diseases and diseases of unknown etiology. Students will compare the approaches in descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiology for chronic disease with those for acute infectious diseases. Students will develop an extensive understanding of the epidemiologic, etiologic, pathophysiologic, and clinical features of important prevalent and emerging chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, chronic obstructive lung disease, neurologic disorders, and mental illness. The class will examine risk assessment and applied epidemiologic methods to prevent or limit specific chronic diseases.

Qualifying Examination including Written and Oral Sections:
Doctor of Public Health Dissertation
PUBH 8001: Doctor of Public Health Dissertation

The Doctor of Public Health dissertation is a twelve-credit experience extending, on average, over a three year period. The topic of the dissertation must address a significant public health problem in the student's specialty area.

Dissertation Development

The student, having advanced to candidacy, has one (1) year to develop his/her dissertation proposal and defend it before his/her dissertation committee and the public. The proposal must contain the following elements:

  • Study Aims and Hypothesis
  • Relevant Review of the Literature
  • Design and Methods complete with statistical analysis
  • Protection of Participants
  • Proposed Timeline

The dissertation must represent the original thinking and analysis of the student. It does not necessarily require the collection of new data; but it must demonstrate that the candidate is capable of independent scientific analysis at an advanced professional level.

Oral Presentation of Proposed Dissertation Topic: No credit

There will also be an oral presentation of the dissertation topic - no more than 30 minutes -- by the student to his/her dissertation committee and the public. The presentation will be followed by questioning from the student's dissertation committee and the public. The purpose is to ascertain that the proposed work is appropriate and that the student has the adequate knowledge of the topic and the skills to complete the work successfully.

The Dissertation:

Throughout the development, implementation, and evaluation of the dissertation project, the student should meet regularly with his/her dissertation chair (student's advisor). As necessary, the student should also meet with other members of his/her committee to review specific portions of the proposal as appropriate to their expertise. Periodic revisions should be circulated to all members of the committee upon approval of the committee chair. Revisions should be noted in a cover memo to the committee members such that they will be kept up to date.

When the study is deemed completed and ready, final approval must be received, in writing, from the chair of the dissertation committee with agreement from all members of the committee. This process must be completed at least one (1) month prior to the proposed date for the study defense. With the designated approval, the defense date will then be scheduled.

The Defense

There are two (2) portions to the defense:

  • Public presentation of the student's research, 30 minutes, with questions and comments from attendees, followed by
  • Closed session with dissertation committee, and any members of the Doctor of Public Health Program faculty, to discuss any particular details of the dissertation and/or defense.

Note that the committee may either accept without change the student's study or, alternately, require additional clarification regarding key points of the study. The dissertation (study) achieves final approval when all members of the committee agree that the written dissertation and presentation have been satisfactorily completed. The student is strongly encouraged to prepare the study for submission to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.