Course Descriptions

Our online students take the same courses as their on-campus peers. Regardless of which format you pursue, you’ll learn how to approach even the most complex public health challenges with a critical, solutions-oriented mindset.

The Gillings School MPH Core

  • SPHG 713: Understanding Public Health Issues (2 credits)
  • SPHG 712: Methods and Measures for Public Health Practice (2 credits)
  • SPHG 711: Data Analysis for Public Health (2 credits)
  • SPHG 721: Conceptualizing Public Health Solutions (2 credits)
  • SPHG 722: Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Public Health Solutions (4 credits)
  • SPHG 701: Leading From the Inside Out (2 credits)
  • SPHG 702: MPH Practicum Reflection and Interprofessional Practice (1 credit)

MPH Leadership

  • PUBH 718: Designing Systems for Global Health Implementation (3 credits)
  • PUBH 730: Leading Quality Improvement in Public Health (3 credits)
  • PUBH 748: Leadership in Health Policy for Social Justice (3 credits)
  • PUBH 781: Community Engagement and Leadership in Health (3 credits)
  • PUBH 791: Core Principles in Public Health Leadership (3 credits)

MPH Nutrition

  • NUTR 805: Food and Nutrition Policy (3 credits)
  • NUTR 765: Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • NUTR 711: Nutrition Across the Life Cycle (3 credits)
  • NUTR 712: Nutrition Communication, Counseling and Culture (3 credits)
  • NUTR 705: Human Nutrition (3 credits)

Applied Epidemiology

  • EPID 710: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • EPID 716: Epidemiologic Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • EPID 750: Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance (3 credits)
  • EPID 759: Methods in Field Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • EPID 795: Data in Public Health (3 credits)

MPH/RD

  • NUTR 711: Nutrition Across the Life Cycle (3 credits)
  • NUTR 712: Nutrition Communication, Counseling and Culture (3 credits)
  • NUTR 714: Nutritional Biochemistry, Metabolism and Health (3 credits)
  • NUTR 715: Medical Nutrition Therapy (4 credits)
  • NUTR 723: Public Health Management (3 credits)
  • NUTR 760/L: Food Science and Culinary Arts (3 credits)
  • NUTR 765 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • NUTR 805: Food and Nutrition Policy (3 credits)

Other Electives

  • HPM 754: Health Care in the United States Structure and Policy (3 credits)
  • HPM 790: Advanced Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy (3 credits)
  • HPM 730: Leadership and Workforce Management Strategies (3 credits)
  • HPM 758: Underserved Populations and Health Reform (3 credits)

SPHG 713: Understanding Public Health Issues (2 credits)

Public health practitioners work to improve population-wide health outcomes and reduce health disparities — but first, they need an in-depth, contextualized understanding of the pressing challenges they face at local and global levels. This course equips you with that essential background and gives you the opportunity to apply your skills. Read more about Core Course 1.

SPHG 712: Methods and Measures for Public Health Practice (2 credits)

This course introduces epidemiologic concepts and teaches you how to describe population patterns of health inequities and their determinants. You’ll focus on measurement methodology — including what to measure and how to measure it — as well as ways to minimize bias. Course assignments — including case studies, lab discussion and team projects — promote critical thinking, collaboration and use of evidence-based reasoning. Read more about Core Course 2.

SPHG 711: Data Analysis for Public Health (2 credits)

As a practitioner, you must be able to understand how to produce, analyze and apply data. Public health professionals use data to understand how different factors (predictors) may be associated with health outcomes of interest. Data analyses also are used to determine the extent to which different interventions may be effective. This course will teach you how to use data to make convincing arguments for which factors will determine a public health outcome and influence public health issues. Read more about Core Course 3.

SPHG 721: Conceptualizing Public Health Solutions (2 credits)

In this course, you will move from understanding and measuring health problems to conceptualizing and planning solutions for those problems. You will learn how public health practitioners use context and community factors to conceptualize, plan, implement, evaluate and disseminate information about public health programs and policies. Read more about Core Course 4.

SPHG 722: Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Public Health Solutions (4 credits)

This course is organized around a policy and program planning model. You will refine your understanding of public health problems; identify, analyze and prioritize potential solutions; adapt evidence-based solutions for a particular context; and develop, advocate for and implement solution proposals. Read more about Core Course 5.

SPHG 701: Leading From the Inside Out (2 credits)

This course provides support for the practicum process and trains students to ethically, meaningfully and professionally engage with practicum organizations and stakeholders. You’ll learn how to raise your critical consciousness, build leadership skills and practice in interprofessional environments.

SPHG 702: MPH Practicum Reflection and Interprofessional Practice (1 credit)

This course awards credit for completing practicum assignments. You also will complete a series of interprofessional practice activities that teach you how to work in teams, effectively collaborate with stakeholders and coordinate care in population health.

PUBH 718: Designing Systems for Global Health Implementation (3 credits)

Using powerful tools from engineering and management, this course equips students with the skills to conceptualize, design, and analyze public health and health care delivery systems for successful implementation.

PUBH 730: Leading Quality Improvement in Public Health (3 credits)

This course, designed for practitioners who seek management or leadership responsibilities within their organizations, provides students with an overview of quality improvement (QI) and its important relationship to leadership. In addition to practical skills, you will focus on theory to understand the origins of QI philosophies and processes.

PUBH 748: Leadership in Health Policy for Social Justice (3 credits)

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop policies that address public health challenges, improve health equity, promote social justice and create systems that prioritize the human right to health.

PUBH 781: Community Engagement and Leadership in Health (3 credits)

In this course, you will gain a basic understanding of how to lead by applying principles of community engagement in public health programs and organizational settings. You also will learn how to engage different stakeholder sectors, promote multilevel cohesion among different audiences, communicate strategies, and collaboratively design community engagement and implementation plans.

PUBH 791: Core Principles in Public Health Leadership (3 credits)

This course will introduce you to leadership theories and research, provide a context for leadership in public health and help you develop core leadership skills.

NUTR 711: Nutrition Across the Life Cycle (3 credits)

This course covers nutrition across the life cycle. You will focus on a variety of populations — including women during preconception, pregnancy and lactation — and life stages — including infancy, childhood, adolescence and older adulthood (65+). In each unit, we will discuss nutrient and energy needs, assessing nutritional status, and cultural and socioeconomic barriers.

NUTR 705: Human Nutrition (3 credits)

This course explores the fundamental scientific premises of human nutrition. We will cover the basic concepts of macro and micronutrients, food sources and the evidence-based requirements for a healthy diet. We also will discuss the nutritional needs of populations and emphasize nutrition-related diseases, including over and undernutrition.

NUTR 712: Nutrition Communication, Counseling and Culture (3 credits)

This course focuses on the art and science of communicating with individuals, groups and the public. You will enhance your cultural awareness, practice counseling individuals and facilitating groups, and learn how to frame nutrition messages for mass media, including social media.

NUTR 714: Nutritional Biochemistry, Metabolism and Health (3 credits)

This course introduces students to biochemistry with a limited focus on the medical aspects of nutrient deficiencies and metabolism. You will focus on chemical structures, chemical properties, metabolism and the functions of macro and micronutrients.

NUTR 715: Medical Nutrition Therapy (4 credits)

This is a lecture and skills course that gives students the chance to practice skills used in nutrition therapy and the nutrition care process (such as calculating caloric intake and modifying intake, calculating diabetic diets, calculating sodium content of intakes, etc.) under the supervision of a registered dietitian.

NUTR 723: Public Health Management (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the planning and management of local, state, federal and voluntary public health nutrition programs. You also will examine various legislative and administrative structures.

NUTR 760: Food Science and Culinary Arts (2 credits)

This course is an introduction to foods, their chemical and physical properties, nutritional composition, and food safety, production and regulation.

NUTR 760/L: Food Science and Culinary Arts Lab (1 credit)

This course will illustrate biochemical processes and food properties covered in lecture. You will explore basic culinary techniques and new foods and ideas, and you will learn how to evaluate recipes critically.

NUTR 805: Food and Nutrition Policy (3 credits)

This course focuses on nutrition policy at federal, state and local levels. We will cover a variety of topics, including policy formation, interest and consumer advocacy groups, key legislation, equity and diversity, global food policy issues, sustainability, and health and advocacy. We also will review current public health nutrition policy examples and discuss how research informs policy.

NUTR 765: Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)

This course introduces basic methods of dietary assessment, reviews various topics in nutrition epidemiology and teaches you how to evaluate the nutritional epidemiologic literature critically.

EPID 710: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)

This course is an intensive introduction to epidemiological concepts and methods for students intending to engage in, collaborate on or interpret the results of epidemiologic studies. Some familiarity with biomedical concepts may be needed.

EPID 716: Epidemiologic Data Analysis (3 credits)

This course is a combined lecture/lab format where students get hands-on experience in the analysis and interpretation of data from cohort and case-control studies.

EPID 750: Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance (3 credits)

This course provides the conceptual foundations and practical skills for designing and implementing surveillance systems. Students also will learn how to use surveillance data to conduct an evaluation of public health programs and research.

EPID 759: Methods in Field Epidemiology

This course will focus on epidemiological methods required to investigate urgent public health problems. It will cover the skills and tools needed to conduct outbreak investigations and communicate findings to the public.

EPID 795: Data in Public Health (3 credits)

This course provides students with an overview of public health informatics and includes in-depth discussions on informatics approaches used in developing today’s public health information systems.

HPM 730: Leadership and Workforce Management Strategies (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to and overview of leadership, management, workforce challenges and organizational behavior. We emphasize the importance of aligning management practices with an organization's mission and goals and equip you with essential leadership, managerial and organizational skills. Your coursework — which integrates theory with practice — will include readings, lectures, written assignments, experiential exercises, guest presentations, self and peer assessments, and small-group work.

HPM 754: Health Care in the United States Structure and Policy (3 credits)

This elective course is designed to provide students with an overview of the structure, systems and policies of health care delivery in the United States. You will develop a deep understanding of health care issues, learning how to analyze and address those issues from management and policy perspectives.

HPM 758: Underserved Populations and Health Reform (3 credits)

This course gives students a greater understanding of programs available to underserved populations. You will learn to evaluate critically how the Affordable Care Act (or any replacement) and other policy changes affect how care is provided.

HPM 790: Advanced Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy (3 credits)

This class will provide students with an opportunity to learn about health policy analysis and advocacy processes in the United States. Students will gain an understanding of the different ways in which health policies are made by the legislative, regulatory and judicial systems. Students also will learn how to identify and analyze different policy options to address health problems, conduct a stakeholders' analysis and design an advocacy campaign.