Online MPH Course Descriptions

Below are the current courses available to students of our online MPH program. For more information on courses, please view our archive of syllabi.

For courses available to campus MPH students, please view Campus MPH Course Descriptions.

All students will complete the Public Health Core courses, as well as completing any concentration core courses or electives that are required. Plans of study can be found in the MPH Student Handbook.

*Public Health Practice students do not have a specified set of concentration core courses. Instead, students must choose two to three courses from concentration core course options in two to four of the other concentrations. Selections must include at least one course in research methods from the following:

  • PHC 6053: Regression Methods for Health and Life Sciences (under Epidemiology Electives)
  • PHC 6251: Assessment and Surveillance in Public Health (under Social and Behavioral Sciences Core)
  • PHC 6700: Social & Behavioral Research Methods (under Social and Behavioral Sciences Core)

Click the links below to jump to a specific core area.

MPH Core Courses

PHC 6001 Principles of Epidemiology

Description: Overview of epidemiology methods used in research studies that address disease patterns in community and clinic-based populations. Includes distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specific populations and application to control of health problems.

PHC 6052 Introduction to Biostatistical Methods

Description: Introduction to the concepts and methods of biostatistical data analysis. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, standard probability distributions, sampling distributions, point and confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing, power and sample size estimation, one- and two-sample parametric and non-parametric methods for analyzing continuous or discrete data, and simple linear regression. SAS statistical software for data management, statistical analysis and power calculations. Required core course for students in biostatistics, environmental health, and epidemiology concentrations.

PHC 6050 Statistical Methods for Health Science I

Public Health Practice students may substitute this course for PHC 6052
Description: Appropriate use of data summarization and presentation of basic statistical methods, including ANOVA, nonparametric methods, inference on discrete data, inference on survival data, and regression methods for continuous, binary, and survival data.

PHC 6313 Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health

Core Public Health Course
Description: Survey of major topics of environmental health. Sources, routes, media, and health outcomes associated with biological, chemical, and physical agents in environment. Effects of agents on disease, water quality, air quality, food safety, and land resources. Current legal framework, policies, and practices associated with environmental health and intended to improve public health.

PHC 6410 Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health

Core Public Health Course
Description: Health behavior from an ecological perspective; includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention across a variety of settings; incorporates behavioral science theory and methods.

HSA 6114 US Health Care Systems

Core Public Health Course
Description: Definitions and distribution of health and illness, historical context for development of the US health care system, current organization of the health care system, ability of the system to meet population needs, policy environment that influences access to care, and trends that could impact the system in the future.

PHC 6940 Master of Public Health Capstone

Core Public Health Course
Description: This course serves as the required integrative learning experience for students in the MPH program. Students will demonstrate synthesis of foundational and concentration competencies through an individual or group project that addresses the needs of a public health agency. Students will produce a high-quality written report for their agency.

PHC 6946 Public Health Internship

Description: Fieldwork at approved site. Focus on strengthening competence in general public health and specialty skills through practical experiences. Includes a special project which serves as the foundation for a major paper and presentation. (Register concurrently with PHC 6601) This course may be split into two semesters. Students must have an overall 3.0 GPA to enroll in the internship element of this MPH program. This course is pass/fail.

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Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentration Core Courses

Note: the Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentration Core Courses can be used as Social and Behavioral Sciences Electives for the Public Health Practice curriculum.

PHC 6146 Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation

Description: Focus on six steps in the rational planning process. Evidence-based public health principles, organizational influences, and other contemporary themes of program planning are emphasized.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6410

PHC 6195 Health Information for Diverse Populations: Theory and Methods

Description: Social and behavioral science (SBS) is a core area in public health. A critical skill for SBS students is the ability to develop and to communicate health information that is appropriate for specific audiences, including high-risk populations, and can effectively increase knowledge AND change attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. This is an introductory course; as such, we will be examining basic concepts and social scientific research in persuasive communication to gain an understanding of how individuals process and respond to public health information. The overall aims of the course are to: (a) survey the critical components of health information using relevant theories and research; (b) introduce qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering target populations’ health attitudes and perceptions and designing population-specific health information; and (c) practice developing health information products. Each class will consist of theoretical and methodological lectures/discussions as well as presentations of relevant research. The success of the course will depend heavily upon active class participation. That said, students are strongly encouraged to present their thoughts and ideas; ask critical questions; and listen and respond respectfully to the ideas and inquiries of others.

PHC 6405 Theoretical Foundations of Public Health

Description: The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a comprehensive and in–depth review of the social and behavioral science theories used in public health. A critical analysis will be conducted of the major theories and the research that supports them. In addition to individual–level theories, attention will be directed toward systems and multi-level perspectives on health behavior. The course is designed to prepare public health students for satisfying MPH competencies in social and behavioral sciences.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6410

PHC 6700 Social and Behavioral Research Methods

Description: This course is designed to provide an overview of research design, methods,and ethics for graduate students in public health,with an emphasis in the social and behavioral sciences. The overarching aims for the course are to provide students with: (1) an overview of the types of research methods available to them; (2) the opportunity to design, conduct, and evaluate research projects; and (3) an understanding of key ethical, cultural, and political issues related to the conduct of research. We will use a variety of instructional methods to address these aims, including readings, discussion groups, project groups, online activities, and hands-on research experiences.

PHC 6251 Assessment and Surveillance in Public Health

Description: Knowledge, skills, and methods for conducting community health assessments to identify factors that affect the health of a population. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: Create a comprehensive plan for conducting a community assessment; Develop partnerships with community members, organizations, and stakeholders; Determine appropriate assessment methods; Develop instruments for data collection, both quantitative and qualitative; Report findings from an assessment; and Communicate findings to stakeholders.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6410

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Environmental Health Elective Courses

PHC 6183 Public Health Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response

Description: Introduction to the basics of disaster preparedness and responding to disasters, while developing a foundation for further development in responder training. Topics include the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS), support of animal owners, livestock farmers, and care providers as well as guidance for emergency management personnel in preparing community disaster plans that include animals.

PHC 6519 Zoonotic Diseases in Humans and Animals

Description: Introduction to major zoonotic diseases, including human and animal presentations, epidemiology, means of prevention and control, available diagnostics, available treatments, and associated human and animal regulations for each disease.

PHC 6520 Introduction to Foodborne Diseases

Description: This is an intermediate level course, which will introduce students to the major pathogens associated with foodborne diseases, their epidemiology, and approaches to outbreak investigation and control of foodborne illness.  The student will gain knowledge through lectures, case studies, readings, and an individual project.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6001

SWS 5551 Soils, Water and Public Health

Description: The course explores important instances where soil/water science and public health intersect; how humans are exposed to environmental contaminants; and how public health threats are addressed. The overarching goal of the course is for students to take an integrative approach to characterizing, evaluating, and managing current public health problems by applying basic concepts from the fields of soil/water science and public health.
Note: This is a collaborative course offering between the Public Health program and the Department of Soil and Water Science. The Department of Soil and Water Science administers and delivers the course, and the tuition for this course is slightly different from the other public health courses (at $565 per credit hour). Students cannot self-register for this course. If you are interested in this course, you must send an email to Robyn Smith at The Department of Soil and Water Science will then register you.

PHC 6301 Aquatic Systems and Environmental Health

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: The course explores important instances where soil/water science and public health intersect; how humans are exposed to environmental contaminants; and how public health threats are addressed. The overarching goal of the course is for students to take an integrative approach to characterizing, evaluating, and managing current public health problems by applying basic concepts from the fields of soil/water science and public health.

PHC 6424 Environmental Policy and Risk Management

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: Provides students with an in-depth understanding of the government’s environmental health structure, environmental policy making processes, important environmental policies, and application of these policies through risk assessment and management techniques to protect the public and the environment.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6313 or permission of instructor

PHC 6018 Envrionmental Ecology of Human Pathogens

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: This course covers major topic areas concerning ecological relationships of environmental pathogens that cause diseases in humans. The course will discuss environmental reservoirs of human pathogens and introduces microbiological techniques necessary to detect and identify the variety of pathogens present in the environment.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6313

PHC 6515 One Health: Applied Techniques in Public Health Entomology

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: This course introduces students to basic applied field techniques in the study of medical entomology and vector borne diseases. Students will learn about the entomology techniques used for collection and analysis in the samples to understand vector borne disease transmission.
Pre-requisite: General microbiology, principles of infectious diseases, or epidemiology of infectious diseases

PHC 6326 Environmental and One Health

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: Many health challenges face complex and inextricable links between human, animal, and environmental health, necessitating a systems approach to One Health. This course introduces concepts, theories, and applications of environmental health sciences in the context of one health. The course combines lectures, discussions, and a class project.
Pre-requisite: BSC 2005, EVS 3000, or consent of the instructor

PHC 6446 Systems Thinkingin One Health

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: This course is designed for students with diverse backgrounds who intended to expand their knowledge in One Health vision. Students will be exposed to a variety of lectures, which will be delivered by experts on specific topics related to One Health.

PHC 6304 Environmental Toxicology Applications in Public Health

Note: This elective is for the Public Health Practice concentration
Description: Environmental toxicology examines exposure to chemical, biological, and physical agents and associated health effects in humans and wildlife. Students will analyze environmental fate of chemicals, exposure routes, mechanisms of toxicity, and critique common approaches used by public health professionals when dealing with toxicants.
Pre-requisite: BSC 2010, CHM 2045 preferred but not required

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Epidemiology Elective Courses

PHC 6002 Epidemiology of Infectious Disease

Description: Epidemiology, prevention, and control of infectious diseases impacting local, national, and global community health; epidemiology methods used in disease surveillance and measures used in slowing or preventing spread of disease.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6001 and PHC 6050/PHC 6052

PHC 6003 Epidemiology of Chronic Disease

Description: Overview of the epidemiology of chronic diseases and disabilities prevalent in various populations and introduction of contemporary methods for surveillance including risk factors, etiology, and changes over time.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6001 and PHC 6050/PHC 6052

*This course requires several live, synchronous sessions.

PHC 6521 Fundamentals of Public Health Nutrition

Description: This course will provide an introduction to Public Health Nutrition and the role of the Public Health Nutrition professional. Emphasis will be on definition, identification and prevention of nutrition related disease, as well as improving health of a population by improving nutrition.  Malnutrition will be discussed on a societal, economic, and environmental level.  It will include the basics of nutritional biochemistry as it relates to malnutrition of a community and targeted intervention.  Finally, it will review existing programs and policies, including strengths, weaknesses and areas for modification or new interventions.

PHC 6053 Regression Methods for the Health and Life Sciences

Description: Introduction to a wide range of regression methods. Primary topics are multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and Poisson regression.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6052 or equivalent

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Population Health Management Elective Courses

HSA 6115 Introduction to Management of Health Service Organizations

Description: Organizational principles and practices as applied to management. This course covers organizational theory, managerial role, managing groups, work design, and organization design.

PHC 6104 Evidence-based Management of Public Health Programs

Description: Techniques and procedures for monitoring achievement of a program’s objectives, generating evidence of program effectiveness, and assessing impacts in public health settings. Focus on evaluation framework that leads to evidence-based decision-making in public health.

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Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective Courses

PHC 6009 Epidemiology and Biology of HIV/AIDS

Description: This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the study of HIV/AIDS.  Epidemiology refers to the distribution of disease within a population, and is concerned with the causes and risk factors that influence health and its outcomes.  The biology of HIV infection refers to the physiologic processes and cellular processes involved in HIV infection and its treatment.  The overall goal of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the biological process by which HIV causes infection and AIDS, and to provide skills in finding current epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS and interpreting it.
Pre-requisite: PHC 6001

PHC 6404 Sexuality, Gender, and Public Health

Description: Sexuality has long been a public health concern, although this concern was historically limited to the field of reproductive health. Due in large part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, issues of sexual health more generally have been taken up by public health researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. Sexual health is now considered a critical component of people’s well-being and a plethora of theoretical and applied initiatives have been and are being developed around the world to promote sexual health. In particular, contemporary research reveals that gender is a key factor in understanding patterns of individuals’ sexual health behaviors and risks, the ways that men and women perceive and use their bodies, and their experiences of health, wellness, and illness. Our approach will be multidisciplinary and cross-cultural in focus.

PHC 6441 Health Disparities in the United States

Description: Determinants that influence health outcomes of the most disadvantaged populations in the U.S., with special attention to racial, ethnic, and gender status.

PHC 6447 Ecology of HIV/AIDS in the Rural South

Description: Casual factors, responses, and outcomes associated with HIV/AIDS in the rural south.  Using ecological framework to explore and understand mulitlevel factors associated with (1) risk and protective behaviors; (2) testing and disclosure of HIV status; (3) availability and sources of social support; (4) need for and use of medical, psychological, and social services; and (5) the development and use of culturally appropriate interventions.

PHC 6451 Building Resiliency in Individuals and Communities for Public Health

Description: This course will provide (1) an overview of resilience and how resilience-building approaches are applied in public health; (2) an examination of resilience-building efforts through a review of public health literature; and (3) the opportunity to design and implement a communication campaign to build resilience using social ecological model.

PHC 6534 Trauma Informed Approaches for Individuals, Communities, and Public Health

Description: This course will provide students (1) an overview of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the trauma-informed approach; (2) the opportunity to design and implement public health interventions to prevent ACEs and treat trauma using the social ecological model; and (4) practical instruction in the grant writing process.

PHC 6704 Community Based Participatory Research*

Description: The goal of this course is to provide participants with an overview of theories, principles, and strategies associated with Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in public health. This introductory course on CBPR is intended for graduate students and community practitioners interested in adding CBPR to their repertoire of effective approaches to understanding and addressing social and health disparities in public health.

PHC 6937 Global Health Disparities and Disabilities

Description:  This course provides students, interested in addressing health disparities among people living with disabilities, with the knowledge and skills to address health determinants that maintain their current health status globally. Special focus will be devoted to low and middle income countries.
Note: This course is Summer A, so it will only last for the first 6 weeks of the summer semester.

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*There are currently several public health courses with the course number PHC 6937. This is a “special topics” course number as these courses are awaiting permanent course numbers from the UF Curriculum Committee and the Florida Legislature. These courses will always include the full course name to help avoid confusion.