Course Descriptions

For up-to-date information on courses offered in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics program, please check the University at Albany's course listing.

Courses in Epidemiology

Epi 501 (Ant 516) Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I (3)

Introduction to epidemiology for students majoring in any aspect of public health; covers the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation including describing the patterns of illness in populations and research designs for investigating the etiology of disease.  Introduces quantitative measures to determine risk, association and procedures for standardization of rates.

Epi 502 (Ant 517) Principles and Methods of Epidemiology II (3)

Application of basic principles and methods (as covered in Epi 501 and Sta 552) in the design and conduct of epidemiologic studies.  Topics include the development of research questions; overview of epidemiologic study designs; sampling, sample size, and selection bias; techniques for data collection, sources of secondary data and the evaluation of measurement and information bias; confounding and effect modification; techniques for simple and stratified analyses; and an introduction to mathematical modeling in epidemiology.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552 or their equivalents.

Epi 503 (HPM 503) Principles of Public Health (3)

This course introduces the students to the basic principles of public health and their application to the development of activities that benefit the health status of populations.  The skills of epidemiology, biostatistics, health care planning and policy development, health care administration and community organization are applied to the assessment of public health needs and the development of prevention and control initiatives.
Prerequisites: None

Epi 512 Topics in Infectious Disease Epidemiology (1-3)

Selected topics in the area of infectious disease control.  When the course is offered, credit hours will be announced by the department in advance of preregistration.  This course is not acceptable for the satisfaction of core requirements for graduate degree students, unless the student’s advisor determines special circumstances.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor (course in biology and introductory epidemiology is helpful).

EPI 514 Computer Programming for Data Management and Analysis in Public Health (3)

The course covers a major statistical computer program (e.g. SAS) used for the management, analysis and reporting of public health data.  Topics include, how to access data stored in a variety of formats; techniques for identifying errors and outliers in data sets; combining data from multiple sources into a single data file; calculating statistical and epidemiologic measures; and report writing.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552 or their equivalents.

EPI 560 Participatory Action Research (3)

The course covers theory,  methods and practice of Participatory Action Research (PAR).  PAR may be used in various community, workplace and other organizational settings for identifying collective social problems, negotiating, implementing and evaluating possible solutions.  Issues of power in social change; principles of social equity and democracy; political implications of the conduct and products of science; questions of scientific validity; forming and sustaining partnerships between community organizations, universities, unions, not-for-profit and for-profit businesses will be discussed.  Various applications and case studies including public health, education, social welfare, environment/ecology, community planning, labor and business development will be discussed.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor.

Epi 601 General Topics in Epidemiologic Methods (3)

Examination of recent ideas and unresolved controversies regarding fundamental principles of epidemiologic measures and study design.  Topics include causality, epidemiologic measures, standardization, interaction between causes, matching, and the basis for improving the validity and precision of epidemiologic research.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, 502, Sta 552 and Sta 553.

EPI 602 Master’s Seminar in Epidemiology (1)

A seminar in which the knowledge and skills acquired during the master’s program are integrated in the examination of a single, semester-long topic.  Historical, biological and public health policy perspectives are included with discussion of epidemiologic issues.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, 502, Sta 552, 553.

EPI 604 Cancer Epidemiology (3)

Review of concepts and methodological issues central to the conduct of epidemiologic studies of cancer etiology and control.  Overview of the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, the role of experimental studies in assessing human risk, the classification and nomenclature of human cancer and the morphology, natural history and etiologic importance of precursor lesions.  Application of descriptive and analytic epidemiologic methods to studies of cancer etiology will be illustrated through in-depth reviews of specific forms of neoplasia: leukemias, lymphomas, melanomas and malignant neoplasms of the breast, respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive, urinary and nervous systems.  Discussion of the role of epidemiology in cancer control, including the behavioral and regulatory aspects of cancer control and fundamental issues in cancer screening.
Prerequisites: Epi 501.

EPI 605 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)

This course reviews infectious disease principles and the use of epidemiologic methods in the assessment of selected communicable diseases of national and international importance.  Emphasis will also be given to methods of transmission, the role of surveillance and methods of control and prevention.  Specific disease examples to be covered will include: tuberculosis, legionellosis, measles, Lyme disease and syphilis with examples of nosocomial foodborne and enteric infections.  Case studies and literature examples will be used extensively to give students an appreciation for the application of epidemiologic principles to this field.
Prerequisites: None, previous course in biology and introductory epidemiology is useful.

EPI 609 Reproductive Epidemiology (3)

An overview by clinical and non-clinical faculty of the pertinent physiological mechanisms of pregnancy and fetal growth which are critical to the understanding of epidemiological methods used to investigate adverse reproductive outcomes and normal pregnancies.  Discussion of unique qualities of circumstances surrounding fertility, conception, pregnancy and its outcome in detail to show their peculiar suitability for epidemiological investigation.  Exposure through actual case histories and population studies to methods used to investigate problems relevant to perinatal morbidity and mortality, maternal mortality, spontaneous and induced abortion, hypertension and infections of pregnancy and the etiology of congenital malformations.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552.

EPI 610 AIDS Epidemiology (3)

Students will learn to apply the basic principles and methods of epidemiology to the investigation and control of the AIDS epidemic.  Epidemiologists, prevention program managers and policy makers actually involved in the development and implementation of control strategy in New York State will provide a learning experience involving classroom lectures, and student-initiated research projects and presentations.  Major issues explored will include surveillance, clinical manifestations of AIDS, modes of transmission, implications for the health care system, control measures and the ethical dilemmas associated with managing the AIDS epidemic.
Prerequisites: Epi 501 and college level biology course, or permission of instructor.

EPI 611 Controversies in Epidemiology (3) 

The course focuses on current controversies in epidemiology through a critical review of the literature.  Discussion will center on biologic plausibility, reasons for conflicting findings, strength of evidence and on methodological issues.  Topics may vary from year to year.  The course follows a seminar format and emphasis is placed on student participation.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, 502; Sta 552, 553 or Permission of instructor.

EPI 612 Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology (4)

Students will learn the epidemiologic application of concepts introduced in STA 552 and 553.  Topics include simple and stratified analyses of cross-sectional, case-control, cumulative follow-up and density follow-up studies; assessment of confounding and interaction; matching in epidemiologic studies; theoretical considerations, analysis strategies and applications in linear and logistic regression.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, 502 or equivalent, Sta 552, 553 or equivalent; Epi 601 is recommended.

EPI 613 Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (3)

Compare and contrast the methods used in occupational epidemiology with those used in environmental epidemiology.  Review of the health risks of physical/chemical agents in air, water and soil.  Topics to be covered: studies of mortality including retrospective cohort studies, proportional studies and case-control studies within a cohort; studies of morbidity including case reports, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies and cohort studies; and surveys of the health status of persons including exposure-based surveillance of populations and diseased-based surveillance of diagnosed populations.  Special emphasis will be placed on data sources, measurement of exposure, confounding, bias and measurement outcome.  Uses of epidemiology in risk assessment and risk management (public health intervention) will also be presented with focus on some current New York State examples.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552.

EPI 615 Hospital Epidemiology (3)

This course provides an overview of the history of hospital epidemiology, methods of surveillance, risk factors for infection, control measures and impact of infections in health care facilities.  Host, agent and environmental factors will be explored in the laboratory, hospital (Albany Medical Center), and through classroom lectured and directed readings.  Students will learn to apply the basic principles of public health and epidemiology to the problem of infections acquired.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552.

EPI 616 Social Class, Race and Culture in Epidemiology (3) 

The course covers the theoretical basis and the historical development of social class and race constructs.  Sources of available data and the way in which typical indicators of social class and race are defined and analyzes will be presented.  Observed relationships of a range of health outcomes with social class and race in epidemiology will be presented and critically evaluated.  Social and public health implications of different approaches and interpretations are discussed.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552

EPI 617 Public Health Informatics (3)

This course provides students with a basic working knowledge of the core competencies, concepts and practices of PHI. It is intended to act as foundational learning platform to allow the student to understand the principles, tools, methodologies, data sources, terminologies, and policy issues related to the application of PHI to practical problems in Public Health Practice and population health. The course offers the student exposure to both established principles as well as new and emerging trends in public health informatics and health information technology. The goal of this course is for the student to understand the value of PHI in improving the practice of public health through the effective development, management, governance and use of health information systems, data, technology, and projects.

EPI 619 Epidemiology of Diabetes (3)

The following topics are addressed: 1) biology of glucose regulation, types of diabetes and complications; diagnostic criteria/ screening; care and management; 2) epidemiology of diabetes prevalence/incidence/ mortality, complications, risk factors; 3) diabetes prevention issues including measurements of obesity and physical activity; types of interventions and evaluation designs; cultural issues.  Critical thinking regarding study designs, measurements, bias and results is reinforced through reading and discussions of epidemiology studies.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552.

EPI 620 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases (3)

The following topics are addressed 1) biology/pathology of cardiovascular diseases (CVD); diagnosis and misclassification of CVD in mortality data, hospital discharge data and community studies; 2) descriptive epidemiology of coronary heart disease and stroke, including trends and geographic distributions; 3) overview of CVD; 4) descriptive epidemiology of CVD, social class and race; discussion of mechanisms; 5) epidemiology multi-risk factor studies and current community studies; discussion of high risk vs. population approaches to prevention of cardiovascular diseases.  Critical thinking regarding study designs, measurements, bias and results is reinforced through reading and discussions of epidemiology studies.
Prerequisites: Epi 501, Sta 552.

EPI 621  Geographic Information Systems and Public Health (3)

This course covers the basics of geographic information systems (GIS) as applied toward epidemiologic research and surveillance. GIS software functionality, geocoding, use of global positioning systems (GPS), sources of data and spatial statistical methods are among the topics covered.

EPI 624  Genetic Epidemiology (3)

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of genetic epidemiology. The goal of genetic epidemiology is to identify genetic mechanisms and gene-environment interactions involved in the etiology of complex diseases and phenotypes. An in-depth discussion of designs and methodologies involved in conducting both family-based and population-based genetic epidemiologic studies will be offered. An overview of the currently available software for genetic epidemiologic analyses will be given. The lecture material will be supplemented with discussions of published studies and examples using real and simulated data if possible.
Pre-requisites:  Epi 501, Epi 552 and a basic understanding of molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry.

EPI 625 Zoonoses Epidemiology (3)

An overview of zoonotic infectious diseases (those diseases in common between animals and humans); including rabies, potential bioterrorist agents (anthrax, plague, Q fever, tularemia), newly emerging diseases (West Nile virus, leishmaniasis, vCJD), vector-borne diseases (lyme disease), and diseases with zoonotic potential (foot and mouth disease, chronic wasting disease); addressing the epidemiologic, field, and laboratory methods of investigation; and assessment of surveillance, prevention, control and treatment including relative cost/benefit of various approaches.
Prerequisites: None

EPI 631 Advanced Seminar in Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research Methods (3)

Selected topics in the area of infectious disease control.  When the course is offered, the department will announce the credit hours in advance of preregistration.  This course is not acceptable for the satisfaction of core requirements for graduate degree students, unless the student’s advisor determines special circumstances.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

EPI 690 Field Placement (1-3)

Students are required to complete a field placement during which the student works closely with a mentor on an epidemiological project. 
Prerequisites: Permission of advisor.

EPI 694 Directed Readings in Epidemiology (2-6)

Projects in selected areas of epidemiology at the graduate level and under the supervision of a faculty member.  A final written report is required.  May be repeated once when topics differ for a total of 6 credits.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

EPI 697 Independent Study and Research (2-6)

Independent study and research in selected areas of epidemiology at the graduate level and under the supervision of a faculty member.  A final written report is required.  May be repeated once when the topics differ for a total of 6 credits.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

EPI 699 Master’s Thesis in Epidemiology (2-6)

Research leading to an acceptable thesis for the master’s degree in epidemiology.  The research must include data analysis and interpretation.
Prerequisites: Permission of thesis advisor.
 

EPI 897 Independent Study and Research (2-6)

Independent study and research in selected areas of epidemiology at the graduate level and under the supervision of a faculty member.  A final written report is required.  May be repeated one when the topics differ for a total of 6 credits.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

EPI 899 Doctoral Dissertation (1-12)

Required for all Ph.D. students.
Prerequisites: Permission of dissertation advisor.