(PUH) School-Wide Courses 2016-17


PUH 101. Prepare, Promote and Prevent. This First Year Experience (FYE) course is for students majoring in or interested in Public Health. It is designed to introduce freshmen to the tools and techniques that will enhance their transition to college and improve their academic success. Goal setting, time management, faculty/peer interaction, and other relevant academic skills will be addressed. Students will also gain an understanding of the various educational opportunities and career options associated with Public Health. (1 Credit Hour)

PUH 201. The Origins of Public Health: How Public Health Defines Population and Nations. This course explores the richness of public health through its disciplines and its stories to demonstrate how the understanding of the origins of epidemics determines the progress of civilization. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 202. Introduction to Global Health. This course is designed to introduce students to the topic of global health and impart a basic understanding of its interdisciplinary nature, successes to date, and current challenges in the field. The first part of the course provides a basic framework for understanding global public health issues and improvement of health at a population level by exposing students to basic public health concepts of disease burden, standard indices for measuring population-based health, and highlighting global epidemiologic trends. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals will be a focus of discussion. The second section of the course will discuss vulnerable populations and how their specific needs are prioritized and addressed. Third, the class will examine strategies for organization and delivery of health care services at a population level and examine health as a human right. Finally, the course will look at the key institutions and organizations working in tandem with health ministries to address global health and the need for major collaborative initiatives to address health disparities worldwide.  (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 204. Health Meets Life: Sex, Drugs, Weight, and other Health Behaviors. This course will be structured around lectures, in-class activities, and discussions of lecture, readings, and current events. The successful student will engage in active listening and critical thinking of the topics presented. Students will be evaluated by class participation, projects, and exams. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 205. Promoting Positive Youth Development: Life Hacking 101. This undergraduate course will provide an overview of critical health issues in adolescence and review the potential of emerging perspectives to advance adolescent health and promote positive youth development. This course is designed to provide students with the most current knowledge of issues influencing the health and well-being of adolescents. Theoretical frameworks that draw on an ecological perspective will provide a better understanding of how families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and the larger community influence risk and protective factors in youth. Adolescence is a time of growth and experimentation, a period marked by establishing autonomy and confronting new challenges. Emphasis will be placed on the promotion of positive youth development, and the relevance of adolescent health issues for the science of health behavior and the broader public health arena. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 210. Biological Basis of Public Health. his course will consist of lectures and in-class active-learning activities centered on deepening the students’ understanding of the fundamental biological concepts with an emphasis on significant public health problems. Each major system will be presented first as normal physiology, then, how genetics and/or specific exposures (voluntary and involuntary) contribute to diseases of public health significance. Examples may include genetics/genomics with cancer and disease susceptibility; the immune system and infectious diseases; respiratory system with asthma; the nervous system with pesticide exposure; the reproductive system, STIs and reduced fertility; and, fetal development with drug addiction. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 220. Environmental Factors in Public Health. This didactic lecture course open to students from all majors will survey current issues and challenges in our global and local environmental and how those impact our health. It will examine the sources, exposure routes, regulation and health outcomes associated with biological, chemical, and physical agents in the environment, both naturally occurring and man-made. We will examine these agents and how they impact air, water and food quality to cause disease. Regulatory agencies, risk assessment and disaster response and preparedness will be discussed.

PUH 250. Biostatistics. Students will gain a thorough understanding of basic analysis methods, elementary concepts, statistical models and applications of probability, commonly used sampling distributions, parametric and nonparametric one and two sample tests, confidence intervals, applications of analysis of two-way contingency table data, simple linear regression, and simple analysis of variance. Prerequisites: MA 102 [Min Grade: C] or MA 105 [Min Grade: C] or MA 106 [Min Grade: C] or MA 107 [Min Grade: C] or MA 109 [Min Grade: C] or MA 110 [Min Grade: C] or MA 125 [Min Grade: C]  (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 302. Epidemiology: Beyond the Outbreak. The course will provide students with a basic understanding of epidemiology history, methods, and practice. The history of epidemiology will focus on major historical events such as John Snow and the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak. The course will also cover basic epidemiologic methods such measures of disease occurrence (e.g., prevalence and incidence) as well as basic study designs such as case-control and cohort studies. Later in the term, students will utilize actual epidemiologic investigations in order to learn how these methods are put into practice. The coursework will focus mostly on discussion for the first part of the course focused on the history of epidemiology. The section on methods will primarily be problem-based, performing basic analysis of epidemiologic data through calculation of prevalence/incidence and measures of association (e.g., prevalence ratio, incidence rate ratio). This work will lead to students to prepare a document on how they would respond to an outbreak in a situation described by the course master. The entire coursework will take place in a lecture format, with the class meeting twice a week. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 307. Public Health Systems.  This course provides a comprehensive overview of public health systems in the United States. A public health system is comprised of an array of entities whose unifying mission is to promote health and well-being at the population level. The course will examine the contributions of federal agencies (Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services), state/county/city level health departments, and public and private health care providers (hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians and nurses) to population health. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 321. The Workplace Environment and Worker Safety and Health.  This course will explore known physical and chemical hazards found in the workplace, and we will combine our technical knowledge with skills to identify and control work-related hazards. We will begin with the importance of key events and milestones in the history of worker safety and health. We will research the ethical, legal and social implications associated with the working environment. We will define the related roles and responsibilities of government, non-government agencies, private organizations, businesses and industry in worker safety and health. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 322. Environmental Justice and Ethics.   In this course, students will investigate and analyze the disproportionate burdens of environmental contamination and the health disparities affecting communities of color across the U.S. and internationally. Using a broad range of examples we will look at the incidents that lead to this grass roots movement, many of which came from towns and peoples of the Deep South. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 331. The Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases Globally.  This course provides an introduction to selected key topics in chronic diseases burden endured globally. We will address the following questions: How is it that people in some countries live twice as long as in others? Why is there a rising epidemic of NCDs such as cancer, heart and lung disease, obesity, and diabetes spreading globally? What are the burdens posed by these diseases? What steps are being taken to control it? What key tools are at our disposal? Who are the global actors and stakeholders addressing this global health epidemic? What is the link between globalization and the rise of NCDs?.  (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 332. Global Communicable Disease Challenges.  This course is designed to introduce students to the major infectious diseases of public health importance globally. Since we cannot cover all infections in depth in the time allowed, we will highlight major categories of infections as well as focus on a few major infections that together cause the greatest morbidity and mortality in children or adults worldwide. The purpose of this course is to equip participants with up-to-date knowledge of resources on major infections of global importance, and their prevention and control strategies. Prerequisites: (BY 101 [Min Grade: C] and BY 102 [Min Grade: C]) or BY 123 [Min Grade: C].  (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 333. Food, Water, and Air: the Global Environment and Health.   This service-learning course will examine food security and nutrition as complex issues of sustainable human development. While learning about food security and nutrition in the classroom, students will gain further understanding of the topic through engaging with non-profit organizations in Birmingham that address food security and nutritional issues. Topics to be covered include issues of availability, access, and use of food in the domestic and global context, as well as current responses and potential solutions. The course will also focus on helping students develop a skill set for global citizenship that includes opportunities for advocacy, leadership, and critical thinking. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 340. Professionalism in Public Health. The purpose of this course would be to prepare students to enter the workforce by providing tangible skills including, but not limited to: Ethic of Public Health, Oral and Written Communication, Personal Presentation Skills, Leadership Styles and Working in Teams and Project Management. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 341. Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Management. This course will provide participants with an understanding of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), exercise development, and evaluation. During this course you will learn how to identify threats within your community, determine what capabilities are most needed to prepare for and meet these threats, and how to develop and evaluate exorcises to test knowledge, skills and abilities.  (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 342. Public Health Disasters. This will be a hybrid of environmental disasters and history and consequences of world disasters. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 350. Beating the Odds: Statistical Modeling and Disease Prediction. This class provides an introduction into the commonly used statistical methods that are classified as General Linear Models. By the end of the class, students will be able to build and interpret prediction equations using Simple and Multiple Linear Regression. Students will learn the statistical assumptions of the models and how to check the assumptions. Students will learn how to test group differences within a regression framework (Analysis of Variance), test for group differences while controlling for other variables (Analysis of Covariance). In the last weeks of the class, students will learn how to model categorical outcomes. (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisites: PUH 250 [Min Grade: C]

PUH 352. Risk Reporting: Interpreting and Writing Medical News. The main tool that scientists use to describe their work is the peer-reviewed research article. These articles are written for a specialist audience of other scientists and clinicians. However, human research is of interest to patients, policies makers, and other non-scientists. Accurate and appropriate interpretation and evaluation of scientific findings is vitally important to their implementation. In this course students will learn how to read and interpret scientific publications, to critically evaluate scientific publications and media coverage of the publications, and to write articles describing scientific findings in ways that are accessible for a general audience. The first part of the semester will consist of lectures and class discussions including guest lectures by science writers. The later part of the semester will include student-lead discussions of scientific and mass-market articles. Evaluation will be based on reading quizzes, class participation and submission of discussion questions before class periods, written assignments interpreting and evaluating scientific and mass-market articles, and a midterm and final exam. (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisites: PUH 302 [Min Grade: C]

PUH 353. The Domestic Hot Zone: Major Diseases Affecting the U.S. Though infectious diseases still contribute greatly to morbidity in the United States, in the 20th century the causes of mortality in the United States began to shift –known as the epidemiologic transition—from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. These four diseases alone account for nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in medical expenditure and cause over 1.3 million deaths annually. The purpose of this class is to provide students with detailed knowledge regarding the major diseases that affect the United States, covering both major chronic and infectious diseases. Each week will focus on a disease or family of diseases, and will cover the epidemiology of the disease as well as looking at historical trends in disease incidence and mortality and how the trends have changed in recent years. Students will be graded through the use of take-home assignments, a mid-term examination, and a final examination. (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisites: PUH 302 [Min Grade: C]

PUH 354. Scratching the Iche: Introducation to Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. This course is designed to focus specifically on concepts involved with performing epidemiological surveillance and research within a hospital setting. With the recent advent of policies set forth by the Affordable Care Act, emphasis has been placed on surveillance and prevention of nosocomial infections in hospitals throughout the country. The course will introduce students to the methodology of infection control in a hospital setting, including how patients are tested for infectious diseases, surveillance methodology, and how an outbreak investigation in a hospital is performed. The course will involve guest lecturers from different departments of the hospital, including but not limited to Infection Control, Patient Safety and Quality, Clinical Laboratory, and Environmental Control. Each week will cover a given topic (e.g., bloodstream and catheter-associated infections, multi-drug resistant pathogens, respiratory diseases). The students will be graded through the use of take-home assignments, a mid-term examination, two case studies, and a group project involving a nosocomial outbreak investigation of an infectious disease of the course master’s choice. (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisites: PUH 302 [Min Grade: C]

PUH 391. Special Topics in Public Health.  This special topics course will be used in the undergraduate program to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum. (1-6 Hour)

PUH 405. Managing Public Health Programs.  This course will consist of lectures and case discussions of management in a public health context. Management involves planning, organizing, directing, and controlling resources to achieve an organizational mission. Following a series of lectures, students will prepare an analysis of an assigned case and present the analysis to the class. Each case analysis presentation will be evaluated by other students and the evaluation presented at a subsequence class meeting. A comprehensive final examination will be administered. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 421. Nature vs. Nurture: Genes, Environment and Health.  This didactic lecture course will examine how components of the world around us impact our lives and health. The classic battle of nature (genes) vs. nurture (environment) is being replaced with the understanding of how our exposure to our environment impacts gene expression, which can increase (or decrease) our own likelihood of disease. Using everyday, real-world examples we will study the environment-gene interaction and how this helps determine why some people are more disease prone than others. Each example will focus on the underlying science and the medical consequence of exposure, and will also examine exposure prevention strategies for individuals and practical legislation to reduce environmental contamination. Examples will vary from year to year, but damaging examples may include nanoparticles, smog, medical radiation, drugs and alcohol, pesticides, noise, indoor air pollution, toxic metals, plastics, food and water contamination, and sexually transmitted infections. We will also discuss how the environment can positively impact gene expression, and will include discussions of functional foods (i.e. nutraceuticals such as soy, green tea and garlic) and other alternative medicinal therapies. BY 116 or equivalent; completion of or registration in BY210 or BY330 is recommended. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 422. Fundamentals of Toxicology: Poisons and People.  Basic principles in toxicology will be covered including: dose-response relationships; absorption, distribution, storage, biotransformation and elimination of toxicants; target organ toxicity; mutagenesis and carcinogenesis; and an overview of fate and transport of contaminants in the environment. The course will focus on contaminants of environmental and public health interest and will include the fascinating roles toxins have played in human history. Prerequisites: PUH 210 [Min Grade: C] and PUH 220 [Min Grade: C] (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 432. Global Health Cases.  Global Health cases refer to instances of health problems that transcend national borders. Diseases are not constrained by borders. Similarly, problems and solutions to these cases are not unique to a particular race, region, socio-political system or even level of economic development. These cases also carry the dubious reputation of having a global political and economic impact. Yet a closer look at site specific successes can yield important lessons about how to tackle the challenges confronting similar cases in other sites.(3 Credit Hours)

PUH 436. Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia.  Despite significant advances in global health over the last fifty years, the burden of disease among the maternal and child health (MCH) population in certain areas of the world remains alarmingly high. While child mortality has declined over the last fifty years, maternal and neonatal mortality has seen relatively little improvement, especially in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia, which bears a disproportionate share of the global burden of maternal and child health disease. Maternal health is especially critical due to the far ranging impact of a maternal death on the family, community, and society. Fortunately, high impact, cost-effective solutions exist to address these highly preventable maternal and child deaths. In this course we will discuss those successful MCH interventions and policies in addition to identifying different barriers and challenges to the implementation and scale up of MCH services in Africa and Asia.(3 Credit Hours)

PUH 441. Public Health Law and Policy.   PUH 441 will be an introductory course in public health law and policy designed for undergraduate students in public health. There are no prerequisites for this course. The purpose of the course is to introduce non-lawyers to the United States legal system and to the basic principles of law relevant to public health practitioners. It is intended to provide students with basic legal knowledge to assist them in communicating with attorneys about potential legal issues that may arise in formulating policy and exercising leadership in health care organizations. An overarching theme of the course is the tension between community interests and individual rights. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 442. Children and Families: Issues in Health, Poverty, and Policies. This interdisciplinary course will provide students with basic knowledge about current issues in health and society, both globally and domestically that impact the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) population, which broadly includes women of reproductive age, infants, children, and families. The course will include a specific focus on the role of poverty in the health issues of this population. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 450. Statistical Programming and Database Analysis. This class provides an introduction into the commonly used statistical programs and teaches the fundamentals of database design. By the end of the class, students will be able to design and build research databases. Students will also be taught how to conduct statistical analyses using EXCEL and SAS. (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisites: PUH 250 [Min Grade: C]

PUH 491. Directed Study in Public Health. This course is open to junior and senior level undergraduate students to conduct research or explore an approved topic of interest within global health under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This is an individualized course, and students will have individual end of term goals, typically a comprehensive paper and presentation. (1-6 Hour) 

PUH 495. Pubilc Health Capstone Experience.  This course provides students with the opportunity to synthesize information from the various courses and experiences. Students will report on their service learning experience to discuss issues and report activities. Students will present a final report on their experience and how they applied their coursework. Students must have completed 27 hours of PUH coursework and are encouraged to find a community partner for the course prior to the first day of class. This course should be taken in the last two semesters of graduating. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 498. Special Topics in Public Health.  This special topics course will be used in the undergraduate program to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum. (1-6 Hour)



PUH 602. Narrative Public Health.  The purpose of this course is to develop communication skills primarily through written exercises directly relevant to public health. Each exercise will explore and teach students different formats and techniques for communicating complex public health information to different audiences, such as colleagues, the lay public, public officials, or potential future public health students. (graduate and undergraduate)

PUH 627 / PUH 627Q. Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates. PUH 627 is a course that meets for ten three-hour sessions over the course of 10 weeks. Class time will be filled with discussion, group activities, tasks, writing, peer review, and presentations. By the end of this 10-week course, PUH 627 student writers will demonstrate a working grasp of academic research writing best practices, including ethics for authors, and gain knowledge and confidence as writers after completing weekly non-graded reading/writing activities, 3 rigorous graded writing assignments, and a final (a research proposal presentation) as measured by: 1) an average of grades on writing rubrics and 2) instructor evaluation. (3 Credit Hours)

PUH 695 / PUH 695Q. Public Health Integrative Experience (MPH). - This course is designed to fulfill the requirement that all Master of Public Health degree candidates have the opportunity as defined by CEPH on Public Health to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspects of professional practice. (1-3 hours) (MPH graduate student only)

PUH 697 / PUH 697Q. MPH/MD Practice Placement Internship. - This course is taken by those students in the coordinated MPH/MD program who have an interest in public health or disease prevention practice or research. Graded as Pass/No Pass. (1-9 hours) (MPH / MD graduate student only)