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Advanced Studies in Public Health

What is Public Health?

Public health addresses the needs of human populations and focuses on protecting and improving the health of entire communities while they are still healthy. The field of public health can be distinguished by this proactive, preventive approach and a focus on the community as its patient rather than an individual.

Advanced Studies in Public Health

The FAES Academic Programs at NIH offers a unique Advanced Studies in Public Health, developed to broaden the perspective and enhance the skills of current health sciences professionals as well as to give
a competitive edge to those who are considering a career in public health. The program is designed to build competencies in the five core disciplines of public health, as defined by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH):

  • biostatistics
  • environmental health sciences
  • epidemiology
  • health policy and management administration
  • social and behavioral sciences

The program culminates in a Capstone Project through which students will be required to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of core disciplinary knowledge and the practice of public health.

General Requirements

The Advanced Studies in Public Health is open to persons with a Bachelor’s degree or above. Courses are offered in the evenings, generally on the NIH campus in Bethesda, making it convenient for working professionals and postgraduate/postdoctoral fellows to acquire expertise in public health and enhance current employment position or to take the first step on a career path in public health.

Students are required to complete a 21-credit curriculum comprised of seven required courses. The Advanced Studies in Public Health can be completed in two years, although students can complete the requirements at their own pace.

Students planning to pursue a Masters of Public Health degree at an accredited university or college are responsible for contacting the institution to determine if credits earned for FAES courses can be transferred under the university’s transfer policy.

"Shortly after I took up the appointment with the Radiation Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), I desired to know more about epidemiologic research. So, I enrolled in FAES classes. These classes helped to satisfy my heart’s desire and provided the needed insight and knowledge to do my work better, as well as to understand the technical content of the Branch/Division’s seminars and presentations."

Epidemiology Program Specialist, National Cancer Institute

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Apply statistical reasoning and methods to address, analyze, and solve problems in public health, healthcare, biomedical, clinical and population-based research
  • Describe and explain patterns of disease and injury in human populations and apply this study to the control of health problems
  • Understand and describe environmental factors, including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of a community
  • Explain and describe factors that affect the delivery, quality and costs of healthcare for individuals and populations; understand from a managerial and policy perspective the structure, process and outcomes of health services, including the costs, financing, organization, outcomes and accessibility of care
  • Describe and explain behavioral, social and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities; understand how programs and policies in public health and health services promote and sustain healthy environments and healthy lives for individuals and populations

Required Courses

STAT 317 | Introduction to Epidemiology
STAT 500 | Statistics for Biomedical Scientists I and II (or STAT 500 I and STAT500 II)
PBHL 501 | Environmental Health Sciences
PBHL 512 | Social and Behavioral Sciences
PBHL 517 | Health Policy and Administration
PBHL 607 | Capstone Project in Public Health

"As a basic research scientist, the advanced studies helped me to extend my professional experience, building solid foundations in the core disciplines of public health. I also had the chance to apply my scientific knowledge and experience to global and public health topics. I expect this experience to serve as a first step for transitioning from basic research to careers in public health."

Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

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