What is PHP1001?

PHP1001 is an online course required of first year graduate students in all SPH programs and newly declared ScB Statistics concentrators. The course, which is neither credit bearing nor tuition requiring, provides a broad exposure to important public health content as mandated by our accrediting body, CEPH. All modules are required for all new students regardless of program of enrollment or prior course work or degrees (Note: ScB Statistics students who are also concentrating in Public Health are exempt from the course).

Course Description

Public Health 1001 provides an introduction to public health concepts and practice by examining the philosophy, history, purpose, organization, functions, tools, activities and population impact of public health. The emphasis is on the core areas of public health, challenges and strategies for working with communities, and specific health issues that impact the health of the population. The instructional methods emphasize competency in basic concepts through active student participation in a variety of computer-mediated activities.

How will I be enrolled?

All new graduate students in all SPH programs and new concentrators in Statistics will be automatically enrolled in the course. Students will receive an introductory email with links to the Canvas site through which the course is administered. It is recommended that students complete the course in the summer prior to starting the degree program. For those for whom that is not possible, the course will be offered again later in the academic year.

General course structure

The course consists of online modules in the following areas:

  • Overview
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Global Health

Within each module, specific sessions are designed by SPH faculty members with expertise in the session area.

Faculty Support

Patricia Risica, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity (CHPHE) is the course facilitator. Dr. Risica will be available for one-on-one communication in person and by phone. Session Faculty will be available to answer questions using the Canvas online “Discussion” mechanism.

Time Requirements/Commitment

The course is comparable to an on-campus course in terms of time and effort. Modules are comprised of multiple sessions. Each session is approximately equivalent to a 50-minute in-class session. Therefore, you should anticipate spending at least 50 minutes per session viewing online material and completing online activities. Examinations for each module are designed to be up to 45 minutes in length. Additional time will be spent working on assigned material for each session. Overall, the time requirements for each module vary, but should average 5-6 hours for completion including the assessment, for an overall 35-40 hours for the course.


Exams: Each module includes an objective exam based on information and knowledge related to that module. The exams are submitted on Canvas and students will receive feedback within a calendar week on responses. Students must pass every question in the module. If a student does not pass the first assessment, a second assessment will be offered.  A student can take the exam assessments up to three times for each module.

Requirements for completion

Successful completion of the course is a requirement for conferral of any SPH graduate degree and the ScB Statistics degree. A Certificate of Completion will be delivered by the end of the academic year to each student who successfully completes all modules of the course.