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Hybrid (online and onsite) Executive Master of Public Health Curriculum

Online Executive MPH Curriculum

One-credit online courses during the fall and spring semesters are 13 weeks; the summer session is seven weeks. Each week consists of roughly one-hour pre-recorded lecture and one hour of real-time class discussion in the evening, either at 8 PM or 9 PM (quantitative courses may include additional discussion time), led by the faculty member. Many courses also have optional additional discussion times, e.g., labs, office hours, and expanded discussions led by a teaching fellow.

The curriculum is 16 credits, combining required courses to ensure broad competency and the flexibility to choose six courses in areas of interest. It is built around four themes (Management and Leadership, Core Public Health Knowledge, Specialization, and Integration) that are integrated to achieve maximum and lasting impact.

1. Management and Leadership

These courses provide essential skills in problem-solving, management, and leadership. Using a model that combines a deep understanding of concepts and principles with opportunities to apply newly acquired skills, you will develop a set of tools that you can use today and in the future. The three intensives—four-day courses on the Yale campus—also allow students to grow their professional networks through interactions with peers and faculty.

  • Using Evidence to Drive Decisions
    Students study and apply principles of evidence-based decision-making in public health to their specific areas of interest. You will learn how to define evidence and explore different types of data and information that are and have been used in public health evidence-informed decision-making.
  • Design Thinking Intensive
    Solution-focused problem-solving is an essential competency for public health professionals. This intensive will introduce design thinking as an iterative framework to elevate the perspective of user groups in the innovation process to solve complex challenges. Students will leave the course with a firm understanding of tools and processes to address complex public health challenges, accounting for users' desires and needs, financial and political viability, and technical feasibility.
  • Everyday Leadership Intensive
    Leadership encompasses a multi-dimensional set of skills that need to be leveraged based on situation and context. Understanding what leadership is and how to grow these skills requires the capacity to be a constant learner and adapt in the face of new situations and circumstances. This course will develop a learner-leader framework for students to maximize their own leadership capacity. Students will understand their own leadership styles and effectiveness, develop strategies for self-improvement, practice how to non-judgmentally seek, receive, and develop feedback from others on one’s leadership style and effectiveness, study and incorporate everyday leadership practices, and develop a personal leader-learner framework.
  • Executive Communication Skills for Public Health and Healthcare Intensive
    This course addresses strategies for articulating ideas to engage a spectrum of stakeholders and skills for advocating change. The course begins with a scientific examination of the markers of credibility in oral communication, followed by an exploration of the role of culture and diversity in framing suggestions to groups. Students will consider modes of persuasion as participants build facility in appealing to a variety of decision-making styles, while maintaining personal authenticity. Students then examine modes of inquiry as well as team collaboration from strategic and linguistic viewpoints. The course concludes with participants completing a high-stakes presentation tailored for a policy group, scientific panel, or venture capitalists.

2. Core Public Health Knowledge

Our foundational classes in biostatistics, epidemiology, major challenges in public health, health behavior change, health policy and health care systems, and ethics ground students with the breadth of skill sets and perspectives essential to careers in public health. Classes are designed for working professionals and use cases and small group discussions to enrich the learning experience.

  • Biostatistics in Public Health
    This course introduces the use of statistics in medicine and public health. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability distributions, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of contingency tables, analysis of variance, regression models, and sample size and power considerations. Students develop the skills necessary to perform, present, and interpret statistical analyses using R software.
  • Foundations of Epidemiology for Public Health
    An introduction to epidemiologic definitions, concepts, and methods. Topics include history of epidemiology, descriptive epidemiology, measurement of disease occurrence and association, study design, surveillance, measurement validity and screening, bias, confounding, and causality. Develop skills for quantitative problem solving and for understanding epidemiologic concepts in the literature.
  • Health Policy and Healthcare Systems
    This course provides an introduction to the making, understanding, and consequences of health policy. The design and performance of the health care system are assessed, with particular attention to the complex and often contested manner in which health care is organized, financed, and delivered in the United States compared to other countries.
  • Frontiers of Public Health
    Explore the major public health achievements in the last century and acquire a conceptual interdisciplinary framework by which effective interventions are developed and implemented. Case studies and discussions examine the advances across public health disciplines with a global perspective.
  • Health Behavior Change
    This course introduces behavioral theory as it pertains to health and health care delivery. The focus is on the integration of social, psychological, and behavioral factors that must be considered in developing and implementing best clinical practice and public health initiatives. Students will learn and practice the fundamentals of behavior change (i.e., behavioral theory) via experiential exercises.
  • Ethics in Public Health
    The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with critical foundations of public health ethics and to foster sophisticated ethical reasoning so that students may carefully apply and negotiate different ethical principles in relation to current public health challenges. The course examines ethical frameworks across cultures and considers sociohistorical context in relation to ethical constructs and applications. Attention is given to the interplay of race, gender, social inequalities, and marginalized populations when approaching matters of public health ethics.

3. Specialization

Working with senior faculty at the school, we have designed four tracks to provide a deeper understanding of important areas of public health. You will develop a high level of knowledge and develop the skills to utilize what you learn in the service of your work. All students are required to select one track and may select a second track. Track courses are available as electives, and students pick among the track courses offered each semester. Students in the New Haven area may satisfy their elective requirements with courses at Yale, pending any prerequisites.

Health Informatics Track:

(Be sure to see additional scholarship opportunities for students in this track.)

  • Introduction to Health Informatics
    The course introduces clinical and translational informatics. Topics include (1) overview of biomedical informatics, (2) design, function, and evaluation of clinical information systems, (3) clinical decision making and practice guidelines, (4) clinical decision support systems, (5) informatics support of clinical research, (6) privacy and confidentiality of clinical data, (7) standards, and (8) topics in translational bioinformatics.
  • Computational Methods of Informatics
    This course introduces the key computational methods and concepts necessary for taking an informatics project from start to finish: using APIs to query online resources, reading and writing common biomedical data formats, choosing appropriate data structures for storing and manipulating data, implementing computationally efficient and parallelizable algorithms for analyzing data, and developing appropriate visualizations for communicating health information.
  • Core Topics in Biomedical Informatics
    Students learn the common unifying themes that serve as the foundation for different areas of biomedical informatics, including clinical, neuro-, and genome informatics. The course is designed for learners with coursework and coding experience using Structured Query Language (SQL) and Python, who plan to build databases and computational tools for use in biomedical research.

Environmental Health Sciences Track:

  • Hazard Identification
    Learn the foundation for understanding the role of toxicology in public health protection, with a focus on 21st-century techniques and challenges. Students will be introduced to basic principles of toxicology (such as dose-response, mechanisms of toxicity, and cellular defense), and then move on to advanced topics, such as early life vulnerability, low-level exposure to mixtures, systems biology approaches, green chemistry solutions, and the problems presented by chemicals that are common in consumer products and the built environment.
  • Exposure Assessment
    Individuals are exposed to a multitude of chemical, biological, and physical environmental agents as they carry out their daily activities. This course will provide tools to assess environmental stressors encountered in the indoor, outdoor, and occupational environment and review methods for evaluating the quality of exposure data. Students will consider how to apply the latest epidemiological and toxicological research to their own work and projects.
  • Risk Assessment and Policy
    This course introduces the methodology, interpretation, applications, and communication surrounding the use of risk assessment in public health. Students will gain an understanding of how toxicology information on hazard and dose-response is incorporated with exposure information to predict the health risk to a wide variety of populations. Students will develop a risk assessment for a real-world exposure issue.

Applied Analytic Methods and Epidemiology Track:

  • Principles of Epidemiology II
    This is an intermediate-level course on epidemiologic principles and methods. Students learn to (1) evaluate the scientific merit and feasibility of epidemiologic study designs; (2) review, critique, and evaluate epidemiologic reports and research articles; (3) perform epidemiologic calculations; and (4) draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data, all at the intermediate level.
  • Applied Analytic Methods in Epidemiology
    Students are given a comprehensive overview of data management and data analysis techniques. The SAS statistical software program is used. Students learn how to create and manipulate data sets and variables using SAS; identify appropriate statistical tests and modeling approaches to evaluate epidemiologic associations; and perform a broad array of univariate, bivariate, and multivariable analyses using SAS and interpret the results.
  • Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses: Methodology of Synthesizing Evidence
    Evidence-based medicine and health care uses best current evidence in addressing clinical or public health questions. This course introduces principles of evidence-based practice in formulating clinical or public health questions, systematically searching for evidence, and applying it to the question. Types of questions considered include: examining the comparative effectiveness and safety of clinical and public health interventions, disease etiology (risk factor analysis), diagnostic testing, and prognosis. Particular consideration is given to the methodology of synthesizing evidence in a systematic review. Also addressed is the role of evidence in informing economic analysis of health care programs, and clinical and public health practice guidelines. Using a problem-based approach, students contribute actively to the classes and small-group sessions. Students complete a systematic review in their own field of interest using Cochrane Collaboration methodology and software.

Critical Topics in Public Health Track:

  • Monitoring and Evaluation
    The lack of proper formative, process, and impact program monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is one of the biggest roadblocks to delivering cost-effective public health programs. This highly interactive course will cover M&E principles, concepts, frameworks, and methods. You will apply real-world case studies to learn how M&E can be used in the design, implementation, and maintenance of high-quality and equitable public health programs on a large scale.
  • Leading Healthcare Transformation
    This course explores how various healthcare sectors (e.g. health IT, device, pharma, healthcare delivery) approach innovation and contribute toward system improvement. Students will hear from leaders in the industry and engage with each other in class discussions to explore various ways to approach transformation in their own organizations.
  • Introduction to Public Health Modeling
    Public health modeling is a powerful systems-based approach to understanding and managing the complex forces that drive the health of populations. In this course, students will understand the main applications of different modeling approaches and the types of scientific questions that can be answered using modeling methods; acquire knowledge of key modeling concepts and techniques necessary to understand and interpret scientific literature; and develop skills necessary to critically evaluate the role of assumptions and uncertainty in model validity.
  • Communication and the Media**
    Media messages can influence nearly every aspect of human behavior. This class examines the role of various media in educating and influencing health. Beginning with an understanding of the theory and mechanisms of persuasive communication, we aim to integrate key concepts of advertising with public health promotion and risk prevention. Students learn to evaluate public health media campaigns and intervention effectiveness. Students practice developing health education materials using various media (print, video, audio, targeted brief messaging) and develop a proposal for an evidence-based communication campaign.
**Note this class is offered to both Executive MPH students and students in the traditional MPH. It is streamed live sometime between 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, either once or twice a week. There are no prerecorded lectures.

4. Integration

The Capstone Course is a year-long practice-based experience that provides the opportunity to apply what you have learned and are learning to a project in your institution or elsewhere. Using evidence-based tools and skills, you will work under the guidance of the capstone teaching team to identify a challenge, develop and implement a solution, and present your findings to faculty fellow students.

rev. 3.18.2024