Undergraduate PHS



SPHU 1010 Introduction to Public Health:  Epidemics, Revolutions, and Response (3)
Students are introduced to the concepts and practice of public health in the U.S. and internationally by tracing its historical evolution. Classic public health problems and their resolution will be discussed in the context of the broader contemporary social environment. The latter part of the course is focused on public health practice in both the U.S. and developing countries, with a consideration of the structure, function, and financing of public health organizations. The many different roles for public health professionals in these organizations also are described.  Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 1020 The Cell, The Individual, and The Community (3)
This course provides a foundation of knowledge about the human body in health and disease. It gives an overview of important concepts on the biological mechanisms of disease at the cellular, individual, and population/community levels. The course will focus on a natural progression in the development of health and disease, moving from a discussion of the cell, to the individual, and finally, to specific infectious or chronic disease states and processes. The role of the community in public health will be emphasized. This course is designed to provide a good foundation in the mechanisms of health and disease. Furthermore, each lecture will offer insights into current public health topics and research trends. Each lecture will address the following: 1) specific mechanisms of health and disease; 2) topics of special public health importance, and 3) a scientific update on research in the news. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 3010 Public Health Systems Design and Decision Analysis (3)
This course develops conceptual and methodological skills for the design and implementation of public health policy. A solid grounding in systems theory will complement the use of practical management tools such as strategic planning, cost effectiveness analysis and decision analysis. Students will apply these concepts and tools within the context of current international and domestic policy frameworks in the field of public health. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 3110 Global Problems, Local Solutions (3)
Students begin to integrate their understanding of public health science in this applied problem-solving course that brings together the elements of program development and rigorous evaluation. The course develops the concepts of problem assessment, strategic approaches to program planning, and evaluation of public health programs.

SPHU 3150 Global to Local Environmental Health (3)
The course is designed to identify environmental issues regarding various environmental media. Fundamental concepts addressing these issues and potential solutions will be covered. Related experiences from global to local and personal perspectives will be presented. Interrelationships between ecological and human health will be emphasized. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 3160 Biostatistics Applications in Public Health (3)

SPHU 3170 Foundations in Epidemiology (3)

SPHU 4010 Foundations and Formulation of Public Health Policy (3)
Students will be introduced to the nature of health policy and the process by which it is developed. Various approaches to health policy are defined and their rationale considered. The politics of the development of health policy in democratic societies are discussed from both national and international perspectives. The ethics of public health policy are addressed. The course includes modern case studies of important public health issues (e.g., AIDS, smoking prevention, emerging infections such as West Nile Virus) to illustrate the development and application of policy to promote the public health. Click for learning objectives.


SPHU 4560 Capstone (3)
This credit is given to students who complete an approved public service internship, independent research, or approved international study.  For more information, see the capstone page.

The following courses are only taken as needed:
SPHU 4990: Honors Thesis (3)
SPHU 5000: Honors Thesis (4)


SPHU 2810 Violence in the Community

What are the sources of violent crime in New Orleans, and can we examine them through the lens of a public health to find solutions?  This course merges public health, criminology and local New Orleans politics to examine the ongoing trouble the city is having recovering from Katrina and the crime wave that washed in after the city drained.  Guest speakers in past semesters have included the District Attorney, Mayoral Aides, senior police staff, social workers, and more.

SPHU 3120 From Biology to Policy: Issues and Strategies in Public Health (3)
Focusing on a small number of specific health problems of global public health importance, this course traces the relationships among the biologic, sociologic, economic, and political factors involved in the identification, prevention and treatment of the health problem. The course helps students understand the dynamic tension that exists between various stakeholders involved in the disease intervention process and how these tensions play out in the public and global policy arena. The course will be transdisciplinary, emphasizing the connections between the biologic nature of disease and the social, economic and political context in which policy for dealing with disease is  developed.  Examples of diseases that may be addressed are AIDS,tuberculosis, heart disease, and breast cancer. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 4200 Implementing-Evidence Based Public Health (3)

This course introduces the student to the scientific, epidemiological, organizational and management skills needed in designing and obtaining funding for an evidence-based public health intervention within an organizational or community setting. Students become familiar with the role and operation of not-for profit organizations, foundations, national and international government agencies, and the local community in this process.  Students learn to access publicly available and electronic information provided by these agencies and organizations. The course illustrates how evidence-based public health is used by funding agencies in developing and awarding grants and by public health providers and community contractors in applying for and receiving them. Emphasis is placed on how evidence-based public health is used in writing grant proposals and students have an opportunity to write a grant proposal as part of the course. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 4210 Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (3)
The course covers the principles of human health and ecological risk assessment. The National Academy of Sciences model framework for risk assessment (hazard identification, dose response assessment, exposure analysis, and risk characterization) is used to explain environmental risks of long-term exposure of humans and wildlife to air pollution and chemicals in food and drinking water. The interaction of scientific methods with focus on toxicology and regulatory requirements will be reviewed. Case studies focus on current environmental pollution issues such as exposure to lead paint, mercury in fish, arsenic from smelters and petrochemical industrial emissions. Specific topics to be covered detail include: health and ecological effects toxicology and environmental epidemiology; qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods; cancer risk models; regulatory toxicology; risk communication; reproductive risk assessment; endocrine disruption; different approaches to risk assessment by federal, state and international agencies; political and economic aspects of risk management; information resources, and field trips to state regulatory agencies. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 4300 Public Health Communication (3)
This course examines the intended and unintended effects of health communication, with specific focus on how the mass media and the Internet stimulate change in knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and subsequent health outcomes.  Three health communication foci will be explored:  1) planned communication campaigns designed specifically to elicit health behavioral change, 2) traditional mass media's role in influencing health outcomes, and 3) the evolving influence of the Internet on health outcomes.  This course examines the linkages between communication effects and various health topics, including smoking/alcohol, sex, diet, and physical activity.  By the end of the course, students will understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the linkage between communication and public health and be able to apply such to public health initiatives. Click for learning objectives.

SPHU 4910 Environmental Health Independent Study (3)
The student will meet with their faculty advisor to design and independent study which focuses on a topic of environmental health which is germane to their interests and future studies.


SPHU 4440 Social Aspects of Infectious Diseases (Summer) (6)
Led by Dr. Latha Rajan, the honors course offered students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the social contexts of infectious diseases including the challenges posed by cultural, governmental and educational policies and practices related to curbing the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Malaysia. Click here for more information The school reserves the right to change its rules, regulations, courses, and requirements and to make all such changes applicable to all students, whether new or continuing, when in its sole judgment such changes are deemed necessary.

SPHU 4560 Summer Capstone -  Health Systems of China (3)

During  their coursework, students will be introduced to various aspects (cultural, social, economic, epidemiologic) of the country’s healthcare system. Since the course will be delivered on location in China, the classroom lessons will be augmented through a series of field visits and real world observations. Further, China’s recent health reform strategies will be critically examined through directed readings, seminar lectures, and discussions with leaders of the Chinese healthcare system. The course also will examine the financing of the health care system and will evaluate and analyze how providers are incentivized and paid. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the health sector organization, students will visit a number of sites including primary care centers, tertiary hospitals, public health entities, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, and research organizations.  Also, students will travel to areas in rural China to learn how health care is provided outside the country’s major urban area.  Students also do a service-learning rotation and register for one hour of service credits.


(These are open to students completing the BSPH/MPH Joint Degree Program, and are not mandatory)

ENHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health Sciences (3)
Major environmental health problems, including water quality, wastewater, occupational health, trace elements in the environment, municipal and hazardous waste, food protection, vector control, and air quality are discussed. Click for learning objectives.

HSMG 6030 Principles of Health Systems Administration and Mgt. (3)
Concepts and principles of management as they are applied in the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, controlling, and evaluating in health services organizations. Includes study of managerial roles, styles, activities, and decision-making, as well as the relationship between management and organizational effectiveness. This course is most useful to students intending to work in the United States. Click for learning objectives.

GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health (3)
An overview of the contribution of the social and behavioral sciences to health behavior. The course includes examples from the intervention levels of health promotion, health protection, and disease prevention. Click for learning objectives.

BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics (3)
Introduction to statistical methodology in the health field. Topics include presentation of data (graphs and tables), descriptive statistics, concepts of probability, estimation of parameters, hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, correlation, and the analysis of attribute data. It is recommended for students with any mathematical or statistical background and those needing a firm foundation in statistical methods either for their careers or preparation for further quantitative courses. Click for learning objectives.

EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods (3)
The course prepares students to function effectively as mid-level epidemiologists in public health agencies or other settings. The knowledge base and skills that are the focus of this course are fundamental to the scope of work expected of master's degree graduates in epidemiology. The course focuses on epidemiologic approaches to activities that are a routine part of public health practice. Click for learning objectives.

Professor Wiser. This course provides a foundation of knowledge about the human body in health and disease. It gives an overview of important concepts of the biological mechanisms of disease at the cellular, individual, and societal levels. At the cellular level, the course summarizes DNA and cellular function, genomics, immunology, and vaccination. At the individual and societal levels, the course addresses the most important infectious and non-infectious causes of death worldwide, providing background on their pathophysiology, clinical aspects, patterns of disease occurrence, risk factors, and methods of prevention.



1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5388 or 800-676-5389