Public Health Modeling Concentration

Virginia Pitzer, Sc.D., Director
Daniel Weinberger, Ph.D., Director

Students in the traditional two-year M.P.H. program may complete this concentration while they satisfy the requirements of their respective departments or programs.

The Public Health Modeling Concentration (PHMC) provides rigorous training in systems thinking: the explicit portrayal of real-world processes—their “physics,” their interactions, and their dynamics—that leave populations vulnerable to risk and disease. The concentration will train students to generate evidence about how those processes might behave under different specifications, with or without intervention. Modeling serves as a practical means of assembling the existing evidence base about mechanisms and conducting formal assessments in situations where financial, logistical, temporal, and/or ethical obstacles may conspire against the implementation and study of those mechanisms in real life.

Concentration Requirements

EPH 521Summer Internship - APE0
EPH 580Seminar for Modeling in Public Health 20
EPH 581Seminar for Modeling in Public Health 20
Two of the following:
BIS 567Bayesian Statistics1
EMD 538Quantitative Methods for Infectious Disease Epidemiology1
EMD 539Introduction to the Analysis and Interpretation of Public Health Surveillance Data1
EMD 553Transmission Dynamic Models for Understanding Infectious Diseases1
HPM 570Cost-Effectiveness Analysis and Decision-Making1
HPM 573Advanced Topics in Modeling Health Care Decisions1
S&DS 538Probability and Statistics1
Two additional electives courses chosen from a preapproved list or by approval of the concentration committee 12


Each student in the Public Health Modeling Concentration will master the core curriculum competencies and the competencies for the student’s department/program. In addition, upon receiving an M.P.H. degree in the Public Health Modeling Concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Identify questions in public health policy and practice that may be amenable to model-based approaches
  • Demonstrate that modeling is advantageous in describing the processes that drive transmission and control of infectious diseases
  • Apply stochastic and deterministic modeling approaches, including computational methods for simulation and data analysis
  • Review, critique, and interpret the findings of model-based public health research and peer-reviewed literature
  • Implement computer code to numerically analyze the behavior of models