This course is designed to familiarize students with the history and current applications of social and behavioral sciences as they are applied to public health practice and research. It explores social and behavioral science models, theories, and approaches that inform public health, and their philosophical roots. The course also examines social and behavioral determinants of health equity across the ecological spectrum. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills to help students synthesize and utilize information in research and practice. An important contribution of this course is the emphasis on recognizing the contributions of social and behavioral science research and practice to enhance public health.

Credit hours: 3          Class meets: Mon 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.          Semester: Summer

COMH 6330 is intended to provide MPH students with a solid foundation and understanding of research methods and topics with enhanced capacity to produce and critically appraise public health research and literature. Students will learn the basic concepts and procedures to conduct evidence-based research addressing behavioral/social determinants of health. The course provides a concrete knowledge base to design conceptually sound and methodologically rigorous research proposals and/or evaluate behavioral/social interventions addressing public health problems. It covers a wide range of methodologies from observational studies to randomized controlled trials and non-randomized evaluations. The emphasis will be on developing a methodological literacy that allows students to understand the strengths of various methods and their common uses in public health research. 

This course focuses on health problems and issues and public health methods that have a major social or behavioral component. It is intended for the student with little background in the behavioral sciences. The course will enable students to describe one or two core theoretical perspectives from each of the social science disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and their application to public health. The course will cover the major social and behavioral science models used in health promotion and disease prevention. The course will also cover existing social inequalities in health status related to race, social class, and gender, and the critical intersection between social risk factors, behavioral risk factors, and the development and implementation of public health interventions.

Credit hours: 3          Class meets: Monday  6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.          Semester: Fall