Course:                 HEA 602—Epidemiology

Academic Credit:   3 credit hours

Prerequisites:         None

For Whom:           Required for Public Health Education majors; all other UNCG grad students welcome

Class Day/Time :   Tuesdays 6:00-8:50 p.m.

Venue:                   HHP Bldg. Room 347



Instructor:             Mark R. Schulz, Assistant Professor

Campus Office:     HHP Rm. 437B

Office Hours:        Tuesdays 4:30-5:30pm, Thursdays 9:30-10:30am & by appointment

Online Office

Hours                    Mondays 4:45-5:45pm

Office Phone:        (336) 334-5517

Fax:                      (336) 334-3238 (this is a HHP fax; faxes must include                                   my name in the subject)



Description:           Disease etiology and identification of risk factors, utilizing epidemiologic and biostatistical concepts and methods.  Application of epidemiology and biostatistics to assess the efficacy of community health programs.



At the completion of this course, students should be able to:

1)     Define epidemiology and discuss its role in community health education.

2)     Explain and demonstrate various types of epidemiologic study designs as well as their strengths and weaknesses relative to one another.

3)     Choose and use appropriate techniques for measuring health and disease in populations

4)     Judge, rate and appraise published epidemiologic studies.

5)     Employ basic epidemiologic concepts and measures to describe the nature of various health states.



1) Lecture

2) Class discussion

3) Problem solving & discussion in pairs and small groups

4) Student presentations



Student’s final grade will be based on,

·        A mid-term examination- Student Learning Outcomes 1-3 (30%).

·        A term paper reviewing the epidemiologic literature on a particular exposure-disease relationship- Student Learning Outcomes 3-5 (30%).

·        Presentation- a group presentation on your term paper topic- Student Learning Outcomes 3-5 (5%) 

·        Homework- each student will be required to complete three homework assignments- Student Learning Outcomes 1-3, 5.   (Each homework assignment will contribute 10% of the course grade for a total of 30%.)

·        Class/Group participation- Student Learning Outcomes 1-5 (5%).  I will base this on an evaluation of your class participation throughout the semester.

·        There will be an optional comprehensive final exam (if you take it you may substitute it for your midterm exam grade) - Student Learning Outcomes 1-3, 5.   


Grades will be assigned as follows:

>93%          = A

90-92%        = A-

87-89%        = B+

83-86%        = B

80-82%        = B-

77-79%        = C+

73-76%        = C

70-72%        = C-



·        The following textbook is required for this course: Gordis, Leon Epidemiology 3rd edition, Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders; 2004.

·        Please bring a calculator with you to each class.

·        Additional required material may be placed on reserve at the Jackson Library

·        The following text is recommended especially for students who think they may pursue epidemiology further: A Dictionary of Epidemiology, John Last. Oxford University Press.





1.       Course Overview, Some Epidemiologic Concepts,                     1/11



2.       Fundamental concepts in epidemiology                                      1/18

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapters 1 & 2

          Additional Preparatory Reading: The American Bicentennial: Swine

            Flu And Legionnaires’ Disease Laurie Garrett in The Coming Plague: newly

            Emerging diseases in a world out of balance.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New

            York. 1994.


3.       Measurement of disease frequency                                            1/25

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapter 3 &4

          Additional Preparatory Reading: Promoting safe walking and cycling

to improve public health: Lessons from The Netherlands and Germany
John Pucher, Lewis Dijkstra. American Journal of Public Health. Washington:

Sep 2003. Vol. 93, Iss. 9; p. 1509-16.


4.       Screening for Disease Conditions and Risk Factors , assessing   2/1

          validity and reliability of screening and diagnostic tests.

Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapter 5 

          Homework Assignment #1 Distributed


5.       Overview of Study Designs & ecologic and cross-sectional        2/8

          studies.  Informal evaluation of class; Provisional class

participation grades.                                              

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Gordis  pp.173-175, pp.204-206

          Homework Assignment #1 Due

          Additional Preparatory Reading: Urban sprawl as a risk factor in

motor vehicle occupant and pedestrian fatalities Reid Ewing, Richard A

Schieber, Charles V Zegeer. American Journal of Public Health. Washington:

Sep 2003. Vol. 93, Iss. 9; p. 1541-1545.


6.       Cohort Studies                                                                        2/15

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapters 9 and 13


7.       Measures of association, estimating risk and                              2/22

          estimating potential for prevention.

Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapters 11 & 12

          Homework Assignment #2 Distributed


8.       Case Control Studies                                                                2/28

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapter 10         


9.       SPRING BREAK -- NO CLASS                                            3/8


10.     Clinical and community trials                                                     3/15

          Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapters 7 & 8

          Homework Assignment #2 Due


11.     Concepts of bias in epidemiologic studies & review for              3/22

          Mid-term exam- Bring questions.

Preparatory Text Reading:  Ch. 10 pp.168-170,

Ch. 14 pp.224-228


12.     Mid-term exam                                                                       3/29


13.     Concepts of bias in epidemiologic studies, cont’d and               4/5


Preparatory Text Reading: Ch. 14 pp 228-239

Homework Assignment #3 Distributed


14.     Identifying roles of genetic and environmental factors in             4/12

          disease causation.

Preparatory Text Reading:  Chapters 16


15.     Student presentations                                                                4/19

          Homework Assignment #3 Due


16.     Student presentations, review, and evaluation                    4/26

          Term paper due

FINAL EXAMINATION - Tuesday, May 10; 6:00-9:00pm



Students are expected to obey the UNCG Honor Code.  Please see for an explanation.



Students are expected to attend ALL class meetings.  However, if you are absent from class, you are responsible for getting the notes.  Students are expected to begin class on time and stay for the full class period.  At the instructor’s discretion, assignments may be made up if there is an excused absence.  In the event that late assignments are accepted, the instructor may elect to impose a grade penalty.  All assignments must by typed.