Skip to main content

Principles of Epidemiology

June 14 - July 2, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
5 credits

Course Number: 340.601.11

This summer this course will be taught online via Zoom, on the dates and times listed above. Registered students will attend their classes virtually via Zoom, in real time with faculty and other students.

Course Instructors: 


Introduces principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation of infectious and noninfectious diseases. Illustrates methods by which studies of the distribution and dynamic behavior of disease in a population can contribute to an understanding of etiologic factors, modes of transmission, and pathogenesis. Presents different types of study design, including randomized trials, case-control and cohort studies, risk estimation and causal inferences. Demonstrates the relationship between epidemiology and the development of policy. Laboratory problems provide experience in epidemiologic methods and inferences, illustrating a common-vehicle epidemic; the spread of infectious disease in school, home, and community; epidemiological aspects of a noninfectious disease; vaccination; the epidemiological approach to health services evaluation; rates of morbidity and mortality; sensitivity and specificity; and life table methods. No auditors permitted.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe basic epidemiologic methods and study design
  2. Critically review published epidemiologic papers and assess the validity of their design and their inferences
  3. Explain the role of epidemiologic methods in uncovering the etiology of disease and other health states in order to prevent disease and improve health
  4. Identify the place of epidemiology in outbreak investigation and surveillance
  5. Explain how epidemiologic methods are used in evaluating screening programs and health interventions, and in the development of health policy

Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 33% Midterm
  • 67% Final Exam

Grading Options: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail

Special Comments: Labs meet Monday through Friday and one Saturday (6/19). You will be assigned a lab room.

Course Materials:

Required textbook: Epidemiology (5th edition) by L. Gordis (2013) (available from Matthews Johns Hopkins Medical Book Center and also; approx. cost $52.95)