College of Public Health Catalog 2013/2014

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Degree: Master of Science in Public Health
Program (Major/College):
Concentration: Global Communicable Diseases (Code: PGD)        
COPH Department: Global Health
Minimum Credit Hours:

MSPH with a Concentration in Global Communicable Diseases

The MSPH program is designed for students who seek a more individualized, research-oriented program than that provided by the MPH degree.  This program provides an intense research and technical program of study for science-oriented students with an interest in communicable diseases.  Individualized courses of study are determined for students with the cooperation of an advisory committee, which allows students to receive specialized training in the recognition, identification, diagnosis, surveillance, control, and prevention of public health problems related to communicable diseases.  This degree program focuses on preparing students to fulfill leadership and research roles in solving or containing public health problems in communicable disease throughout the world with particular emphasis on the problems of Florida and underdeveloped nations.  Several course offerings and areas of emphasis in required courses have been added to this program recently regarding infection control to allow public health practitioners to expand their knowledge of infection control practices and procedures, particularly in hospital settings. The MSPH culminates with an independent thesis requirement which requires a substantial on-campus time commitment on the part of the student (20 hours per week). The thesis work involves extensive one on one interaction between the student, their thesis advisor and their thesis committee.  Preference for admission is given to students with a background or demonstrated skills in the biological sciences. Prerequisites may be required.

In addition to the overall Master of Science in Public Health degree competencies, Global Communicable Diseases graduates will be able to:

  1. Interpret  the natural history of disease-causing parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms of major public health concern, as well as the disease processes and clinical manifestations caused by those infectious organisms;
  2. Identify the appropriate diagnosis, epidemiology, surveillance, control, treatment and prevention of communicable diseases;
  3. Describe the natural human defenses, the appropriate use of diagnostic techniques and serological surveillance, and the role of preventive interventions and treatments such as vaccines and antibiotics against communicable diseases;
  4. Apply principles of immunology, molecular biology and other essential biological sciences disciplines in the laboratory settings for research and  the diagnosis, surveillance, control, treatment, and prevention of communicable diseases;
  5. Prepare and present information about communicable diseases to other members of health-related professions and to members of the public in a professional and effective manner;
  6. Explain factors such as biology, ecology and dynamics of arthropod vector populations that affect transmission of specific communicable diseases such as malaria and dengue;
  7. Recognize the roles of the laboratory in the Public Health system and have a thorough understanding of the complexity and inter-connectivity of all levels of laboratory services; and
  8. Analyze data collected through MSPH thesis studies, interpret the findings, and successfully defend an MSPH thesis.

Concentration Details


In addition to meeting the admission requirements for the Master of Science in Public Health degree, applicants should also meet these concentration prerequisites:

  • Public health course prerequisite:
    • HSC 4551 Survey of Human Diseases (3) OR
    • Equivalent education or work experience.
  • Suggested/preferred undergraduate majors: Biology, Zoology, Microbiology, Immunology
  • Prerequisite undergraduate courses: None; Suggested undergraduate courses include general chemistry with laboratory, biology or zoology with laboratory, microbiology with laboratory, biochemistry with laboratory, immunology
  • Work experience: None
  • Minimum undergrad GPA: 3.00
  • Verbal GRE minimum: 44th percentile
  • Quantitative GRE minimum: 39th percentile
  • Other criteria: International applicants: TOEFL of 550 for paper-based instrument or 213 for computer-based instrument
  • Substitutions: Applicants may substitute an MCAT mean score of 8 for the required GRE Scores

Special Admission Requirements

  • Preference for admission is given to students with a background or demonstrated skills in the biological sciences. Prerequisites may be required.
  • Previous research experience would be advantageous
  • A short statement (250 words or less) of research interest is required

Curriculum Information 

Suggested Concentration Courses

  • PHC 6002 Infectious Disease Epidemiology  
  • PHC 6251 Disease Surveillance and Monitoring
  • PHC 6314 Infection Control Program Design
  • PHC 6510 Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • PHC 6511 Public Health Immunology
  • PHC 6512 Vectors of Human Diseases
  • PHC 6513 Public Health Parasitology
  • PHC 6514 Infectious Disease Control in Developing Countries  
  • PHC 6517 Infectious Disease Prevention Strategies
  • PHC 6562 Microbiology for Healthcare workers
  • PHC 6930 Public health Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • PHC 6934 HIV in Public Health  
  • PHC 6934 Intermediate Infectious Disease Epidemiology  
  • PHC 6934 Food Safety  
  • PHC 6037 Public Health Virology (new course number approved SCNS 5/5/12)
  • PHC 7931 Adv Interdisciplinary Seminar in PH: Global Health Infectious Disease Research

Download Program Check Sheet

Program Coursework





College Core Courses




PHC 6000





PHC 6050

Biostatistics I




   Select one from the following




PHC 6102

Principles of Health Policy and Management




PHC 6357

Environmental and Occupational Health




PHC 6410

Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health




Core Total Hours




Research Methods Courses




PHC 6051

Biostatistics II



PHC 6000, 6050 or CI

PHC 6561

Laboratory Techniques in Public Health




PHC 6722Loboratory Rotations in Global Health Research  3 2CI

Research Methods Courses Total Hours




Suggested Concentration Courses (See examples on concentration definition)




Concentration Courses Total Hours




Culminating Experience




PHC 6971

Thesis 3





Comprehensive Exam (2 credit hour enrollment required, no credit) or

PHC 6936 Public Health Capstone (3 credit hours)





Culminating Experience minimum Hours




 *CH=Credit Hours; Seq= Term Sequence; Pre-reqs= prerequisite courses unless noted as CR (co-requisite) or CC (Concurrent requisite)

  1. Any grade below a C (C- to F) is required to be retaken.  The grade will be included in the student's GPA.
  2. The College Reserves All Rights to Repeal And/or Modify.
  3. You must identify thesis project and advisor by end of year 1.
  4. Sequence based on Fall semester start
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