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Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS)

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh examines social and behavioral factors as these interact to promote or threaten public health. The primary educational mission of the Department is to prepare students for positions of responsibility and leadership in public health practice, research, and training. Our students learn to employ the most current health behavior theories and community development strategies in approaching public health challenges. They develop applied research skills in community health assessment and planning, program imlementation and evaluation,health education, and health communication. They learn how to design programs and policies and conduct community-based research, and to work as part of interdisciplinary teams examining behavioral interventions and community assessment strategies. These educational and practice experiences prepare our graduates to move into leadership positions at the local, national, and international levels.

The department has a world-class faculty that is involved in teaching, research, and community service on the local, national, and international level. We collaborate with local and regional public health systems, and many of the leadership staff in these organizations also have faculty appointments and teach classes in the department.

Contact Information

Steve Albert, PhD
208 Parran Hall
412-383-8693
E-mail: smalbert@pitt.edu
www.bchs.pitt.edu

For additional information concerning specific degrees, contact the following: MPH—Martha Ann Terry, 222 Parran Hall, 412-624-5887 or materry@pitt.edu; MPH/PhD and MPH/MSW in Social Work—Mark Friedman, 220 Parran Hall, 412-383-2162 or phsw@pitt.edu; PhD and DrPH—Jeanette Trauth, 217 Parran Hall, 412-624-0968 or trauth@pitt.edu; Admission and Registration—Natalie Arnold, 221 Parran Hall, 412-624-3107 or narnold@pitt.edu.

Admission: All Applicants

Financial Assistance

Although resources for master's students are limited, the program makes every effort to assist students in accessing some level of financial aid. Small grants and awards are available from the Department, the Graduate School of Public Health, and from the University and many BCHS students have been successful in competing for these awards. In addition, there is typically a small number of Graduate Student Assistant and Graduate Student Researcher positions available for full-time students. There are also opportunities for paid field practicum positions, and many students are able to supplement their income through part-time employment on public health-related service or research projects conducted within the Graduate School, the University, or in the community.

Graduate Programs

Educational programs of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences build upon a common body of public health knowledge and social/behavioral science concepts, theories and applied research methods. The Master of Public Health (MPH) Program prepares students to assess the health status and needs of populations, develop public health interventions, and evaluate these interventions as well as develop recommendations for improvement. Students learn and practice assessment and research skills in the context of social and behavioral change at the individual, organizational, and community levels with an emphasis on social ecology and social justice. Three joint program options are also available. Two programs with the School of Social Work, the MPH/PhD and the MPH/MSW in Public Health Social Work, trains social workers for leadership positions in public health systems with a focus on maternal and child health and prepares them for research and teaching posts. Students also have the option to receive the MPH and the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA), or the Master of International Development (MID) through a joint program with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Finally, students can earn an MPH and a PhD in anthropology in cooperation with the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

 

Research Focus

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences has an extensive array of funded research and training projects. BCHS faculty and staff are skilled in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and the Department is particularly well known for its community-based participatory research strategies designed to improve the health and welfare of communities.

Areas of research strengths include:
  • Diabetes and Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Cancer Screening Behavior
  • Health Equity
  • Public Health and Aging
  • HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Maternal & Child Health
  • Evaluation Science
  • Global Health
  • Modeling of health behavior and linked disease dynamics
Research and training projects are funded by organizations such as:
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
  • National Institute of Nursing (NINR)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HRSA)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Local and National Philanthropic Organizations

Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program trains individuals for positions of senior responsibility and leadership in public health practice settings. Students develop skill in the seven core areas identified by the Association of Schools of Public Health for DRPH degree programs. This includes coursework and practical experience in the following areas: 1) theory and research methods that facilitate-critical analysis, 2) community orientation, 3) communication, 4) management, 5) leadership, 6) advocacy and 7) professionalism and ethics. These skills position students to assume leadership positions in public health agencies, health departments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and agencies in the human services sector.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program prepares students to conduct research in the social and behavioral sciences areas of public health in a variety of settings as well as teach in academic settings. PhD curriculum is informed by a social-ecological perspective regarding the determinants of health and opportunities for intervention. Within this overarching framework, the curriculum also emphasizes theory-driven research, addressing health issues across the developmental life span of populations, examining variation across sociodemographic categories such as gender, age, and sociocultural status as it affects health and health disparities. The curriculum addresses the following areas: individual behavior, population health, research design and methods, statistical analysis; behavioral interventions; and the integration of public health research and practice.

Students may also pursue a certificate program to complement their area of study. (See section on degree requirements for list of certificate programs.)

 

Master's Degrees

Master of Public Health (MPH) Requirements

The MPH Program is a 45-credit program requiring students to complete the GSPH core courses (20 credits), the departmental core courses (18 credits), and elective courses. The departmental core includes courses covering subject areas in the following categories: social/behavioral theory and concepts; applied social/behavioral research methods; program planning, implementation and evaluation; health communication; community development approaches and experience in applying social/behavioral theories and methods through the completion of a 200 hour practicum/internship. School core courses include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Public Health Biology, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Health Policy and Management, and Capstone .

Electives are selected from a range of courses that focus on particular issues, policies, or programs that have a social/behavioral emphasis or that pertain to a student's area of concentration or interest. Students are required to complete a practicum in a public health setting and prepare an essay or thesis that demonstrates the ability to synthesize and analyze applications of social/behavioral health science concepts and methods in a public health setting through a particular policy or programmatic directive and/or intervention.

MPH/MSW and MPH/PhD in Social Work Requirements

Students in the MPH/MSW or the MPH/PhD Public Health Social Work Program must complete 36 credit hours of academic course work in the School of Public Health that includes a health-related field practicum arranged through the School of  Social Work and an MPH essay or thesis. Required courses include the GSPH core, and the BCHS department core, and for those with a maternal and child health focus, BCHS 2575, Seminar in Maternal and Child Health . For details on the requirements for the PhD component of this joint degree, see the School of Social Work's section of this bulletin.

Upon completion of the MPH/MSW program, the student would receive the Masters of Public Health and the Masters of Social Work from the respective schools. The curriculum is established so that the requirements for both degrees are met by having certain classes at one school fulfill requirements at the other. This program emphasizes the health and well-being of populations, communities, and at-risk groups. Problem-solving interventions target the promotion of positive health behaviors, the enhancement of the physical and social environments, and the elimination of community risk factors that contribute to disease and poor health outcomes. Upon completion, the graduates will be prepared for diverse roles in leadership, research, and community development.

MPH/PhD in Anthropology Requirements

MPH students enrolled in the MPH/PhD program in anthropology may fulfill the course work requirements for both BCHS and anthropology and earn both degrees for a total of 87 credits. The PhD dissertation can be used to meet the MPH essay/thesis requirement. The practicum requirement is met through fieldwork.

MPH/MPA or MPH/MPIA Requirements

The MPH/MPA or MPH/MPIA program requirements are such that students must meet minimum requirements for both the GSPH and the GSPIA. Students take the required core for each of the schools and additional required courses in both degree tracks. Students must be full-time in this joint program. See general MPH requirement above and the MPA, MID, and MPIA requirements in the GSPIA section of this bulletin.

DrPH Degree Requirements

The minimum-credit requirement for the DrPH Program is 72 credits of completed course work and independent research. Twenty-four credits may be awarded for a previously earned master's degree. Six (transfer or advance standing) credits may be allowed for graduate work taken after earning the master's degree. All students must complete a common core of courses in the following categories:

1. Community/Cultural Orientation  in Public Health (6 credits)

2. Critical Analysis ( 24 credits)

3. Communication (3 credits)

4. Management (3 credits)

 5. Integration of Research and Public Health Practice (8 credits)

6.  Competency area elective (3 credits)

7. A minimum of 1 dissertation credit must be earned.

An important element of the  DrPH degree is the Executive Management Practicum, which requires that students work in a setting where they will have an opportunity to develop and refine skills in: leadership, advocacy and ethics. While doing so, students will also have opportunities to apply content from coursework in the other competency areas: community/cultural orientation, critical analysis, communication and management.

PhD Degree Requirements 

The minimum credit requirement for the PhD program is  72 credits of completed course work and independent research. Twenty-four credits may be awarded for a previously earned master's degree. Twelve (transfer or advance standing) credits may be allowed for graduate work taken after earning the master's degree. All students must complete a common core of courses in the following categories:

1. Theories of behavior and community (6 credits)2. Research design and methods (10 credits) 3. Elective theory and methods (3 credits)

4. Statistical analysis (12 credits)

5. Interventions (6 credits)

6. Integration of public health research and practice (7 credits)

7. Milestones (4 credits)

PhD students will typically earn 3 credits preparing for their comprehensive exam and a minimum of 1 dissertation credit must be earned.

Both DrPH and PhD students take a preliminary (qualifying) examination at the end of the first year of full-time course work and a comprehensive examination when the student has completed all of the required course work. Following successful completion of the dissertation overview, the student is admitted into candidacy and begins dissertation study under the direction of a dissertation committee. The dissertation and oral defense of the dissertation must be completed within five years of the comprehensive examination. See General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees for further information.

Certificates/Specialized Study

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences offers opportunities for certificates or specialized study in the following areas:

 

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health and Wellness
  • Health Equity
  • Evaluation of Public Health Programs
  • Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice (CBPRP)

Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health and Wellness

The interdepartmental (BCHS, EPID, IDM) Certificate Program will prepare students to collaborate and conduct independent research designed to improve the understanding of unique health concerns among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations; participate in agency or organization planning, training, and delivery of health care for LGBT populations; work with local, state, and federal agencies in developing LGBT competent health care providers; provide leadership in public and private sector organizations serving the health and wellness needs of LGBT populations; and evaluate the effectiveness of health care delivery systems to meet the needs of LGBT populations.

In the United States, public health professionals seek to address health disparities. Students enrolled in this program will be prepared to address health disparities affecting subpopulations who may be experiencing a lower quality of health and wellness, due in part, to historic discrimination, with a focus on lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender/transsexual individuals. As such, the certificate will offer courses that include information on identifying and documenting health disparities; impact of historical stigmatizing politics that contribute to development of health disparities; impact of politics and policy to improve means of addressing health disparities; design of appropriate research programs to address health disparities; theories behind intervention programs that work among disparate populations; and means to develop competency skills in working with stigmatized populations.

Certificate in Health Equity

There are continuing disparities in the burden of illness and death experienced by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, as compared to the U.S. population as a whole. The need to improve minority health has been an important concern for public health professionals at all levels. Healthy People 2010 recognizes that communities, states, and national organizations will need to take a multidisciplinary approach to achieving health equity, an approach that involves improving health, education, housing, labor, justice, transportation, and the environment. Every person in every community deserves equal access to comprehensive, culturally competent, community-based systems that are committed to serving the needs of the individual and promoting community health. The BCHS concentration in Health Equity is designed to train emerging leaders in the public health field to aggressively address health, mental health, social needs, and social justice issues. Students in this concentration will gain an understanding of the relationship of social and environmental factors to health and well-being, understand health disparities from a historical, political, and economic perspective, and develop effective competencies for the planning, development and implementation of public health policy, research, and program initiatives to address health disparities.

Certificate in Evaluation of Public Health Programs

Demand for comprehensive program evaluations is rising in a range of public and private organizations dealing with the health and social welfare needs of populations in the United States as well as worldwide. Graduates with a specialization in program evaluation in public health have expanded opportunities for employment in organizations such as health departments and ministries of health, health and hospital systems, educational programs, philanthropic foundations, and consulting firms. Students in the BCHS program evaluation concentration study under nationally recognized expert faculty and research staff. Students are trained in the application of both quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluation, exposed to the newest cutting-edge strategies, and have the opportunity to participate directly on interdisciplinary evaluation teams on actual community-based projects. The evaluation concentration typically involves taking courses in basic and advanced evaluation methods, qualitative approaches, health survey methods, and the evaluation practicum.

Certificate in Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice

In the past 10 years, Community-based Participatory Research and Practice (CBPRP) has emerged as a core discipline in behavioral and social science departments within schools of public health. CBPRP is a collaborative process of research and practice that includes both researchers and community representatives. Communities are generally defined as those that share a unit of identity (e.g., social ties, geographical locations). The CBPRP process involves engaging community members, using local knowledge in the understanding of health problems, and a long-term commitment to partnership. CBPRP is oriented towards  holistic interventions informed by social ecology modeling, a widely recognized approach that not only targets knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals, but also includes social factors such as family and friendship ties, community norms, and the structure of community services.

University-wide certificates are available as well, such as Gerontology, Global Health, Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies.

Graduate Course Listings

 

Graduate School of Public Health—Department of Biostatistics

Biostatistics is a significant tool for the study of variation in living organisms and an essential tool for the quantitative study of human growth, reproduction, morbidity, and mortality. The proper application of biostatistics requires a clear understanding of the concepts underlying statistical analysis. Training focuses on the theory and techniques for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative data related to the fields of public health and medicine. Students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a consulting practicum and in both departmental and interdisciplinary research projects. Primary areas of application include clinical trials, breast and colorectal cancer, occupational and environmental health, diagnostic radiology, psychiatric research, infectious diseases in children, and organ transplantation. Primary areas of focus for methodological research include survival analysis, stochastic models of tumor growth, statistical methods in epidemiology, longitudinal data analysis, statistical computing, outcomes research, and ROC curve analysis. The majority of students gain experience by participating with faculty as a graduate student researcher (GSR). In addition to microcomputer laboratories provided by the University, the department maintains a microcomputer laboratory and provides microcomputers in GSR offices.

Contact Information

Chair: Sally C. Morton, PhD
Department Office: 310 Parran Hall
412-624-9939
Fax: 412-624-2183
E-mail: scmorton@pitt.edu
www.biostat.pitt.edu

Admissions

In addition to University and general GSPH requirements, admission to all Biostatistics degree programs requires two semesters of calculus, a course in biology, a basic computing course, and the Graduate Record Examination. In some cases, course deficiencies can be satisfied the first term. The MPH and DrPH degrees also require 6 credits in biology, 6 credits in social science and a professional degree and/or background in health.

Financial Assistance

The department awards approximately 25 graduate student research assistantships and three teaching assistantships each year. These awards involve an average of 20 hours of work per week and include a monthly stipend; a scholarship covering tuition and medical insurance is included in the award based on merit. First year students and foreign students are eligible. In addition, the department has two different training grants for the fall term (six student positions) funded by the National Institutes of Health. Training grants require either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Academic Programs

The biostatistics program provides for concentrations in two areas: biostatistics (MS, PhD) and public health statistics (MPH).

MASTER OF SCIENCE (BIOSTATISTICS)

. Credit Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of 40 credits of course work, excluding thesis credits (BIOST 2021) and seminar credits (BIOST 2025).

BIOST (24 credits): 2041(3), 2042(2), 2043(3), 2044(3), 2046(3), 2049(3), 2066(3), 2092(1), 2093(2)

Department Elective Courses (minimum of 2) 2016, 2045, 2062, 2053, 2055, 2065, 2096, 2086.

School Core (6 credits): EPIDEM 2110(3), PUBHLT 2011(3), PUBHLT 2002 (two terms required) (0)

  • Selection of three courses from BIOST 2016, BIOST 2035, BIOST 2045, BIOST 2054, BIOST 2062 and BIOST 2096. (In situations where a student's special interest or needs indicate an alternative course is more appropriate it may be substituted with the permission of the primary academic advisor and the Departmental Chair.)
  • Participation in BIOST 2025 seminar for two terms
  • Electives to make up the total 36 credits, to be selected with permission of the student's advisor.
  • Participation in the Departmental Seminar, BIOST 2025, for two terms (these credits do not count toward the required 36 credit requirement).

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination must be passed satisfactorily. The examination is given once in the Fall and once in the Spring Term. Students must be registered in the term during which they take the comprehensive examination.

 Thesis

All master's students must complete a minimum of two special study (BIOST 2021) credits (these credits do not count toward the required 36 credit requirement) and meet the master's thesis requirement. The form of the thesis must be in accord with specifications stipulated in the University's Style and Form Manual and Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh, November 1995 Revision.

. DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Biostatistics)

 Credit Requirements (72 credits)

The following are required courses and electives for the Ph.D. program

  • Required courses (or equivalent knowledge):

BIOST (28 credits): 2041(3), 2042(2), 2043(3), 2044(3), 2046(3), 2049(3), 2051(3), 2061(2), 2083(3), 2087(1), 2092(1), 2093(1), EPIDEM 2110(3)

(In situations where a student's special interest or needs indicate an alternative course is more appropriate it may be substituted with the permission of the primary academic advisor and the Departmental Chair.)

  • Select 3 courses from BIOST: 2016(2), 2045(2), 2054(3), 2055(3), 2062(3)

  • Select 5 courses from BIOST: 2040(3), 2052(3), 2053(3), 2063(3), 2064(3), 2065(3), 2086(3), 2096(3)

  • PUBHLT 2022: The Dean's Public Health Grand Rounds - two semesters: completed during 1st and 2nd semesters of the fall and spring (0 credits)
  1. Select courses totaling 11-15 additional credits at least five of which are outside of the Department of Biostatistics. (Note these five credits are in addition to EPIDEM 2110.)
  2. Participation in the Departmental Seminar, BIOS 2025, for three terms.
  3. Doctoral students should complete at least three credits of BIOST 3010 (dissertation) or register for one term of Full-time Dissertation Study (FTDR 0000) as follows: Doctoral students who have completed all credit requirements for the degree, including any minimum dissertation credit requirements and are working full-time on their dissertations may register for "Full-time Dissertation Study," which carries no credits or letter grade but provides students full-time status. Students so enrolled are assessed a special tuition fee.

Preliminary Evaluation (Qualifying Examination)

The preliminary/qualifying examination for the PhD consists of three separate (usually written) examinations: a theory examination, an applications examination and a general public health exam based on epidemiology and one other area in the school of public health.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is designed to assess the student's mastery of the general field of doctoral study, the student's acquisition of both depth and breadth in the area of specialization within the general field, and the ability to use the research methods of the discipline. It should be administered at approximately the time of the completion of the formal course requirements and should be passed at least eight months before scheduling of the final oral examination and dissertation defense. In no case may the comprehensive examination be taken in the same term in which the student is graduated.

Overview or Prospectus Meeting

Each doctoral student must prepare a dissertation proposal for presentation to the doctoral committee at a formal dissertation overview or prospectus meeting. The overview requires the student to carefully formulate a plan and permits the doctoral committee members to provide guidance in shaping the conceptualization and methodology of that plan.

Admission to Candidacy for a Doctoral Degree

To qualify for admission to candidacy, students must be in full graduate status, have satisfied the requirement of the preliminary evaluation, have completed formal course work with a minimum quality point average of 3.00, have passed the comprehensive examination, shown proficiency in a research or investigative tool, and have received approval of the proposed subject and plan of the dissertation from the doctoral committee following an overview or prospectus meeting of the committee

Final Oral Examination (Dissertation Examination)

The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral committee. One copy of the dissertation must be submitted to each member of the doctoral committee at least two weeks before the date set for the final oral examination. The examination may be scheduled not earlier than two weeks following submission of the dissertation, but must be held at least two weeks before the degree is to be conferred.

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Public Health Statistics)

Credit Requirements

Satisfactory completion of 44 credits of coursework, including two thesis credits (BIOST 2021) and two seminar credits (BIOST 2025).

  • Required courses (or equivalent knowledge):

BIOST (32 credits): 2016(2), 2041(3), 2042(2), 2045(2), 2046(3), 2049(3), 2066(3),2087(1), 2093(1)

School Core (15 credits):, EPID 2110(3), BCHS 2509(3), EOH 2013(3), HPM 2001(3), PUBHLT 2016(2), PUBHLT 2022(0) (first two terms required).

  • Electives to make up the total 40 credits in areas of the student's interest to be selected with permission of the student's advisor.
  • Participation in the Departmental Seminar, BIOST 2025, for 2 terms (these credits do not count toward the required 40 credit requirement).
  1. Two credits of thesis work (BIOST 2021).

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination must be passed satisfactorily. The examination is given once in the Fall and once in the Spring Term. Students must be registered in the term during which they take the comprehensive examination.

Thesis

All master's students must complete a minimum of two special study credits (BIOST 2021) and meet the master's thesis requirement. The form of the thesis must be in accord with specifications stipulated in the University's Style and Form Manual and Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh, November 1995 Revision.

.

Graduate Course Listing

 

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH)

The mission of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) is to study and elucidate the health effects of exposure to chemical, physical, and biological agents encountered in the workplace or general environment. Intrinsic to this research mission is that fundamental information regarding actions of environmental toxicants will provide insight into basic human biology in health and disease. Accordingly, current research includes fundamental studies on free radical biology, cellular and molecular regulation of reparative response to injury, cardiopulmonary toxicology of heavy metals and particulates, molecular carcinogenesis including metabolism of telomeres and DNA damage and repair as well as integrated studies in complex disorders such as environmental induced interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Translation of these efforts in part is provided by members of EOH active in environmental policy, risk assessment, and community behavioral sciences. These efforts coincide and are coordinated with mentoring and educational programs for pre-doctoral (PhD, MS) and (DrPH, MPH) students.

Contact Information

Departmental Chair
Bruce R. Pitt, PhD
Bridgeside Point Suite 350
100 Technology Drive
412-624-8300
Fax: 412-383-7658
www.eoh.pitt.edu

For information on admission or registration, contact Penny Weiss at 412-383-7297 or email pweiss@pitt.edu.

Admissions

Course work in mathematics and the physical, chemical, and biological sciences must be documented in the undergraduate transcript. Acceptable undergraduate training includes a bachelor’s degree in the physical, chemical, or biological sciences with a minimum of two courses each in organic chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus.

Applicants for admission must also take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) unless the candidate already has a graduate or professional degree and waiver is approved by the department. Consistent with GSPH requirements, students are ordinarily required to have at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) overall undergraduate GPA, and a 3.00 GPA in the basic science courses (chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics).

Financial Assistance

Financial support is available for tuition and stipend for PhD students through a graduate research assistance program from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Stipends are made available from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, and from individual research laboratories. Although DrPH and master's students in the environmental health and/or environmental health risk assessment programs are eligible for support, in general it is expected that tuition and stipends for these students will be derived from external sources.

Graduate Degree Programs

Degrees Offered: PhD, MS, DrPH, MPH

  • Doctor of Philosophy

  • Master of Science

  • Doctor of Public Health

 

  • Master of Public Health
     

  • Certificate Programs Offered
    • Environmental Risk Assessment
     

PhD and MS Programs

The PhD in Environmental Health Sciences is designed to provide a broad theoretical and practical education for individuals who desire positions in academic, industrial or government laboratories as teachers and/or researchers in the multifaceted discipline of Environmental Health Science with an emphasis on environmental impact on human disease and disease susceptibility. The Environmental Health Sciences program is an integrated modern curriculum combining training in the toxicological and environmental biophysics disciplines that are traditional to the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health with the new and continually developing fields of cellular and molecular pathobiology of environmental disease and gene environment interactions. The program provides an understanding of how relevant environmental exposures, laboratory based model systems, and gene-environment responses can be interpreted and applied to the study of disease etiology in exposed and potentially exposed human populations. Master of Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences may be pursued and obtained along the way or independently.

MPH and DrPH Programs

The Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health is a key component of Public Health. Local environmental health professionals are the "front line troops" in the public health battle to prevent disease. The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health offers an MPH degree program to provide professional education for individuals who desire positions in environmental health or who already have environmental health positions and are seeking to strengthen their professional competency. The Doctor of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health provides further advanced professional education for those individuals who desire leadership positions in public health practice, policy analysis, professional communication, program management, high-level administration, and/or decision-making in an environmental health setting.

Certificate Programs

The certificate in Environmental Health and Risk Assessment is offered for interested students and for professionals currently employed in environmental health positions. The risk assessment certificate program provides concentrated coursework relevant to human health risk evaluation and is an efficient means for achieving proficiency in this area of environmental health.

 

Program Requirements

PhD students must complete coursework and research for a total of 72 credits. Attendance and participation in departmental seminars and journal clubs is required. During the first two years of study, students will take the majority of their coursework and have an opportunity to rotate in three different research laboratories. After the first year, students are expected to engage in independent research projects oriented towards their thesis research. Preliminary qualifying examinations for the PhD degree occur in the second year after all core courses have been taken. Students spend the remainder of the graduate program completing the research project and taking selected elective courses. Dissertation preparation and defense complete the PhD requirements. See General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees and Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degree for more information

MS students will follow the same coursework as the PhD students. They will, however, finish their program with 42 credits and a thesis. The degree takes approximately two years to complete. Students are also subject to a comprehensive exam. PhD students who do not progress to admission to candidacy may obtain a Master of Science with the completion of the MS requirements including a thesis.

DrPH students must complete the MPH curriculum to satisfy the preliminary qualifying requirements for the program. Students spend the remainder of the program completing their research projects for a total of 72 credits. During the research project, students will meet with their dissertation committee to present an overview of their planned dissertation and be orally examined in areas broadly relevant to their chosen specialty. Preparation and submission of the written manuscript followed by its oral presentation to the dissertation committee completes the program.

MPH students must complete the prescribed coursework. In addition, they must complete an independent study under the supervision of a faculty member and register for a practicum experience. Students will take the school-wide core courses as part of the required credits to complete their degree. MPH students are also required to write an essay that is submitted to an examination committee for approval. The curriculum consists of 47 credits and the degree normally takes two years.

Certificate students in the Environmental Health and Risk Assessment program are required to take 12 credits of required courses (EOH 2104, EOH 2175, EOH 2180 and 2181, and EOH 2504) plus three (3) elective credits for a total of 15 credits to complete the certificate. Students must have a graduate degree or be pursing one concurrently to qualify for admission.

Faculty Listing

Graduate Course Listing

 

Department of Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the application of the scientific method to the study of disease in populations for the purpose of prevention or control. It is a key basic science of public health and preventive medicine. Epidemiologists play a fundamental role in public health and preventive medicine by identifying variabilities in human situations that may have a critical influence on the occurrence of disease within populations.

The epidemiological method for studying a problem involves three approaches:

  • Description of the frequency and determinants of a disease in a defined population;
  • Evaluation of factors that may cause a disease; and
  • Experimental studies of the effects of modifying risk factors on the subsequent frequency of a disease.

 

Contact Information

Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Epidemiology
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine
Director, Center for Aging and Population Health
University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health
A527 Crabtree Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15261
Phone:  (412) 624-3056
Fax: 412-624-3737
E-mail: newmana@edc.pitt.edu
www.epidemiology.pitt.edu

For information on admission and registration, please contact the Epidemiology Student Services  Manager and Program Administrator, Lori S. Smith, at smithl@edc.pitt.edu or (412) 383-5269.

 

 

Vice Chair for Education Maria Brooks mbrooks@pitt.edu
Doctoral Program Direcctor Thomas Songer, PhD tis@pitt.edu
MD/PhD Program Director Caterina Rosano, MD, MPH rosanoc@edc.pitt.edu
Master's Program Director Nancy Glynn, PhD glynn@edc.pitt.edu

 

Admissions

The department accepts students with a variety of prior health-related professional degree backgrounds, prior graduate degrees, and superior students who have completed a bachelor’s degree. Students may matriculate for the MPH, MS, DrPH, or PhD degree. A joint MD/PhD program is also available. Major areas of emphasis within the department are aging, psychiatric/alcohol, cancer, injury, cardiovascular, diabetes, clinical trials/methods, infectious disease, genetics, environmental health, lifestyle/behavior and women’s health.

Financial Assistance

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) Appointment Information for doctoral program applicants and students only: www.epidemiology.pitt.edu/form.asp
Financial Assistance: www.epidemiology.pitt.edu/financialaid.asp; www.publichealth.pitt.edu/interior.php?pageID=107
Minority Student Support Information: www.cmh.pitt.edu

Research

In fiscal year 2013, the faculty within the Department of Epidemiology received approximately $30 million in research funds. These projects, mostly federally funded, included activity in the major areas of focus within the department. For additional information on research projects, see www.epidemiology.pitt.edu/grants.asp.

Degree Requirements: Master’s and Doctoral Curricula

The student’s course of study includes Graduate School of Public Health core courses, department core courses, electives drawn from our frequently used courses, and other appropriate selections throughout the University. The sequencing of courses is developed in conjunction with the major advisor, taking into account background, area of focus, degree program, and Pitt Public Health requirements. The minimum credit requirement is 30 for the master’s programs for health professionals and 72 for the doctoral programs. A 45-credit MPH or MS is available for students who are not health professionals. This is a 16-month or 20-month program; in summer, MPH students will be involved in a hands-on internship. Master’s students must complete a thesis or essay and doctoral students must complete a dissertation and one-semester Teaching Practicum experience.

The following are the required departmental courses for students pursuing degrees in the Department of Epidemiology.

Master's Program Course Requirements

The courses below are required for the Epidemiology 45-credit MPH in addition to Pitt Public Health core courses (which include EPIDEM 2110, Principles of Epidemiology; BIOST 2041, Introduction to Statistical Methods I; BIOST 2042 (Introduction to Statistical Methods2);PUBHLT 2014, Overview of Public Health; PUBHLT 2015, Public Health Biology; BCHS 2509, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health Practice; EOH 2013, Environmental Health and Disease; HPM 2001, Intro to Leadership, Management & Policy for Public Health; PUBHLT 2016, Capstone Course: Public Health Case Series and PUBHLT 2022, The Dean's Public Health Grand Rounds).  NOTE: Epidemiology MS (30 or 45 credit) degrees do not require Pitt Public Health core courses with the exception of EPIDEM 2110, BIOST 2041, BIOST 2042, PUBHLT 2015 (45-credit MS program only), PUBHLT 2011 and PUBHLT 2022.

 

EPIDEM

2160*

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

EPIDEM 2170* Chronic Disease Epidemiology

EPIDEM

2180*

Epidemiological Methods 1

EPIDEM

2181*

Design of Clinical Trials

EPIDEM

2210

Special Studies - Essay (1-3 credits)

EPIDEM

2250*

Seminar in Epidemiology

EPIDEM

2214

Public Health Internship

 

*Required course for both master's and doctoral candidates

Doctoral Program Requirements

The Epidemiology DrPH degree requires Pitt Public Health core courses (which include EPIDEM 2110, Principles of Epidemiology; BIOST 2041, Introduction to Statistical Methods I; BIOST 2042, Introduction to Statistical Methods 2; PUBHLT 2014, Overview of Public Health;PUBHLT 2015, Public Health Biology (course exemption may be possible based upon candidate's health background);BCHS 2509, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health Practice; EOH 2013, Environmental Health & Disease; HPM 2001 Intro to Leadership, Management and Policy for Public Health; PUBHLT 2016, Capstone Course: Public Health Case Series and PUBHLT 2022, The Dean's Public Health Grand Rounds); while the Epidemiology PhD degree does not, with the exception of EPIDEM 2110, Principles of Epidemiology; BIOST 2041, Introduction to Statistical Methods I; BIOST 2042, Introduction to Statistical Methods 2; and PUBHLT 2011, Essentials of Public Health. In addition to the courses above indicated with an asterisk, PhD candidates take additional courses offered in their chosen area of concentration plus the following:

 

EPIDEM

2215

Teaching Practicum

EPIDEM

2187

Epidemiological Methods 2

EPIDEM

2260

Epidemiological Basis of Disease Control

EPIDEM

2004*

Pathophysiology

or

 

 

EOH

2314

Physiology

EPIDEM

3100

Research and Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree (minimum of 3 credits)

or

 

 

FTDR

3999

Full-time Dissertation Study (when eligible)

PSYED 2422 Data Analysis using Computer Packages
or    
EPIDEM 2185 Introduction to SAS
BIOST 2045 Analysis of Case-Control Studies (or acceptable advanced Biostatistics course)
or    
BIOST 2046 Analysis of Cohort Studies (or acceptable advanced Biostatistics course)
BIOST 2049 Applied Regression Analysis (prerequisite for BIOST 2046)
or    
PSYED 2410 Applied Regression Analysis
EPIDEM 2600 Introduction to Molecular Epidemiology
EPIDEM 2230 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Methods
EPIDEM 2920 Writing in Epidemiology: Manuscripts and Grants
EPIDEM 2183 Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Public Health/Medical Literature

 

 

Graduate Course Listings

Departmental Core Courses

Additional Frequently Used Courses (departmental and other)

 

Department of Health Policy & Management (HPM)

The Department of Health Policy and Management prepares individuals to assume roles of leadership, policy development, and management within the health care system and public health. Its educational programs are grounded in the faculty’s contributions in advancing the state of knowledge and professional practice in institutional and system health care management and the development, advocacy, analysis, and implementation of health policy. The HPM Faculty are engaged in interdisciplinary research addressing a range of problems relevant to public policy, organization, and management as applied to health care organizations and systems and in various professional and community service activities.

Contact Information

In order to obtain further information or to inquire about making application, admission, or registration about the Department of Health Policy and Management and its programs, please contact:

 

MHA
Wesley M. Rohrer, PhD., MBA
Vice Chair of Health Management and Policy Education
Director MHA Program
Department of Health Policy & Management
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
A649 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-2743
E-mail:wmrun@pitt.edu

 

 

MPH

          Gerald Barron, MPH
Director MPH Program
           Department of Health Policy and Management
Deput Director, Center for Public Health Practice
          Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
          A733 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
          Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-2501
          gbarron@pitt.edu

 

 

JD/MPH
Elizabeth Ferrell Bjerke, JD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy & Management
Adjunct Professor, School of Law
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
A734 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-2231
E-mail: schmidte@pitt.edu


Ph.D.

Nicholas G. Castle, PhD
Professor
Department of Health Policy & Management
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
A610 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-383-7043
E-mail: castlen@pitt.edu

Student Services 

Masters Programs (MHA, MPH, JD/MPH)
Donna Schultz
Administrato/Coordinator
Department of Health Policy & Management
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
A646 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-3123
E-mail: dschultz@pitt.edu

Doctoral Program (Ph.D. in Health Services Research and Policy) and Certificates
Jessica Dornin
Doctoral Program Coordinator
Department of Health Policy & Management
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
A668 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-3625
E-mail: jld115@pitt.edu

 

The leadership of the Department of Health Policy and Management includes Mark S. Roberts, MD, MP, Chair, and Tina Grossett, Departmental Administrator.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Health Policy and Management offers the following graduate degree programs: Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health (JD/MPH), a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy, a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Systems Engineering, and a Graduate Certificate in Health Systems Leadership and Management.

The MHA program offers a graduate education relevant to both the aspiring and already practicing health care management/policy professional; a curriculum that anchors the program in its public health tradition while also providing the students with necessary tools, technologies, and knowledge in organizational and system management and policy analysis. Career and professional development activities are provided through the professional practice component of the curriculum which includes a Management Residency, the Executive in Residence program, professional mentorship, and participation in the HPMA Student Chapter and other networking and professional development opportunities.

The MPH Program in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh provides advanced education for recent graduates, entry-level, and mid-career professionals to facilitate their career development as leaders and managers, health professionals, policy analysts, and advocates for various roles and contexts in public health and health care. 

The department also offers a joint degree program with the School of Law, the JD/MPH program in law and health policy. This joint degree program was developed in recognition of the important area of intersection between the practice of law, health policy and health care delivery in the United States. Graduates of this program are provided the academic foundation for professional roles in public policy analysis and development, the practice of law for private clients with specialization in health law, and as in-house counsel for health care organizations and systems and regulatory agencies. Applicants must be admitted to both the Graduate School of Public Health and the School of Law.

The PhD in Health Services Research and Policy provides advanced educational and professional development opportunities for individuals entering a career in health services research and policy. The program meets an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access, and quality of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.  The goals of the program are to provide graduates with contemporary training in research design and methods appropriate for studying the health care system, experience in developing an NIH style grant proposal, and experience writing for publication, presenting results at a scientific meeting, and teaching. Students identify an area of focus that informs the substance and provides the theoretical framework for their research. Upon completing the program, graduates will be prepared for positions in academia, government or the private sector as experts in health services research and policy.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Systems Engineering is offered jointly by the Graduate School of Public Health and the Swanson School of Engineering. This certificate is designed for students in the Department of Health Policy & Management (Pitt Public Health) and the Department of Industrial Engineering (Swanson) and provides students with specific experiences and analytical tools required for effective problem solving relative to quality improvement and process engineering in the health care industry. Students are equipped to serve as leaders in addressing the challenges health care faces in the twenty-first century. Health care management students will learn engineering principles, models, and tools following a systems approach to analysis, problem solving, and project implementation, while engineering students gain knowledge of health care operations, the organizational culture, and the strategic issues facing the industry. With a focus on innovation, effectiveness, and efficiency in health care and public health, the certificate nurtures well-educated professionals and leaders in their disciplines. Contact Jessica Dornin for more information.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Systems Leadership and Management provides rigorous training for healthcare clinicians and providers looking to enhance their careers and improve healthcare delivery through strengthened leadership and management skills. The certificate is primarily designed for physicians, but is open to all healthcare clinicians and providers. The curriculum of 15-16 total credits consists of coursework in the following areas: Leadership Theory and Practice, Strategic Management, Financial Management, Health Policy, Quality and Patient Safety, and an applied project. Contact Jessica Dornin for more information.

Admission Requirements

Masters Degree Programs: The Graduate School of Public Health requires that students apply online for all degree programs. Requirements for admission include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for the MHA and MPH and acceptable scores on the GRE and/or LSAT for the JD/MPH; and successful completion of: three post-secondary (college/university)-level semester credits in biology; three post-secondary (college or university) level semester credits in mathematics (algebra or higher); and 6 post-secondary (college/university) level semester credits in social and behavioral sciences, preferably including one course in economics.

In addition, the Admissions Committee cites the following as important factors in the admissions decision: undergraduate performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, relevant work (or volunteer) experience, and good interpersonal and communication skills. Most  Applicants are interviewed as part of the application review process. Students enroll in August of each year. Although a rolling admissions process is in place, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and prior to the end of May. International University of Pittsburgh students should apply by February 1.

Doctoral Degree Program: Applicants to the PhD Program in Health Services Research and Policy must hold a baccalaureate degree with a GPA of at least 3.3 desirable; college level coursework in calculus with a grade of 3.0 or better is a prerequisite; applicants must submit scores on the verbal, quantitative and critical thinking and analytical writing portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)—a quantitative score of 720 or higher, verbal score of 560 or higher, and analytical writing of 5.0 or higher are desirable.  Applicants for whom English is not their first language must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Students must score a minimum of 213 on the computerized TOEFL (or 550 on the paper-based version). The minimum score for the IELTS is 65.

In addition, applicants must demonstrate in their personal statement that they have a clear understanding of how the program of study will benefit them in achieving their career goals.  Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals who are in a position to judge the applicant’s professional and or academic abilities. At least one recommendation should be from an individual who can comment on the applicant’s academic qualifications (e.g., former instructor or advisor).  An in-person or telephone interview will be required of all applicants.  After an initial screening of applicants, the admissions committee will solicit a “Statement of Research Interest” from prospective applicants to further assess writing ability and help match prospective students with advisors.

Certificate Program in Health Care Systems Engineering: Applicants to this program must be admitted to or enrolled in the MHA program, the HPM-MPH program, or the MS program in industrial engineering.

Certificate Program in Health Systems Leadership and Management: All Certificate applicants, except those already enrolled in GSPH, need to apply through SOPHAS. In addition, the Certificate applicant will submit a brief statement addressing: interest in health systems leadership and management; previous experience; areas of interest; and the relation of the Certificate to career goals.

The admission requirements for applicants are based on completion of at least an advanced health care provider degree (e.g. MD, RN, PharmD, PT, OT) or appropriate job experience.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Health Policy and Management has limited scholarship funds and these funds are allocated separate from admission decisions.  The scholarship funds are mainly awarded to incoming high caliber students on an annual basis. Graduate student assistantship and research positions are periodically available on a competitive basis.

Academic Requirements

Requirements for the MHA Degree: In order to be eligible for graduation, students must complete 60 credit hours with a B average or better including a supervised management residency, which is typically scheduled during the summer term, and prepare a scholarly master’s essay relating to the culminating experience. The curriculum includes the GSPH core courses, the required health management core, and elective credits offered within and outside the schools of the health sciences.

Requirements for the MPH Degree: In order to be eligible for graduation, students must complete 45 credit hours with a B average or better including a supervised practicum, and prepare a scholarly master's essay relating to culminating experience. The curriculum includes the GSPH core courses, the required MPH core and elective courses offered within and outside of the schools of health sciences.

Requirements for the JD/MPH Degree: For the JD/MPH degree, students enrolled in the joint-degree program receive integrated training in law and public health over a three-and-one-half-year period. Students must apply to and be accepted the School of Law and then can apply to the Graduate School of Public Health. Once admitted, the student completes the first year of law school before registering for courses in public health. During subsequent semesters students are encouraged to integrate coursework between the schools to best accommodate the students learning objectives. If obtained separately, the combined credit-hour requirements for the JD and MPH degrees is 123 credits (88 for the JD, and 45 for the MPH). Students enrolled in this joint-degree program, however, are able to apply a number of courses toward fulfillment of both degrees simultaneously thereby reducing the total required credits to 113.

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Health Services Research and Policy:  The PhD requires a minimum of 72 credits. Students will work with their academic advisors to develop an area of focus with at least 15 credits (included in the 72 credit total) that focuses on a discipline or area of interest. The area of focus is the opportunity for students to gain specialized skills and knowledge relevant to their chosen research area. The courses for the area of focus can based in a traditional discipline, an established field, or can be thematically linked based on the students’ interests and goals. For example, students may choose from a traditional discipline such as economics, psychology, sociology or bioethics. Others may choose to focus on a technical area such as quantitative or qualitative research methods or survey design, or a substantive area such as quality and patient safety, gerontology, pharmacoeconomics, substance abuse, or mental health. Students must successfully pass a preliminary exam given after the first year, a comprehensive exam given after the second year, and produce an original manuscript that is ready for submission to a peer-review journal in their third year.  The doctoral dissertation will take the form of three manuscripts, of which the third year paper may count.

Requirements for Graduate Certificates: Both graduate certificates require at least 15 credits of coursework. Contact Jessica Dornin for more information.

Graduate Course Listings (see websites below)

Department Web site: www.hpm.pitt.edu

MHA Program: www.hpm.pitt.edu/mha.asp

MPH Programs: www.hpm.pitt.edu/mph.asp

JD/MPH Program: www.hpm.pitt.edu/HPM/programs/programs_JDMPH_Curriculum.html

PhD Program: www.hpm.pitt.edu/doctoral_program.asp

Graduate Certificates: www.hpm.pitt.edu/certificate_program.asp

 

Department of Human Genetics

The Department of Human Genetics provides graduate training in the fields of human genetics, public health genetics, and genetic counseling. The mission of the department is to discover new knowledge about the genetic determinants of human health and disease through basic and applied research; to educate students, trainees, and other interested persons in that knowledge; and to apply that knowledge to improve the health of populations, families, and patients.

Contact Information

ATTN: Noel Harris
Department Office: A300 Crabtree Hall
412-624-3018
Fax: 412-624-3066
E-mail: hugen@pitt.edu
www.hgen.pitt.edu

Admission

In addition to meeting the Graduate School of Public Health's general admission requirements, applicants to the MS and PhD programs should have completed courses in calculus, genetics, and general biochemistry. For the Genetic Counseling program, the preferred undergraduate background includes courses in each of the following: genetics, organic chemistry , general biochemistry, calculus, statistics, and a behavioral or social science. In some cases deficiencies can be made up after admission. For applicants to the MPH program, these courses are suggested but not required. For information on admission and registration contact the Department of Human Genetics at 412-624-3066 or hugen@pitt.edu.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid in the form of graduate student assistantships is often available for PhD students. For other degree programs, aid is not usually available, although it is often possible to arrange for hourly wage/stipend support from research mentors or other faculty.

Major Educational Areas and Programs

Courses offered by the department address the areas of human population and quantitative genetics, biochemical and molecular genetics, cytogenetics, bioinformatics, genome sequence analysis, public health genetics, and genetic counseling. In addition, courses aimed at genetic counseling students provide training in clinical genetics, cytogenetics/molecular diagnostics techniques, risk communication, counseling, and ethics.

The principle objective of the courses in human genetics is to train students to critically examine the role of genes and genetic variation in determining the distribution of health and disease in the general population. To achieve this objective, training is provided in both experimental and statistical approaches to the direct detection or estimation of the impact of genes on the health of individuals, families and populations. Such approaches include the evaluation of the relative roles of genetic and environmental factors and their interaction in determining the distribution of disease in the population, so-called "ecogenetics." The department offers degree programs in three areas: human genetics (MS, PhD), genetic counseling (MS), and Public Health Genetics (MPH)

Human Genetics—PhD and MS

This area is concerned with the study of the mechanisms of genetic variability and its impact on health at the individual and population level. An important component is the study of the fraction of genetic variability that leads directly to disease or determines an individual's susceptibility to diseases caused by pathogens or adverse environments.

A PhD track in human genetics with an emphasis on genetic counseling is available to applicants with three to five years of work experience as a genetic counselor and who are certified in genetic counseling by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) or the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG).

Genetic Counseling—MS

The objectives of the program are:

  1. To provide a balanced program of study integrating courses in molecular genetics, medical genetics, and psychosocial and multicultural counseling including biomedical ethics.
  2. To provide extensive direct patient contact experience in a variety of clinical placements so that the student gains an appreciation of how the practicing genetic counselor functions in different work settings.
  3. To prepare students at the Master of Science level for entering the profession of genetic counseling and assuming the role of a professional in medical, research, and academic settings.

This is a full-time, two-year program. Course work occurs in the first year and is followed by a ten-month clinical rotation at nearby hospitals. The clinical internship involves laboratory experience and direct patient contact.

Public Health Genetics—MPH

The MPH program integrates genetics and the public health science disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and health services research, focusing on phenotypic disease prevention in populations.

Research

Research in the Department of Human Genetics includes studies of basic genetic mechanisms of segregation and recombination; family and population studies of normal and disease phenotypes; chromosome structure and chromosomal mechanisms in disease; physical and genetic mapping of genes; interaction of genes with the environment; bioinformatics and sequence analysis; assessment of genetic risk; community outreach regarding genetics; educational projects for the public health care professionals; the process of genetic counseling including decision making, communication, and satisfaction with clinical service; and the detection of genetic disease. Application of this research is explored with research in ethics, genetic counseling and screening. The focus of faculty research is on human genetics but includes experimental studies in appropriate non-human animals and methodological work in statistical genetics.

Program Requirements

All genetics students are required to take the following courses:

 

HUGEN

2022

Human Population Genetics

HUGEN

2025

Human Genetics Seminar

HUGEN

2027

Human Genetics Journal Club

HUGEN

2034

Biochemical and Molecular Genetics of Complex Disease

HUGEN 2040 Molecular Basis of Human Inherited Disease
EPIDEM 2110 Principles of Epidemiology
PUBHLT 2022 Dean's Grand Rounds

 

MS in Human Genetics Requirements

A minimum of 36 credits is required for the MS in Human Genetics. In addition to the requirements for all human genetics students, the following courses are required.

 

BIOST 2041 Introduction to Statistical Methods 1
BIOST 2042 Introduction to Statistical Methods 2
PUBHLT 2011 Essentials of Public Health
HUGEN 2028 Human Genetics Journal Club and Peer Review
HUGEN 2031 Chromosomes and Human Disease
PUBHLT 2030 Scientific Ethics

 

In addition, students must pass a comprehensive examination, complete a research project and write a thesis.

MS in Genetic Counseling Requirements

A minimum of 37 credits is required for the MS in Genetic Counseling.  In addition to the requirements for all human genetics students, the following classes are required.

 

HUGEN

2031

Chromosomes and Human Disease

HUGEN

2032

Genetic Techniques

HUGEN

2035

Principles of Genetic Counseling

HUGEN

2036

Genetic Counseling Internship (8 credits)

HUGEN 2038 Intervention Skills for Genetic Counselors
HUGEN 2039 Risk Calculation for Genetic Counseling
HUGEN 2047 Clinical Genetics Case Conference

PUBHLT

2011

Essentials of Public Health

BIOST 2011 Principles of Statistical Reasoning

 

A comprehensive written examination is administered in fall term of the second year of training and an oral exam for counseling skills is administered in spring term of the second year. The 10month clinical internship begins after the first year. The program balances studies in human genetics, molecular genetics, clinical genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, ethics, and counseling skills/intervention. The curriculum exceeds the minimum degree requirements of the Graduate School of Public Health. The program is accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). All graduates are eligible for ABGC certification.

MPH in Public Health Genetics

A minimum of 47 credits is required for the MPH. The total consists of GSPH core courses, a core of required human genetics courses, and a practicum.

Required Human Genetics Courses (in addition to those listed above for all human genetics students):

 

HUGEN

2047

Clinical Genetics Case Conference

HUGEN

2049

Introduction to Public Health Genetics

BIOST 2011 Principles of Statistical Reasoning

 

All students are required to complete a practicum, which provides an opportunity to learn how genetics is applied in a public health setting. Students must write a master’s essay, which is usually based on the practicum experience.

GSPH Core Course Curriculum

 

PUBHLT 2014

Overview of Public Health

PUBHLT 2015 Public Health Biology
PUBHLT 2016 Capstone: Problem Solving in Public Health
BCHS 2509 Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health
EOH 2013 Environmental Health and Disease
HPM 2001 Introduction to Leadership, Management, and Policy for Public Health

 

PhD in Human Genetics Requirements

A minimum of 72 credits is required for the PhD degree, including any advanced standing credits accepted from a previous graduate degree. In addition to the course requirements for all students in Human Genetics, students are required to take the following courses:

 

BIOST 2041

Introduction to Statistical Methods 1

BIOST 2042 Introduction to Statistical Methods 2
PUBHLT 2011 Essentials of Public Health
HUGEN 2028 Human Genetics Journal Club and Peer Review
HUGEN 2031 Chromosomes and Human Disease
PUBHLT 2030 Scientific Ethics

 

 

And one of the following:
HUGEN 2029 Introduction to Gene Mapping
HUGEN 2080 Statistical Genetics

 

PhD students must write out and defend a dissertation which provides evidence of original scholarly research of sufficient quality to be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

Certificate in Public Health Genetics

The certificate in public health genetics offers training in translation of advances in genetics research to concrete programs to improve the health of populations

Students must complete 15 credits, including HUGEN 2049 Introduction to Public Health Genetics. In addition, students may complete an optional practicum.

Dual degree in Genetic Counseling (MS) and Public Health Genetics (MPH)

Students interested in both genetic counseling and public health genetics can pursue both degrees in a combined 62-credits (3-year) program. All requirements for each individual program must be completed.

Graduate Course Listings

 

Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (IDM)

The mission of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology is to conduct research, teaching, and service that will enhance the control of infectious diseases in the human population. Our goals to accomplish this mission include:

  • Research programs that focus on understanding the mechanisms of pathogenesis of microbial infections at the cellular and molecular level as they relate directly to developing methods for disease prevention and treatment.
  • Integrated teaching programs that are devoted to the education and training of graduate students in various molecular, immunologic and biologic aspects of microbial pathogenesis, as well as disease control and prevention.
  • Programs that focus on population-based education and prevention for control of infectious diseases.

We have a commitment to high quality graduate education that is consistent with our leading cutting-edge research and behavioral health and community education programs. The degree programs draw upon the disciplines of molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology, medicine, health education, and community intervention to provide our students with opportunities to participate in cross-disciplinary research into multiple aspects of infectious diseases. As a graduate of our program you will be prepared for careers in academia, industry, government, and community service sectors. Our graduates have obtained professional positions with prestigious employers in the USA and worldwide. Examples include the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local health departments, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and major universities and other academic institutions.

The Department offers Master of Public Health (MPH), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Master of Science (MS) degree programs. Students in the MPH program can pursue one of two concentrations: Infectious Disease Pathogenesis, Eradication, and Laboratory Practice (PEL) or Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice (MIC)..

Contact Information

Dr. Jeremy Martinson
403 Parran Hall                                                                                          
412-624-5646                                                                                            
jmartins@pitt.edu 

Meredith Mavero
A419F Crabtree Hall                                                                                           
412-624-3331                                                                                            
idm@pitt.edu 

For more information on admissions and registration contact the department at 412-624-3331 or idm@pitt.edu.

Admission

Admission to all of our graduate programs is for the fall semester only. Your application will be evaluated based on your undergraduate academic performance, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores, letters of recommendation, relevant research or professional experience and personal statement.

The application deadline for admissions for the fall of 2014 is January 15, 2014. The IDM Graduate Admissions Committee strongly recommends that you submit all materials by this deadline to ensure prompt review.
Application materials, as well as tips for submitting materials on time, are available on the IDM web site www.idm.pitt.edu.

Early admission into the MS or MPH program

Outstanding applicants who are enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Pittsburgh may apply for early admission if they meet the following requirements as defined on Pitt Public Health's web site.

Financial Assistance

Financial support (through stipends and tuition waivers) is available for full-time doctoral students. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to outstanding new MS and MPH students.

General Requirements for PhD Degree

PhD Program Requirements: Students complete the PhD program with 72 credits of coursework, a preliminary exam, comprehensive exam, dissertation overview, a first author publication, and a dissertation defense.  Most students complete the PhD program within five-six years. For an up-to-date list of required courses and rules for other requirements, please see the IDM Handbook

Qualifying (Preliminary) Examination: At the end of the first year.

Comprehensive Examination: At the end of the second year.

Dissertation Overview: A dissertation committee is formed usually within nine months after completion of the comprehensive examination to approve the proposed topic for the student’s research.

Dissertation Defense: Final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation by the dissertation committee.

 

General Requirements for MS and MPH Degrees

 

MS Program Requirement: Students complete the MS program with 36 credits of coursework, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis defense.  Most students complete the MS program within two years.   For an up-to-date list of required courses and rules for other requirements, please see the IDM Handbook

Examination: Comprehensive Examination at the end of the first two terms

Thesis Overview: Usually within five-six months after completion of the comprehensive examination

Thesis Defense: Final oral examination in defense of the thesis by the thesis committee

MS Program Requirements

The required courses for the MS degree are available on the IDM Degrees Web page at www.idm.pitt.edu/.

MPH Program Requirements Students complete the MPH program with 42 credits of coursework, a practicum, and a written thesis/essay.  Most students complete the MPH program within one and half to two years.  For an up-to-date list of required courses and rules for other requirements, please see the IDM Handbook.  Coursework and other requirements for both Infectious Disease Pathogenesis, Eradication, and Laboratory Practice (PEL) and Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice (MIC) concentrations are available in this handbook.

 

Faculty Listing

For a complete listing of the faculty in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology please visit our Web site.

 

Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health Program

The Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) offers considerable academic flexibility for those eligible for the Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health Program. This innovative program fosters leadership in public health research and practice for doctoral-level, clinically-trained health professionals.

The Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health Program is a 42 credit program. However, the majority of the incoming students will work with the program director to ensure that they receive appropriate advanced standing credits for prior coursework. All MMPH students are required to take all GSPH core courses that are applied to the minimum of 36 program credits.

The program is open to the following candidates:

  • Physicians, dentists, and veterinarians
  • Holders of doctoral degrees in the health sciences
  • Advanced medical, dental, and veterinary students, considered on an individual basis

To be eligible for consideration, graduates of foreign medical and dental schools should:

  • Hold a valid medical or dental license in the United States or be eligible for medical or dental licensure in the United States having passed all necessary examinations and having served required time in an approved residency program, or
  • Currently be participating in a U.S. residency or fellowship program, or
  • Be an outstanding candidate with appropriate clinical training and skills to justify consideration for admission, e.g., a visiting clinician who will return to his or her native country.

The Multidisciplinary MPH Program provides students with an opportunity to meet the needs of a growing number of health science professionals desirous of practicing in a public health or community-based setting where data-based concepts, preventive medicine, health promotion, public health, and evidence-based practice will be of benefit.

Contact Information

Multidisciplinary MPH Program Office
ATTN:  Jessica Dornin
A653 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
jld115@pitt.edu
Phone: 412-624-3625
 
 
Dr. David Finegold, MD, Director
A306 Crabtree Hall
          Pittsburgh, PA 15261
          412-624-7854

          dnf@pitt.edu,

 

Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health Degree Program Requirements

Although the program has a 42 credit requirement, six credits of advanced standing or transfer credits may be applied, making if possible for an eligible student to complete 36 credits.

 

GSPH CORE:  
Credits
BIOST 2011 Principles of Statistical Reasoning
3
BIOST 2041 Introduction to Statistical Methods I
3
EPIDEM 2110 Principles of Epidemiology
3
EOH 2013 Health, Disease, & Environment II
3
HPM 2001 Intro to Leadership, Mgt, & Policy for Public Health
3
BCHS 2509 Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
3
PUBHLT 2014  Public Health Overview
1
PUBHLT 2016 Capstone Course
2
PUBHLT 2022 Dean’s Public Health Grand Rounds
0
 
MMPH Electives:
select one of the following:
EPIDEM 2150 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases
2
EPIDEM 2170 Chronic Disease Epidemiology
2
EPIDEM 2220 Environmental Epidemiology
2
EPIDEM 2260 Epidemiological Basis of Disease Control
2
EPIDEM 2710 Epidemiology of Women's Health
2
 
select at least one of the following:
HPM 2125 Health Economics
3
HPM 2105 Health and Medical Organizations
1.5
HPM 2135 Health Policy
2
BCHS 2520 Theories of Health Behavior
3
BCHS 2559 Community Development Approaches to Public Health
3
BCHS 3002 Health Survey Methods
2
 
select at least one of the following:
BIOST 2016 Introduction to Sampling
2
BIOST 2042 Introduction to Statistical Methods II
2
BIOST 2062 Clinical Trials: Methods & Practice
3
EOH 2104 Introduction to Environmental & Occupational Health Law
3
EOH 2175 Principles of Toxicology
3
EOH 2504 Principles of Environmental Exposure
3
EOH 2510 Introduction to Occupational Medicine
3
EOH 2512 Issues in Occupational Medicine
3
HUGEN 2040 Molecular Basis in Inherited Diseases
3
HUGEN 2041 Bioethics
3
IDM 2006 Vaccines in Current Use
2
IDM 2032 Human Diversity and Public Health
2
IDM 2034 Control and Prevention of AIDS
2
PUBHLT 2002 MMPH Essay/Thesis
2
    Elective Courses*
9–11

 

*1) All elective courses must be appropriate to the MMPH program and be approved by the student's academic advisor prior to registering for the class.

2) No more than six credits may be taken in other university graduate programs.

 

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