University Catalog 2021-2022

Social, Behavioral and Population Sciences (SBPS)

Social, Behavioral and Population Sciences (SBPS)

SBPS 6030  Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health  (3)  

This course covers the behavioral,social,and cultural aspects of health and disease. Students identify how behavioral and social theories across levels of the social ecological model are relevant to social and behavioral health issues and interventions. Central to the learning experience is a comprehensive course project, where students conduct an evidence-based literature review, and apply theory to inform interventions to improve health.

SBPS 6260  Violence Prevention Studio Sem  (1)  

This course is designed to create an interactive and unique learning environment for students, community partners, and Violence Prevention Institute faculty through strengthening the partnerships between academic institutions and community organizations focused on preventing violence as well as mitigating the negative effects of various forms of violence. Seminars will include presentations by community partners and faculty from the Violence Prevention Institute. Community partners will speak about the violence prevention programs and strategies utilized by their organizations. Seminars will also include presentations by Violence Prevention Institute faculty focused on empirical approaches and competencies necessary for effective academic and community partnerships seeking to address the complex issues related to violence.

SBPS 6340  M&E of Health Programs  (3)  

This course provides students with an introduction to monitoring and evaluation, a widely valued set of skills in public health program, in both the domestic and international contexts. The course content includes rationales for evaluation; the political, organizational, theoretical aspects of evaluation; and methods for implementing a sound evaluation Students will gain practical experience in translating concepts into the development of an evaluation plan for actual programs.  

Prerequisite(s): SPHL 6080.


This course covers child health and development addressing important health issues in each stage of childhood including the biologic, genetic, psychosocial, and environmental influences upon those issues, the medical aspects of their management and most importantly, fundamental public health interventions to address them. Population based approaches working to address disparities in the maintenance of health and access to primary and secondary care of children will be presented with a focus on children with special health care needs, children within immigrant families, children with developmental and psycho-social challenges, and other groups of children who carry a disproportionate burden of disease.

SBPS 6500  Violence as a PH Problem  (3)  

This introductory elective course is a designed to give an overview of the problem of violence as viewed from a public health perspective. We will look at the epidemiology of violence (scope, causes, risk factors, and consequences) alongside public health approaches to the problem. The course aims to balance a review of the problem with ideas and evidence for solutions. Local academic and community leaders in the field will lend their expertise to help students understand and address violence as a public health problem. Students will have opportunities to build skills through violence prevention training, critical analysis of media and film, and final course projects analyzing major violence-related topics

SBPS 6700  Social Innovation Tools for Public Health Professionals  (3)  

This course offers students a toolkit of skills for complex systems thinking, systems-led leadership, and human-centered design (HCD) to prepare graduates to address complex societal problems such as climate change, violence, and poor access to health. Students learn how to map systems, identify entry-points, reframe messy problems into smaller “challenges”,and address them in human-centered, creative, collaborative ways with stakeholders. Training in design thinking is offered via hands-on workshops, complemented by a theoretical framing of design for public good. Examples are drawn from public health, education, and sustainability; they span domestic, international, and global contexts. Students must participate in the Fast 48 workshop at an additional fee.

SBPS 6780  Nurition in Low and Middle Income Countries  (3)  

The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the current public health nutrition-related issues affecting low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including the co-existence of under and over nutrition (i.e., double burden of malnutrition), infant feeding behaviors, iron-deficiency anemia and other relevant micronutrient deficiencies, food insecurity and the impact of climate change on diets. Students will learn about the biological, social, and environmental factors influencing these issues as well as the nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive policies designed to address them.


This course is designed to deepen the students’ understanding of public health practice and use of policy to improve population health. There is a strong focus on governmental public health services delivered by federal, state, and local government, along with the services and organization of non-profits that are involved in the delivery of public health services. Students will actively engage in simulations of those roles through real world case studies, team projects, scenarios, and exposure to prominent individuals working and practicing in the field of public health and policy. Students will develop skills related to policy development and advocacy and integration of public health practice, policy development and integration with the clinical sector.

SBPS 7200  Development Issues, Theory, & Measurement  (3)  

This course reviews major theories and debates about social, human, and economic development in the developing world. The course covers: economic growth, modernization, neoliberalism, sustainable development, human development /capabilities approach, human rights, and Marxian theory/dependency schools. The course also reviews critical perspectives: post-structuralism, post-colonialism, feminist theories, complexity and dynamic systems, and social innovation. Ethnographic case studies of development and global health projects reveals how assumptions and practices translate in to real-life “development” projects that can fail to address key issues and cause unintended outcomes. The readings invite us to think differently about knowledge, evidence, culture, participation, globalization, and sustainability; we consider the role of foreign aid and relevant development actors.

SBPS 7250  Evidence-Based Research Methods in Social and Behavioral Sciences  (3)  

Research methods are at the center of our approach to knowledge and understanding in public health. Theories are supported by empirical evidence. This class provides an introduction to this way of thinking, i.e., into methodology or the “science of finding out.” The purpose of this course is to train students in how to collect and analyze data on social and behavioral phenomena in a rigorous and scientific manner. This knowledge requires an understanding of three different components: 1) inquiry and research design, 2) data collection, and 3) data analysis.

SBPS 7510  Maternal Child Health: The Life Course Perspective  (3)  

This course students addresses a life course perspective to approach important issues of public health. Basic principles of human development, from preconception to end of life, are explored and examined through the conceptual framework provided by life course theory. Students will learn about the mechanisms, timing and dynamics of health as a developmental process, which can inform development of early interventions. The course will build upon ecological and transactional models of Life Span Development and introduce the rapidly expanding evidence base for life course theory. In addition to providing a conceptual framework for understanding public health issues, the course will illustrate the application of this framework to gain practical insight into maternal and child health.

Prerequisite(s): GCHB 6030 and 6610.

SBPS 7950  Dietetic Internship I  (6)  

Supervised practice for dietetic intern students with DPD Verification statements. Experiences are provided in food service management, medical nutrition therapy, and community nutrition at various facilities in southeast Louisiana.

SBPS 7960  Dietetic Internship II  (6)  

Supervised practice for dietetic intern students with DPD Verification statements. Experiences are provided in food service management, medical nutrition therapy, and community nutrition at various facilities in Southeast Louisiana. Course may be repeated 3 times for credit. Prerequisite(s): GCHB 7950 or CHSC 7950.

Prerequisite(s): GCHB 7950 or CHSC 7950.

Course Limit: 3

SBPS 7980  Professional Practice Seminar  (1)  

Thisis a capstonecourse, all elements of which are designed to integrate and synthesize competencies in nutrition. As such, it is approved in its entirety as an Integrated Learning Experience for students in the MPH Nutrition Program. Specifically, it willenhance Nutrition Program or Foundational competencies, such as those inprogramming, evaluation, policy advocacy, communication, team building, ethics,cultural-competence, leadership, and professional development that students have developed throughout the program. Students will describe the challenges they face in the workplace either in their Applied Practice Experience or in another professional setting. They will develop solutions to these challenges in a team-building environment.Students will also learn about professional employment, continuing education,professional associations, and employment resources throughout the field of public health nutrition

SBPS 7990  Independent Study  (1-3)  

SBPS 8200  Evaluation Theory  (3)  

Evaluation theory provides the conceptual framework for assessing the effectiveness of evaluation practice. This course presents theories of evaluation, and the theoretical assumptions that underlie evaluation organized around the five components that Shadish,Cook, and Leviton consider to be important to evaluation theory: theories of knowledge, value, use, social programming and practice. While the course begins with a review of evaluation methods and data sources, the seminar focuses on the key figures in the field and exemplary evaluation designs and uses.This is an active learning course applying evaluationprinciples. Students will be required to participate actively through preparing seminar papers and participating in class discussions.

Prerequisite(s): SPHL 6080 and GCHB 6340.

SBPS 8750  Social Determinants of Health I: Theory  (3)  

This course delves into the broad area of social determinants of health from a theoretical perspective. It is geared towards doctoral students, with an emphasis on preparing students to conduct theory-driven research in the social determinants of health. The two overarching goals for the course are for students (1) to develop knowledge about the etiology and theoretical underpinnings of social determinants of health, and (2) to develop skills in crafting a compelling, theory-based rationale for a proposed research study on one social determinant of health. These goals are accomplished through readings, class discussion, two presentations, and a culminating paper. Individual mentorship is also provided to students as they develop their ideas.

Prerequisite(s): GCHB 6030 and SPHL 6080.

SBPS 8760  Social Epidemiology/Social Determinants of Health II  (3)  

The goal of this course is to prepare students for practical applied research on the social determinants of health. The first half of the course will focus on: 1) measurement of key constructs such as inequality and racism and 2) common study designs such as multilevel and natural experiments. The second half of the course will focus on: 1) common biases and limitations to social determinants research and methods used to address limitations, and 2) analytic strategies and interpretation, including linear and non-linear multilevel regression. By the completion of the course, the student will have the skills necessary to design, analyze and present data from a range of studies that consider social determinants of health.

Prerequisite(s): SPHL 6050 and 6060 and (EPID 7120 or GCHB 8250).

SBPS 8820  Advanced Program Planning and Grant Writing for Research  (3)  

This is a “skills” course the purpose of which is to guide students through the process of planning, developing and evaluating the major components of a research proposal. Students will develop the skills needed to write a successful research grant proposal focused on a significant public health topic. They will identify an idea for a prevention research project (behavior change, environmental change or policy change). They will plan, develop and write the major sections of the proposal. The instructor will guide the students through the grant writing process, help them to plan and develop their ideas, provide personal tutorials as needed, and provide individual feedback and support

SBPS 8990  Independent Study  (1-3)  

SBPS 9970  Dissertation  (0)  

SBPS 9990  Dissertation Research  (2)