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PBHC 600-4 and 600-6: Public Health Field Experience (4 or 6 units)

The Public Health Field Experience is required for all MPH students. As part of the MPH Culminating Experience, this field study is a structured and practical experience in a professional public health setting which allows the student to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the didactic period into public health practice. Through the Field Study, students apply their academic knowledge to “real world” situations that address public health issues. Students conduct field work as interns at public health organizations, which serve as field study placement sites. The role of the MPH student intern is to assist partnering organizations with specific public health projects and to promote and support the activities of those organizations that provide comprehensive health services to communities, locally or abroad. Student participation should contribute to strategic resolutions, be valued by the Organization, and contribute to meeting its mission and goals. Through their field work, students help to build and strengthen working partnerships between field study placement sites and TUC. 

Course Prerequisites: To be eligible to begin the Public Health Field Experience, students must have completed all MPH core and track-required courses, in addition the following online courses: 

DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)/MPH) and (PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy)/MPH) dual and Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS/MPH) degree students must enroll in PBHC 600-4 (4 units) and complete the Field Study over a 6-week block. (Two (2) units are transferred from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM),  College of Pharmacy, (COP) and PA Program curricula towards the Field Study for MPH dual and joint degree students.)

Independent MPH students (students who are solely pursuing the MPH degree) are required to enroll in PBHC 600-6: Public Health Field Study (6 units) and complete the Field Study over a 10 to 12-week block.

Students enrolled in either the in the Community Health or Global Health tracks conduct their field studies under the guidance of preceptors at affiliated public health field study organizations that serve as field study placement sites. Community Health field study sites include, but are not limited to: county health departments, state and federal health agencies, community health organizations, hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, academic institutions, California correctional facilities, community-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic and voluntary health agencies. Global Health Track students conduct their field studies at sites in Bolivia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Uganda under the guidance of country site coordinators and preceptors at public health institutions, universities, ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations agencies. 

PBHC 600A Field Placement Continuation Course (0 units)

This course is available to students who have received an “Incomplete” for the Field Study course. These students are required to register for the zero-unit Field Study Continuation course in the following academic session in order to begin or continue the Public Health Field Study. By enrolling in this zero-unit credit course, students will maintain "active MPH student status" while completing their field study placement. Students may register for PH 600A for up to a maximum of two (2) times following initial registration in the Field Study course.

PBHC 602A Emerging Health Threats (3 units) 

The course is an overview of current emerging and re-emerging infections worldwide and contributing factors. TB, Malaria and other re-emerging infectious diseases; SARS, Mad Cow’s disease, Avian flu and other new viral communicable diseases; and biological weapons, made of bacterial, viral, fungal, and toxins will be examined. Special attention is directed toward local, regional, national, and international response preparedness and effectiveness. The role of public health workers in the prevention, and management of such pandemics will be examined critically.

PBHC 603 Maternal and Child Health (3 units)

The purpose of the course is to orient students to a maternal and child public health perspective for meeting the health needs of women, children, adolescents and families by examining the historical and current principles, programs, policies, and practices related to these populations.  It is also designed to introduce students to global MCH, the presence of wide gap in maternal child health outcome between the developed and developing countries and its effect internationally.

PBHC 604A Health Policy and Management (3 units)

The course introduces the student to the structure and functions of the U.S. Health Care System. The health care system in the community and its environment are examined to determine how they impact Health Services Administration.

PBHC 606 Health Education and Promotion (3 units)

This course is designed to provide an introductory understanding of the basic concepts, skills, models and resources currently utilized in the field of health education and promotion.  Health care professionals have an obligation to educate their clients as well as promote healthy lifestyles towards the community.  This course will assist health care providers and public health professionals to holistically approach their work and acquire the essential tools to deliver information and strategies to improve health with a focus on underserved populations.

PBHC 607 Biostatistics (3 units)

Public health applications of descriptive statistics, basic probability concepts, one and two sample statistical inference, analysis of variance and simple linear regression are discussed. Students are introduced to a statistical computer package such as SPSS.

PBHC 608 Behavioral and Social Aspects of Public Health (3 units)

This course provides grounding in the behavioral sciences with applications to public health. It examines individual, institutional and societal responses to the psychosocial factors influencing health and illness.

PBHC 610 Public Health in Times of Conflict (3 units)

This course will provide an overview of the direct and indirect effect on health and the challenges public health workers confront in times of armed conflict.  It will begin with a review of the history and the consequences of conflict for public health and health care delivery.  It will then move to discussion about the health challenges and ethical dilemmas a health professional goes through in times of conflict and lessons learned from such experiences.  The proactive strategies to challenge health crisis and to prevent conflict will conclude the course.  Class discussion will be enhanced by visits from people who have had firsthand experience of armed conflict and the challenges it presents to health workers.  Active student involvement highly encouraged.

PBHC 611 Grant Writing (1 unit)

Public health institutions are financed through a combination of public and private sources.  An important component of this financing for many public health programs is grant funding.  These funds are available from a variety of private foundations and government sources.  Every healthcare professional in a public health institution must be aware of these sources of funding and the means by which these funds are awarded.  This course provides the student with an understanding of the grant writing process from proposal development, to funding, and on to implementation.  Students will explore grant funding sources and prepare sample submissions based on real life scenarios from local Bay Area non-profit programs.

PBHC 613 Health Policy & Disparities in Developing Countries (3 units)

This course examines current health sector policies in lower income countries and explores the forces driving these policies; the role of donor organizations; government agencies; training institutions and traditional health practices.  Applying inter-disciplinary theory and tools, the course examines the economic, epidemiological and political forces currently driving international reform and analyzes their impact on the health sector.  The course will also examine disparities in health and health care; the impact of poverty and socioeconomic inequality, more generally, on the health of individuals and populations.  Socioeconomic gradients in health; globalization and health; and the adequacy of public policy responses internationally to growing health inequities in the age of globalization will be examined as well.  The course will be evidence based, seeking to distill lessons learned and best practices from countries which have initiated bold health sector initiatives. 

PBHC 614A Essentials of Global Health (3 units)

This course introduces students to the field of global public health with an emphasis on the developing world. The course orients students to the skills necessary for understanding patterns of health and illness in resource-poor countries. It explores the continuum between health and sickness in populations around the world, and emphasizes the influence of both global and domestic factors in contributing to variation in health. Students are introduced to the major health problems currently impacting the developing world, and alerted to the importance of global approach to solving these health problems. Additionally, they will be introduced to the major players in international health: the donor communities, Ministries of Health, and UN agencies.

PBHC 616 Community Health Economics and Policy (3 units)

This course provides a student with the tools necessary to understand, evaluate, and implement the most cost effective public health interventions and public policies towards improving the health of local communities. 

PBHC 618 Epidemiology (3 units)

Descriptive and analytic epidemiology, determinants of health and disease in populations and application of the epidemiologic methods to disease control and prevention are introduced in this course.

PBHC 619 Research Methodology (1 unit)

This is a course on interdisciplinary research methodologies widely used in the social sciences and public health prevention studies. As such, this course is an introduction to social theory, conducting a literature review, framing research questions, research design, data collection and/or conducting fieldwork, and analyzing or interpreting research findings for presentation in a report or thesis. The course will address mixed methods, and qualitative data collection and analytical techniques.

PBHC 620 Health Disparities and Community Organizing 
(3 units)

This course will examine the contextual factors of primary health care and health disparities within the US. Current trends will be described and discussed utilizing case study methodology to examine health indicators among the US population. Students will gain an increased understanding of the impact of current trends such as increased negative health outcomes among minority and underserved populations. Students will have an increased understanding of the complexities associated with addressing health disparities in the United States. Issues of community organizing, community partnerships, empowerment, and community participation and their relevance in public health strategies, interventions, and policy-making efforts that address health disparities will also be examined.

PBHC 621 Global Health Economics (3 units)

This course provides a student with the tools necessary to understand, evaluate, and implement the most cost effective public health interventions and public policies towards improving the health of global communities.

PBHC 622A Global Reproductive Health (3 units)

Reproductive health in the developing and developed world will be explored through this introductory course, encompassing the reproductive and sexual health of women and men throughout the life span. Five priority aspects of reproductive and sexual health will be the focus of learning: improving antenatal, delivery, postpartum and newborn care; providing high-quality services for family planning, including infertility services; eliminating unsafe abortion; combating sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, reproductive tract infections, cervical cancer and other gynecological morbidities; and promoting sexual health. A variety of resources, including textbooks, scholarly articles, and ‘grey literature’ will be used to gather information and inform discussion on the state of reproductive health in the world today.

PBHC 624 Public Health and the Media (3 units)

This course will introduce students to the basic components of media in the U.S., and analyze how the media environment may serve as an influence on and determinant of individual and population health. Through lectures, in-class viewings, readings, assignments and lively class discussions, students will be challenged to explore the relevance of the media in their own lives, to connect this awareness to public health, and to consider how the media environment may be shaped to contribute to a society that promotes and enhances the public’s health.

PBHC 626 Public Health Law (3 units)

Public health law touches the lives and livelihoods of every person. This is a survey course, intended to introduce students to the most commonly encountered national and world public health law issues. Specific topics include: an overview of the epidemiologic principles; police powers; balancing public and private interests; privacy and confidentiality of public health information, emergency preparedness; search, inspection, embargo and condemnation of private property; abatement of nuisances and dangerous conditions; and the major federal statutes affecting public health. In addition, material concerning world public health issues will be presented throughout the course to help students understand the community health benefit from comprehensive public health rulemaking. Finally, public health law issues that arise contemporaneously with the course will be analyzed using the basic principles introduced early in the course to help link the academic principles with the everyday consequences of insufficient prevention and intervention efforts.

PBHC 627 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues 
(3 units)

This course provides a background in the field of drug abuse prevention and cessation. Basic definitions used in the field are taught, along with predictors of drug abuse, types of drug abuse prevention program, types of drug abuse cessation programs, and relapse of prevention programs. Additionally, basic needs for mental and emotional Wellness are explored. Emphasis is placed on selection of appropriate activities for promoting mental health through community agencies.

PBHC 628 (A, B, C) Independent Study A (1-3 Units)

Independent Study is specialized study between 1 and 3 units arranged by a student or group of students in conjunction with a faculty member or current visiting lecturer in studying a particular area of interest. Students must have completed at least 20 units, 15 of which must be the core courses in Public Health, have a GPA of 3.0 (average of 80) or above and should come prepared with a specific area of interest or project in which they would like to pursue further study. Unit value of a particular Independent Study course is arranged with the faculty sponsor. The workload determination should take into consideration the following formula: 1 unit = 3 hours of work per week over the 15 week semester (including meetings with the faculty member, research, etc.).  All Independent Study courses must be taken Pass/No Pass, and a maximum of 3 units of Independent Study may be counted toward the requirements of the MPH degree. Click here for a full course description. To apply for the independent study course, students are required to submit an Independent Study Proposal Application to their individual faculty advisors. Application requires faculty sponsorship and approval of the Program Director.  Course may be repeated for credit.

PBHC 629 Applied Public Health Skills (1-3 Units)

The Applied Public Health Skills course is an intensive bundle course designed to provide didactic and applied training in 3 different public health skills.  Each applied skill is taught and practiced in five week sessions. The applied skills bundle will vary during a specific term but may include a combination of the following: project management, quality improvement, survey design/implementation, qualitative method design/ implementation/analysis and public health communication. 

PBHC 630 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Public Health (3 Units)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the role and applications of GIS within the public health sector.  GIS or Geographic Information Systems allows integration, analysis, and visualization of geographic data.  It has many applications and has increasingly been used in the public health sector.  This class will teach some of the basic tools of GIS, provide public health case examples with data for practice in class labs, and review the role of GIS in variety of public health contexts.  The class will learn how GIS can be used to map and analyze distributions of public health risk factors and health outcomes to address health problems.

PBHC 631 -0 Social Justice in Public Health 1 - Seminar Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to topics of public health and social justice through a speaker series and viewing segments of relevant documentaries and discussion of social determinants of health.  

PBHC 633 Criminal Justice and Public Health (3 Units)

This course will provide students with an overview of the intersection between the criminal justice system and public health. Students will gain an understanding of how the U.S. mass incarceration is a public health issue. Topic will include the history and philosophy of incarceration, criminal justice and policy, health issues in prisons, women and incarceration, reintegration after incarceration, the impacts of incarceration on families and communities, prevention, restorative justice, juvenile justice, disability justice, as well as institutional racism, police violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of incarceration.

Culminating Experience Requirement (PBHC 645 MPH Capstone Thesis or PBHC 646 MPH Comprehensive Exam)

Students must choose between PBHC 646: CPH Exam Preparation or PBHC 645: MPH Capstone Project. Students may enroll in one of these courses following the completion of core and track courses. Students interested in the latter must submit a proposal to their capstone project advisor, and if approved, may proceed with the capstone project.  Students who enroll in PBHC 646: CPH Exam Preparation will take the National Board of Public Health Examiners CPH Exam<https://www.nbphe.org/>. Students have one year from the term of enrollment to successfully pass the exam.

Once students have declared that they will be taking the CPH exam, they must take the exam unsuccessfully at least three times before they are allowed to write a proposal for the capstone.  A student who has failed to pass the CPH at least three times and writes a successful capstone proposal, may begin working on a capstone even if only one or two terms have passed since they initially registered for PBHC 646 (CPH Exam Preparation).  Students who make this decision will receive a grade of “Fail” for PBHC 646 that will remain on their transcript.

PBHC 645 MPH Capstone Thesis (1 unit)

With approval from a faculty advisor, register for the Capstone course (PBHC 645) and complete a Capstone project.  Students may only register for the Capstone course if a) they have submitted a Capstone proposal that has been approved, b)  have received either IRB approval or exemption for their projects, and c) have made sufficient progress on their Capstone projects so that their advisors deem that they are able to write and present their work in a semester. This process takes at least two semesters.

The course requires that they be able to integrate coursework and field experience by synthesizing and applying acquired skills and core public health competencies to a specific public health problem. With a focus on under- served populations, students will select a target group of individuals and then either study a common public health issue or analyze a public health program that addresses a specific health concern. Their goal should be to improve the targeted population's health and to create a body of knowledge that can be built upon. All capstone projects will be guided by a faculty advisor, the Capstone Committee, and the course coordinators. The project also requires an oral presentation. Please see important documentation and forms below:

The IRB reviews all proposed research involving human subjects to ensure that such research includes adequate informed consent documentation that acknowledges potential risks and  justifies risks to the subjects. Visit the IRB website for forms and guidelines.

PBHC 646 MPH Comprehensive Exam (1 unit)

Students who enroll in PH 646 are required to take the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam sponsored by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Students may enroll in this course at any point, following the completion of core and track courses. https://www.nbphe.org/ The Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam covers the core areas of knowledge, offered in CEPH-accredited schools and programs, as well as cross-cutting areas relevant to contemporary public health. The examination was crafted to assess a person's knowledge of these competencies, regardless of his or her academic concentration. Students have one year from the term of enrollment to successfully pass the exam.   The CPH exam is offered all year round. As long as the computer-based testing facility is available, students will be able to schedule the exam at any time.                              

PBHC 647 Program Evaluation and Needs Assessment
(3 units) 

This course serves as an introduction to evaluation methodology and evaluation tools commonly used to assess programs.  Students will become familiar with the concepts and methods and applications of program evaluation and will be able to propose an appropriate evaluation plan to assess the implementation and effectiveness of a program. This course also explores community health needs assessment methods. Emphasis is placed on methods for ensuring data integrity by exploring data collection, maintenance and dissemination. Instructional techniques will include traditional lectures to highlight course readings and provide practical examples of “real life” program evaluation experiences.  Students will also regularly work in small groups to reinforce course concepts from readings and lectures. 

PBHC 648 Environmental Health (3 units)

This course introduces students to environmental influences on health; population, food, energy; community hygiene and injury control, solid/hazardous wastes, air and water pollution, radiation; industrial hygiene and occupational health. 


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