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Epidemiology

The mission of the Department of Epidemiology (EPI) is to improve public health by advancing knowledge on the causes of diseases and the promotion of health through research and education. Students study patterns of health and disease, and factors that determine these patterns. Results of these efforts then are applied to improve the health of people everywhere. Epidemiologic information and concepts underpin most public health and medical efforts to control and prevent disease.

Because the factors that contribute to health and disease in populations are not limited to biological phenomena, ethical issues will be paramount in addressing the patterns that may be identified by epidemiologists. Consider the issue of firearm safety, where certain populations are at greater risk for morbidity or mortality from gunshots than others. While uncovering these patterns may be helpful for local law enforcement, addressing the social, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to this lived experience for many will require the consideration of ethics as part of health policy or other suggested interventions. Or consider standard public health surveillance research about HIV prevalence, both domestically and internationally. Tensions arise when considering the ethical implications of unlinked anonymous testing when compared with the importance of individual rights to know one’s status and act accordingly. Thus, having a robust introduction into the concepts, principles, and methodology of bioethics will equip a student to consider the larger contextual issues that surround an epidemiological analysis.

Visit the Department of Epidemiology website

Proposed Curriculum

As EPI has several educational partnerships already, their curriculum for students who pursue dual degrees is established. Students will complete their first year of coursework at Rollins and their second year at the Center for Ethics.

Students will be challenged to consider continually how the information and methodology from one discipline intersects with the other. Through conversations in class and careful selection of class projects, dual degree students will enhance their capacities for interdisciplinary work by ensuring a rigorous evaluation of the intersection of these two disciplines. In fact, it is possible that students will return to the site of their MPH practicum to complete their MA-Bioethics practicum, the second time approaching the relevant issues or program from the perspective of bioethics instead of public health policy or practice. Regardless, the connections for students will be deep and lasting for students in the EH program.

All students in the dual MA-Bioethics/MPH Program are automatically put on the examination track for the MA-Bioethics culminating experience unless prearrangements are made otherwise.

A typical student course would resemble what is listed in Table 4.

Table 4: Epidemiology

  Enrollment

  EPI classes

  BIOETH classes

  Credit Hours

  Fall 1

  Rollins

  EPI 530 (4)
  BIOS 500 (4)
  EPI 533 (1)
  *HPM 500 (2)
  *GH 500 (2)
  *BSHE 500 (2)
  EPI 599R (2)

  17

  Spring 1

  Rollins

  EPI 534 (3)
  BIOS 591P (3)
  EPI 591U (3)
  *EH 500 (2)
  EPI 599R (2)
  EPI 595 (0)
  *Elective (3)
  *Elective (2)

  18

  Summer 1

  Laney  

  (may complete
  practicum)

  ^Elective (3)

  3

  Fall 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 501 (3)
  BIOETH 502 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  Elective (3)
  Elective (3)

  13

  Spring 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 503 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  BIOETH 601 (4)
  Elective (3)

  11

  Summer 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 602 (3)

  Exam completed
  by May 20 to
  graduate in
  Summer session

  3

* Indicates students may take this in the fall or in the spring

^ Indicates students may take an Elective at the Center for Ethics in the summer in between degree programs; however, if the student prefers to spend that summer completing the MPH practicum, the student may instead add an elective to any other semester of the MA-Bioethics program

Students may also be interested in participating in the dual degree in Global Epidemiology; a typical schedule for such a student follows in Table 5.

Table 5: Global Epidemiology

  Enrollment

  EPI classes

  BIOETH classes

  Credit Hours

  Fall 1

  Rollins

  BIOS 500 (4)
  EPI 530 (4)
  EPI 533 (1)
  GH 501 (3)
  *BSHE 500 (2)
  *GH 599R (2)
  *GH Methods Course (2)

  18

  Spring 1

  Rollins

  EPI 534 (3)
  EPI 591U (3)
  BIOS 591P (3)
  *HPM 500 (2)
  *EH 500 (2)
  *EPI 599R (2)
  *EPI 595R (0)
  *Elective (2)

  17

  Summer 1

  Laney

  (may complete
  practicum)

  ^Elective (3)

  3

  Fall 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 501 (3)
  BIOETH 502 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  Elective (3)
  Elective (3)

  13

  Spring 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 503 (3)
  BIOETH 504 (1)
  BIOETH 601 (4)
  Elective (3)

  11

  Summer 2

  Laney

  BIOETH 602 (3)

  Exam completed
  by May 20 to
  graduate in
  Summer session

  3

* Indicates students may take this in the fall or in the spring

^ Indicates students may take an Elective at the Center for Ethics in the summer in between degree programs; however, if the student prefers to spend that summer completing the MPH practicum, the student may instead add an elective to any other semester of the MA-Bioethics program

As Tables 4 and 5 demonstrate, students are expected to be able to complete this dual degree program in 2 calendar years. Regardless, students will have a maximum of 5 years to complete both programs, consistent with the Laney Graduate School Graduate Handbook.