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Program Structure and Courses

Program Structure and Courses

Program Structure

Certificate courses are taught by faculty from the highly-ranked UIC School of Public Health and practicing professionals from health departments and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our online courses promote student and faculty interaction through online discussion groups and the use of virtual collaboration sessions. Course objectives are assessed by participation in discussion, quizzes and assignments.

Following are the requirements for the PHGIS certificate program:

  • HPA 465 - Health Information and Decision Support Systems (4 hours)
  • EOHS 475 - Environmental Database Design and Analysis (4 hours)
  • HPA/EOHS 564 - GIS Application in Public Health (3 hours)
  • HPA 455 - Geographic Information Systems Integrative Project (2 hours)

Each student will receive graduate credit for the courses successfully completed. Students may transfer all credits earned in the certificate program towards the fulfillment of Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Public Health (MS), in the event they apply and are admitted as degree candidates.

Duration 
To earn the Public Health GIS certificate, students must complete three graduate-level core courses and an integrative project for a total of 13 credit hours. The certificate can be earned in as few as three semesters.

Course Descriptions

HPA 465 - Health Information and Decision Support Systems I Sample Syllabus - (HPA-465)
4 hours. This course serves as the basic introductory course for the PHGIS certificate program. It provides a general coverage of principles and practice of public health informatics. It introduces students to the fundamentals of information systems development and management with particular references to Health Data Standards, Laboratory Information Systems, Electronic Health Records, Health Alerts and Monitoring Systems, Disease Registries, Health Information Exchanges, National Electronic Disease Surveillance System and Public Health Information Network.

HPA 480/EOHS 475 - Environmental Database Design and Analysis I Sample Syllabus - (HPA-480-EOHS-475)
4 hours. This course introduces students to the design and analysis of relational and spatial environmental health databases. Throughout the course emphasis is given to the fundamental principles of sound database design from the viewpoint of a database design architect.
Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

HPA/EOHS 564 - Geographic Information System Application in Public Health I Sample Syllabus - (HPA-EOHS-564)
3 hours. This course will serve as the “core” course of the certificate aiming to promote a critical understanding of the major practices and techniques associated with GIS in the many applications areas found in public health. The commonly used software, ArcGIS, will be used to provide practical knowledge of GIS-related sources, databases and develop an appreciation for the issues and limitations related to the use of GIS. 
Prerequisite(s): BSTT 400, HPA 465 and consent of the instructor.

HPA 455 - Geographic Information Systems Integrative Project
2 hours. The objective of the integrative project is to demonstrate the ability to integrate course materials with the practical application of GIS techniques to a project, like those encountered by public health agencies. It is vital that students are able to confidently compile data, create geo-coded variables from scratch, process and apply GIS to analyze and visualize options that can lead to optimum decisions.

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