Course Descriptions

Required courses and elective course options are listed below.

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CHB 550 Public Health Population Well-Being

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Prerequisite: None

The course will provide students with an understanding of and appreciation for population approaches to improving the health of our nation and the world, as well as knowledge of various career paths in public health. Course content includes: public health perspectives on health, wellness, illness, and population well-being; key influences on the health and well being of individuals and populations; assessing public health problems from a population health perspective; using the five core components of public health to address health problems; effectively utilizing health information to address public health issues; and career paths in public health and the training/expertise required to pursue them. Students will engage in critical assessment of historical and current public health events, and creative application of their foundational knowledge to new public health problems. The course is particularly applicable to students preparing to pursue a health-related career and to students in health professions programs desiring a knowledge of public health approaches.

Instructor: Kiviniemi

CHB 601 Principles of Community Health and Health Behavior

3 Credits, Fall Semester

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive, doctoral-level overview of principles and theoretical perspectives on the determinants of health behavior and community health. Using a biopsychosocial perspective we will examine biological influences, psychological, social, and policy determinants of health behavior and health. 

Instructor: Leone

CHB 602 Community Health and Health Behavior Interventions

3 Credits, Spring Semester

This course is a designed to give students an in-depth understanding of the state of the science in health behavior and community health interventions, including individual, family, community, and policy interventions. Students will be prepared to critically assess and apply strategies for individual and community health promotion. 

Instructor: Giovino

CHB 605 Basic Research Methods for Community Health and Health Behavior

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Prerequisite: Instructor permission is required for enrollment unless student is in the CHHB PhD Program.

A doctoral level course designed to provide you with a broad overview of issues related to engaging in research in the interdisciplinary science of health behavior and community health. The central focus of the course is the interplay of theory development and empirical testing in health behavior and community health research. The major topics addressed will include understanding key elements of conducting research such as how hypotheses are developed, design of empirical research, practical issues related to conducting research, and thinking about the role of research design in data analysis and interpretation. In addition, ethical issues, research presentation, and writing will be covered. At the end of the course, you should have developed a set of practical skills necessary to both conduct your own high quality research and to effectively evaluate the research conducted by other health behavior scientists. 

Instructor: Homish

CHB 610 Seminar in Community Health and Health Behavior

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Prerequisite: None

This course will give students an in-depth understanding of the role of community, organizational and environmental influences on health outcomes and health behaviors. We will critically assess the place-based public health literature, review relevant theories and discuss methodological considerations for conducting research in multiple settings. Students will be able to choose and apply appropriate theories and methods for designing and evaluating interventions which affect policies and programs within and around the places people live, play, work and worship.

Instructor: Leone


CHB 625 Health Disparities

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Health Disparities is a PhD-level elective designed to give students an in-depth understanding of the social determinants of health. The course will take a multi-disciplinary approach to examining differences in health status associated with race, ethnicity, education, income, disability, geographic location, gender, and sexual orientation. We will examine the multiple pathways through which these differences are produced and reinforced, including discrimination, stigma, social network processes, culture, and health care experiences. We will also discuss methods for conducting research and intervening in disadvantaged communities. The course will provide historical and theoretical perspectives on the problem, provide a critical examination of empirical support for various explanatory pathways, and will cover approaches to studying and reducing health disparities. The course will prepare students to conduct independent research on health disparities and health-related research with disadvantaged communities, satisfying many of the Community Health and Health Behavior PhD competencies.

Instructor: Orom

CHB 500 Refugee Health for Populations

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Prerequisite: None

With over 54 million individuals displaced within or outside their countries according to 2013-14 estimates (and the number is rising), refugees represent a major global public health issue. Those who are able to resettle to Western New York represent a significant local public health and individual health care issue. This course provides an introduction to both the global and local health issues related to refugee populations. Health, cultural issues, barriers to care, and services for refugee populations in the United States will be featured, with an emphasis on Western New York’s (WNY) refugee groups. Global historical and policy issues related to refugees and refugee health will also be studied. Through the course, students will use an ecological model to explore (a) policy issues, (b) cultural issues, (c) stress encountered by refugees, (d) major health issues (including mental health) affecting refugee communities, and (d) unmet needs for this underserved population. The class will consider the priorities for refugee health developed by local groups and discuss research needs and practical service or intervention models to address refugee health and ways to evaluate their effectiveness. Local representatives of refugee care and refugee groups will help lead selected classes and participate in discussions. Interprofessional education and care perspectives will be advanced through guest speakers across multiple health domains, service agency presentations, small group work, and experiential learning. The overall goal of the course is to prepare students for further work (policy, research or service) in an inter-professionally collaborative manner in the area of refugee health with appropriate cultural competency skills and an understanding of the needs, priorities, and challenges faced by refugees and by organizations and providers who work with refugees.

Instructors: Kozlowski/Collins

CHB 500 A Public Health Approach to Understanding and Reducing Sexual Risk Behaviors

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Prerequisite: None

The course will introduce students to historical trends in the population burden of sexual risk behaviors, the social ecology of these risks, and current controversies in practice and policy. We will also examine surveillance systems and nationally representative samples used to monitor trends in high-risk sexual behaviors and related consequences. Students will critically examine the logic and impact of current domestic standards for sexual health policy and practice through a comparative look at sexual health needs (e.g., contraceptive use, STI prevention and treatment, and HIV-related services) in a range of diverse clinical and social settings with different populations (adolescents, young adults, older adults). Using a variety of teaching methods, students will receive an overview of the dynamics of high-risk sexual activity among individuals, communities, and populations. Topics will include an assessment of current peer-reviewed research and professional guidelines for effective sexual risk reduction, federal and state policies related to sexuality, pregnancy, contraception, and HIV/STI prevention, and current curricula at the national and state level for sexuality education.

Instructor: Przybyla

CHB 516 Creating Media for Public Health

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Prerequisite: None

This course is an introduction into the field of health communications, with an emphasis on the production of health education digital media. As defined by Healthy People 2020 (p. 11-20), health communication is the "art and technique of informing, influencing, and motivating individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health issues." The course emphasizes the development of strategies to advocate and promote healthy behaviors, public health policies, and social norms by planning, producing, and creating various media content for these purposes. This course offers a hands-on approach. Students will create their own media products, utilizing video production equipment and computer editing software.

Instructor: Hage

View an example of a collaborative student video project about the Local Emergency Planning Committee of Erie County, NY

EEH 500 Introduction to Epidemiology

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Prerequisite: None

This course is intended to provide a basic introduction to principles and methods of epidemiology. The course emphasizes the conceptual aspects of epidemiologic investigation and application of these concepts in public health and related professions. Topics include overview of the epidemiologic approach to studying disease; the natural history of disease; measures of disease occurrence, association and risk; epidemiologic study designs; disease surveillance; population screening; interpreting epidemiologic associations; causal inference using epidemiologic information; and application of these basic concepts in the context of selected major diseases and risk factors. Please note that this course cannot be used for degrees that require EEH 501 unless pre-approved by the program director, or as a prerequisite for courses that require EEH 501.

Instructor: Zorich

EEH 501 Principles of Epidemiology

4 Credits, Fall Semester

Prerequisite: None

Introduction to the basic principles, methods, and uses of epidemiology. This course is a master’s/doctoral level course designed to introduce epidemiology, its methods and its role in public health. A major portion of the course will be devoted to an overview of fundamental epidemiologic methods used in public health research and practice. The student will be familiarized with basic measures used in describing disease frequency in populations. Descriptive and analytic approaches to the study of disease will be explored, and a perspective on the role of epidemiologic methods in health services planning and evaluation will be provided. Problem solving exercises will be used to provide students with an opportunity to tabulate data and apply subject matter developed during lectures and in reading assignments. At the end of the course students should have a general understanding of the uses and limitations of epidemiologic inquiry. This understanding should provide the basis for applying epidemiologic concepts in work-related settings and in other courses in the public health curriculum.

Instructor: LaMonte