MPH Courses

This methods course will explore applications of GIS to visualize, explore, and analyze circumpolar health problems within the context of the available social services, demographics and changes in climate and environment. We will focus on using GIS to develop an effective framework for action

Core Course Descriptions
Schedule of Core Courses
Electives Offered


HS A605 Public Health and Society
Incorporates behavioral and social science concepts in the analysis of a variety of public health issues nationally, particularly Alaska and the northern regions. Also presents how socioeconomic status, culture, race/ethnicity, age, and gender relate to health and disease outcomes and the quality of life. Students gain experience in problem identification, assessment, intervention, and evaluation through analysis of behavioral, cultural, and attitudinal factors.

HS A610 Environmental and Occupational Health
Provides a practical overview of occupational health and safety, and environmental health. Gives special attention to issues surrounding work-related illnesses and injuries and environmental concerns in Alaska and the northern environment. Students learn practical approaches regarding prevention, finding resources, and problem solving. They also gain an understanding of legal, political, and cultural issues involved when dealing with occupational and environmental health.

HS A615 Health Services Administration
Provides students with the basic knowledge necessary to understand the planning, organization, administration, management, evaluation, and policy of health programs in the United States and, particularly, the state of Alaska. Addresses issues such as the current provision of hospital and ambulatory care, how health care is financed, and the politics of health care delivery.

HS A624 Circumpolar Health Issues
This course provides graduate students with a comprehensive overview of major circumpolar health issues affecting Northern residents. It begins with an analysis of health and traditional healing practices among indigenous northern peoples prior to contact with Euroamericans. It then explores the history of epidemic diseases in the North and their impact on northern populations and cultures, from contact through the present-day. It examines the emergence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and problems of alcohol abuse and violence in contemporary northern societies. Students will explore growing efforts to combine traditional healing practices and community healing with Western medicine. Environmental health issues, including provision of water and sewer systems and environmental contamination of country foods will also be discussed. An overview of health care systems and public health infrastructure in the North will be presented.

HS/NS A625 Biostatistics for Health Professionals
Principles of statistical reasoning and quantitative skills for analyzing health-related data. Topics include the binomial, Poisson, and normal distributions, the treatment of rates, measures of location and dispersion, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Both descriptive and inferential statistics are illustrated in mortality and morbidity problem sets requiring manual or computer assisted calculations. The comparison of methodological techniques and the choice of appropriate statistical methods to answer clinical practice and research questions are stressed. This course is designed to enhance rather than substitute for statistical knowledge gained at the undergraduate level.

HS/NS A626 Principles of Epidemiology
Introduces students to the principles and methods of epidemiological investigation of common national and state public health problems, ranging from infectious and noninfectious diseases to social, behavioral, and environmental concerns. Discusses different types of epidemiological study design, and explores past and present trends in epidemiology, giving special attention to epidemiological issues in Alaska and the northern regions. Clinical application within health care administration, nursing, social work, and public health are emphasized.

HS/SWK A628 Program Evaluation
Provides knowledge of purpose, design, and implementation of health and social sciences program evaluation process. Develops the ability to conceptualize and implement a program evaluation in a real work setting. Covers both formative and summative evaluation processes. Includes discussion about the necessity of conducting program evaluations, and the necessity of the cultural competence of the evaluators.

HS A629 Public Health Research Tools and Methods
Introduces students to the basic principles and methods of public health research from its conception to its analysis and evaluation. Discusses statistical concepts and issues of research bias and validity. Significant amount of data from Alaska and its surrounding northern regions are utilized, and ethical issues in research are presented. The complementing lab session of the course gives students a practical hands-on experience with various computer statistical programs and databases.

HS A630 Public Health Emergencies and Disasters
Exposes students to public health issues concerning terrorism, war, and natural or human-made disasters and emergencies in different parts of the world and nationally, with a focus on the State of Alaska. Teaches students effective public health interventions during such emergency situations--from conducting a public health needs assessment to establishing basic health services. Political, legal, and ethical challenges of public health emergencies are addressed; and the sometimes controversial influences of donor agencies and the media are discussed.

HS A699 Thesis Practicum or HS A698 Project Practicum
Required for students completing the Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice degree. Involves independent research, policy analysis, program evaluation, or other approved project under the supervision of an individual graduate study committee that is also monitored by an outside reader. Culminates in a document prepared to publication standards, and a public presentation.

Offerings Through Spring 2015

Course (Prefix and Number)
HS A605: Public Health & Society
HS A610: Environmental & Occupational Health
HS A615: Health Services Administration
HS A624: Circumpolar Health Issues
HS/NS A625: Biostatistics for Health Professionals
HS/NS A626: Principles of Epidemiology
SWK/HS A628: Program Evaluation X
HS A629: Public Health Research Tools & Methods
HS A630: Public Health Emergencies & Disasters
HS A699: Thesis Practicum
or HS A 698: Project Practicum

ELECTIVES - Possible SUMMER 2015 (HS 690)

For more information about Summer core classes and electives, download the flyer Summer 2015 Classes (pdf).

HS A690 Introduction to Global Health
-Dr. Nancy Nix
This course is designed to provide an overview of global health issues and determinants of health, primarily in the context of populations in lesser developed countries. Key health issues to be addressed will be maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, and infectious diseases, as well as environmental health themes of water, sanitation, and indoor air quality.

Public Health Program Management
-Dr. Kathy Anderson
This10-week online course will address: funding and proposals, defining goals / objectives, building a project plan, partnership selection and management, budgeting, timeline construction, evaluation and monitoring, human resource and team building, leadership, and control and risk management.

Building Resilience to Overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the North
-Dr. Linda Chamberlain
Students will research the prevalence and implication of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), with an emphasis on northern countries. This course will delve deeply into the science of resilience to identify protective factors and strategies to promote resiliency.

Food Security and Nutrition
-Dr. Elizabeth Snyder
This course explores the components, activities, and impacts of food systems and resulting food (in)security. It covers public health and environmental impacts in the context of political, social, and economic drivers at international, national, and state levels. Topics include world population growth, climate change, soil and water degradation, and the increasing rates of obesity.

Disability and Public Health
-Dr. Jenny Miller
This course will explore disability issues in the context of public health principles, programs, and policies. Using an epidemiologic approach, the course will address topics including health disparities, social determinants of health, health promotion, emergency preparedness, and public health response from a disability perspective.

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
-Dr. Jenny Miller
This course will focus on major issues in maternal and child health at state and national levels. Using an epidemiologic framework, the course will outline data sources used in examining maternal and child health issues, review the tools and methods used to assess maternal and child health issues in the literature, and apply the methods to analyze current issues in maternal child health.