Grad School Buffet

My program only requires one full academic year of coursework. The second year is a mix of a field practicum, work on a masters paper, and additional courses for those who choose to take some (and many do). But most students complete the core requirements for the degree in the first academic year, which is composed of four quarters.¬†So far I’ve completed the first two quarters, which included 10 classes and 3 additional seminars for a total of 43 credits. Now I have to decide which classes to take in the 3rd and 4th quarters (January through May), when I have fewer required classes and more electives are offered.

Fellow Hopkins GDEC (global disease epidemiology and control) student Kriti at EpiTales¬†describes the selection of public health courses at Hopkins as a buffet. Quite true. I’ve been trying to narrow down my courses for the 3rd and 4th terms and have come up with a preliminary list, excluding many classes that are redundant, don’t fit my interests, or have prerequisites that I haven’t taken. After narrowing it down a bit, I’m down a list of a mere 42 courses, or which I’ll be able to take 10-11 at most:

Armed Conflict and Health
Assessing Epidemiologic Impact of Human Rights Violations
Clinical and Epidemiologic Aspects of Tropical Diseases*
Clinical Vaccine Trials and Good Clinical Practice*
Comparative Evaluation for Health Policy in International Health
Current Issues In Public Health
Data Management Methods in Health Research Studies
Demographic Estimation for Developing Countries
Demographic Methods for Public Health
Design and Conduct of Community Trials*
Econometric Methods for Evaluation of Health Programs
Emerging Infections
Epidemiologic Inference in Outbreak Investigations
Ethics of Public Health Practice in Developing Countries
Ethnographic Fieldwork
Fundamentals of Budgeting and Financial Management*
Fundamentals of Program Evaluation
GDEC seminar (required)
Global Disease Control Programs and Policies (required)
Global Sustainability and Health Seminar
Global Tobacco Control
History of International Health and Development
History of Public Health
Infectious Diseases and Child Survival*
Intro to SAS Statistical Package
Introduction to Urban Health
Large-scale Effectiveness Evaluations of Health Programs
Nutrition in Disease Treatment and Prevention
Pandemics of the 20th Century
Poverty, Economic Development, and Heath
Professional Epi Methods I
Professional Epi Methods II
Project Development for Primary Health Care in Developing Countries
Public Health Practice*
Scientific Grant Writing
Spatial Analysis and GIS I
Statistical Methods for Sample Surveys
Statistical Methods in Public Health III (required)
Statistical Methods in Public Health IV (required)
Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis
Vaccine Policy Issues

*Classes noted in bold are required, while those in italics meet some other requirements (I have to choose one from a cluster of courses on a subject area — it’s a bit too complicated to explain here).

Obviously I’ll have to narrow it down a bit more. While I would probably enjoy most everything on the list, my strategy is to concentrate on coursework in epidemiology, biostatistics, and statistical software (we use Stata in the required biostatistics series, and I would also like to be familiar with SAS and ArcGIS). Then I’ll prioritize courses that provide additional skills in program evaluation and trial design and execution. If I have time left in my schedule I’ll get to take the other things — but it looks like I would need to go back for a second plate at the buffet to be able to take even half of these.

(If you’re a prospective student and want to browse for yourself, the JHSPH course search feature is here).

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12 2010

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