Course Schedule & Course Descriptions

In their first two years, students in the Duke PhD in Population Health Sciences program take classes in population health, statistical methods and programming, research methods, and more. In the remaining years, students focus their efforts on their dissertation.

 

Year 1                       

Fall: 10 credits (14 with RCR training)

Spring: 7 credits (11 with RCR training)

ORIENTATION

(before classes)

SAS Programming Primer (2 full days)  
  POPHS 923: Principles of Health Measurement (3 credits) POPHS 901: Population Health Science Theories (3 credits)
  POPHS 905: Population Health Research Design and Systematic Literature Reviews POPHS 908: Population Health Sciences Professional Development II (1 credit)
  POPHS 907: Population Health Sciences Professional Development (1 credit) POPHS 921: Analytic Methods II: Causal Inference (3 credits)
  POPHS 920: Analytic Methods I: Study Design, Data, and Descriptive Analysis (3 credits) POPHS 910: Fundamentals of Qualitative Measurement
  BIOTRAIN 750: Introduction to RCR Concepts (1-day event during orientation prior to classes) (4 RCR credits) BIOTRAIN 751: The Responsible Scientist I (4 RCR credits)

 


Year 2                                        

Fall: 7 credits (9 if RCR training is taken this semester)

Spring: 4 credits (6 if RCR training is taken this semester)

  POPHS 913: Population Health Sciences Teaching Seminar (1 credit)  POPHS 914: Population Health Sciences Grant/Proposal Development (1 credit)
  POPHS 903: Analytic Methods for Population Health Sciences III: Advanced Regression Methods (3 credits) Elective (3 credits)
  Concentration-specified elective (3 credits) Comprehensive Exams

*BIOTRAIN 753 can be completed
during either year 2 or year 3*

BIOTRAIN 753: Data Management and Quality for Biomedical PhD Students (self-paced, online) (2 RCR credits)  

 

Year 3                

Fall: 3 credits                                                              

Spring: 3 credits                               

  Dissertation (3 credits)  Dissertation (3 credits) 

 

Year 4                                  

Fall: 3 credits                                                                                                               

Spring: 3 credits (7 if RCR training is taken this semester

  Dissertation (3 credits)  Dissertation (3 credits) 
    BIOTRAIN 754: The Responsible Scientist II (4 RCR credits)

 

Year 5 (if applicable)                  

Fall: 3 credits                                                                                                                                          

Spring: 3 credits                                                                                       

  Dissertation (3 credits) Dissertation (3 credits)
  2 RCR elective forums (2 RCR credit hours each)  

Core Course Descriptions

Please note: Course instructors and descriptions are subject to change. 

Year One

POPHS 923: Principles of Health Measurement 
Instructors: Theresa Coles & Christy Zigler
3 hours

This course covers the development and initial evaluation of clinical outcomes assessments (COAs). We will begin by reviewing the attributes of a quality COA and classical test theory and discuss modern validity theory. The primary focus of the course will be qualitative methods for COA development including concept elicitation, item generation/writing, cognitive testing, and coding. The course will also cover the COA development process from COA-specific literature reviews to determine if a new COA (or modifications) are needed to measure key concepts. 

POPHS 905: Population Health Research Design and Systematic Literature Review 
Instructor: Asheley Skinner
3 hours 

This course explores the nature and process of scientific inquiry in the field of population health. Specifically, the course will establish a foundation for methodically identifying, exploring, and evaluating literature relevant to students areas of research interest. 

POPHS 907: Population Health Sciences Professional Development I
Instructor: Hayden Bosworth
1 hour

The seminar will engage presenters from the Duke School of Medicine and University to address resources and professional development activities; leading multidisciplinary research teams, best practices for presenting and publishing research, career opportunities including building an academic CV and preparing for a career in population health.

POPHS 920: Analytic Methods I: Design, Data, and Descriptive Statistics 
Instructor: Emily O'Brien
3 hours

This course will address designing observational and interventional studies with attention to defining, identifying, and describing cohorts using a variety of data sources. This course will address forms of bias, right-censoring of data, and describing risks. Special emphasis will be placed on data originating from real-world settings, such as electronic health records and claim data.

POPHS 901: Population Health Science Theories & Evidence-Based Approaches
Instructor: Jennifer Gierisch
3 hours

This class will describe and discuss the theories and application of theories to address population health problems. This will include theories from multiple disciplines including health behavior and education, medicine, implementation, and related fields. Emphasis on research related to social determinants of health and strategies and techniques used by health professionals to improve the health of populations. 

POPHS 910: Fundamentals of Qualitative Methods
Instructor: Amy Corneli
3 hours

This course will prepare learners for serving as an investigator of qualitative research studies. Learners will gain competency in 1) designing qualitative research studies, with an emphasis on selecting appropriate methods and analytical approaches and developing question guides; 2) providing oversight during data collection and analysis; 3) writing up study findings for peer-reviewed publications. Learners will gain competency in 1) designing rigorous qualitative studies for grant applications, 2) developing qualitative research study protocols, 3) identifying study domains and writing experiential question guides, 4) overseeing data collection and data management, 5) providing technical guidance during data analysis planning and implementation, 6) writing up study findings after analysis, and 7) preparing peer-reviewed manuscripts. 

POPHS 908: Population Health Sciences Professional Development II
Instructor: Hayden Bosworth
1 hour

Following POPHS 907, this seminar will engage presenters from the Duke School of Medicine and University to address resources and professional development activities; leading multidisciplinary research teams, best practices for presenting and publishing research, career opportunities including building an academic CV, and preparing for a career in population health. 

POPHS 921: Analytic Methods II: Causal Inference 
Instructor: Alan Brookhart
3 hours

This course will consider drawing interference about causal effects in a variety of settings using the potential outcomes framework. Topics covered include casual interference in randomized experiments and observational studies, bounds and sensitivity analysis, propensity scores, graphical models, survival analysis, handling missing data, and other areas.