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 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 in August prior to their first year in the program. Students will receive an introductory email with links to the Canvas site through which the course is administered.

General course structure

The course consists of online modules in the following areas:

  • General overview
  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare Management, Policy and Practice
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Environmental Health
  • 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.


The course in its entirety opens in late August and students are able to complete the course on their own timetable throughout the year. The “recommended” schedule is to complete three modules in the Fall semester and another three modules in the Spring semester. Using this schedule would provide approximately one-month for the completion of each module. Alternately, students may choose to complete any or all required modules at any time during the academic year. All modules of the course must be completed by May of the enrolled academic year.

Time Requirements/Commitment

The course is comparable to an on-campus course in terms of time and effort. Each session is approximately equivalent to a 50-minute in-class session. Students should anticipate spending at least 50 minutes per session viewing online material, watching online lectures, and completing online activities. Examinations for each module are designed to be up to 90 minutes in length. In addition, students should expect to spend an additional 90 minutes per module participating in an online discussion forum with faculty from that module. Additional time will be spent reading the required materials, including the textbook, and working on assigned material for each session.


Each module includes an objective exam based on information and knowledge related to that module. Students will receive immediate feedback on correct and incorrect responses. Students must earn a grade of 80% or higher to pass the module. Students can take the exam 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.