Course Work

Core Courses

Students must complete 12 Scholarly Concentration coursework units. Students undertaking both a Foundation Area and an Application Area complete 6 units in each.

PR students will complete two required foundational courses:

CHPR 228: Theoretical Foundations and Design of Behavioral Intervention Trials (Winter)

This course centers on the knowledge and skills, respect and thoughtful practice of designing health promotion interventions that are relevant, theoretically-informed, have broad impacts, and can endure. The course provides an in-depth review of intervention approaches for health promotion and disease prevention and covers the leading theories of behavior change. The class follows an integrative model to demonstrate similarities and differences between the theoretical approaches, seeking what is useful and worthwhile in each theoretical model rather than looking primarily for what is most easily criticized.

The course is intended to be practical in nature focusing on the specifics of needs assessments and intervention development and delivery and how these may vary across community settings, with diverse populations, addressing different behaviors, and leveraging traditional and emerging delivery channels. Intervention creation, delivery, effectiveness, and sustainability is carefully explored to identify and better understand the resources and other practical considerations necessary to produce, deliver, monitor, and disseminate an intervention with demonstrated effectiveness. Examples are drawn from across the behavioral spectrum and include tobacco control, physical activity, healthy diet, stress and distress, as well as consideration of the complexities of extending interventions to target multiple risk behaviors. Students develop a foundational understanding of behavior change theory, rigorous research methods, and creative design strategies to advance the health of individuals and communities.  Units: 3

CHPR 240: Prevention Research and Public Health: The Science of Healthy Living (Winter)

This course is a coordinated seminar series by each of the faculty of the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC) covering key (predominantly U.S.) health issues and preventive measures from prenatal health issues, through childhood and adolescence, to young to middle-aged, older and elderly adults, including large multi-center research projects, such as the Women’s Health Initiative. SPRC researchers focus on effective strategies for behavioral change in multiple risk factors, in particular smoking cessation, weight loss and maintenance, nutrition, and physical activity. Topics in this course include the value of “stealth interventions” to motivate behavior change (i.e., promoting personal values beyond individual health goals) and the use of innovative communication technology to enhance health promoting behaviors are introduced. Community-based interventions, worksite health, health policy research, and research methodology regarding study design to impact population health are emphasized. Finally, important principles of large dataset analysis (e.g., reproducibility, publication bias, and meta-analysis) to promote optimal health and disease prevention recommendations are presented. Units: 3

CHPR 260: Prevention Across Medical Disciplines: Evidence-based Guidelines (Winter)

Coordinated seminar series presenting evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention guidelines by research and clinical faculty of multiple divisions of Stanford's Department of Medicine, including cardiovascular medicine, oncology, nephrology, immunology and rheumatology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, gerontology and metabolism, gastroenterology and hepatology, hematology, blood and marrow transplantation, pulmonary and critical care medicine, general medical disciplines (including family medicine). Key prevention issues addressed in primary care and outcomes research, biomedical informatics research and the Stanford Prevention Research Center also presented. Enrollment priority given to CHPR Master's students. CHPR students must enroll for letter grade. Units: 3

CHPR 270: Prevention Across Surgical and Other Medical Disciplines (Spring)

This course is coordinated seminar series that presents evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention guidelines by clinical and translational research and population health science faculty of clinical departments other than Medicine (the focus of CHPR 260) of the Stanford School of Medicine, including; Anesthesiology & Perioperative, & Pain Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Surgery and Urology, CHPR master's program students must enroll for a letter grade and priority for enrollment will be given to current CHPR students. Units: 3

PR students may get approval from the Director to waive required foundational courses and take other pre-approved courses relevant to prevention research.

Pre-Approved Courses

CHPR 206: Meta-Research: Appraising Research Findings, Bias, and Meta-Analysis (Winter)

This course focuses on the appraisal of the quality and credibility of research findings and the evaluation of sources of bias. Meta-analysis as a quantitative (statistical) method for combining results of independent studies. Examples from medicine, epidemiology, genomics, ecology, social/behavioral sciences, and education. Collaborative analyses: project involving generation of a meta-research project or reworking and evaluation of an existing published meta-analysis. Prerequisite: knowledge of basic statistics. Units: 3

CHPR 213: Healthy/Sustainable Food Systems: Maximum Sustainability across Health, Economics, and Environment (Winter)

Discussion-based seminar. This course focuses on problems with and systems-based solutions to food system issues. Four particular settings are addressed: University, worksite, hospital, and school food. Traditional vs. disruptive food system models compared and contrasted. The goal is to determine how best to maximize sustainability across several dimensions, including health, economics, and the environment. Underlying class themes include social justice and the potential for changing social norms around food production and consumption. Units: 4

CHPR 223: Obesity in America: Clinical and Public Health Implications (Winter)

Interdisciplinary clinical, research, and policy approaches. The prevalence, predictors, and consequences of obesity and diabetes; biological and physiological mechanisms; clinical treatments including medications and surgery; and the relevance of behavioral, environmental, economic, and policy approaches to obesity prevention and control. Units: 3-4

CHPR 225: Role of Causal Inference, Study Design, & Outcomes in Community Research (Autumn)

This course focuses on the evaluation of community-based interventions. It provides foundational concepts as well as skills and tools for examining the impact of community-based chronic disease prevention interventions on health behaviors, health outcomes, health disparities, and potential for dissemination and implementation. Specifically, the course will cover: key frameworks that are important for examining effectiveness of chronic disease prevention interventions; study design for evaluation of community-based interventions with a focus on randomized controlled trials; patient/participant/stakeholder/community engagement best practices and methods for evaluation of these strategies; evaluation of evidence from community-based trials; and topics in implementation and dissemination of chronic disease prevention programs.  Units: 4

CHPR 226: Health Promotion Over the Lifecourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective (Autumn)

This course focuses on disease prevention and health promotion topics pertinent to different stages of the life span emphasizing healthy lifestyle and reducing risk factors in both individuals and communities. Focus is on scientific investigation, the application of behavioral science to risk reduction strategies, and the importance of health promotion as a social and economic imperative. Topics include: epidemiology of chronic diseases; social determinants of health, behavior change; obesity, nutrition, and stress; children, young adult, mid-life and aging health issues; health care delivery and public health system; workplace wellness programs; and other additional issues. Prerequisite: Human Biology core or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Units: 3

CHPR 231: Human Nutrition (Spring)

The study of food, and the nutrients and substances therein. Their action, interaction, and balance in relation to health and disease. Emphasis is on the biological, chemical, and physiological processes by which humans ingest, digest, absorb, transport, utilize, and excrete food. Dietary composition and individual choices are discussed in relationship to the food supply, and to population and cultural, race, ethnic, religious, and social economic diversity. The relationships between nutrition and disease; ethnic diets; vegetarianism; nutritional deficiencies; nutritional supplementation; phytochemicals. Units: 4

CHPR 247: Methods for Community Assessment, Evaluation, and Research (Spring)

This course focuses on the development of pragmatic skills for design, implementation, and analysis of structured interviews, focus groups, survey questionnaires, and field observations. Topics include: principles of community-based participatory research, including importance of dissemination; strengths and limitations of different study designs; validity and reliability; construction of interview and focus group questions; techniques for moderating focus groups; content analysis of qualitative data; survey questionnaire design; and interpretation of commonly-used statistical analyses. Units: 3

CHPR 254: Disease Control Systems: Epidemics, Outbreaks, & Modeling for Public Health (Autumn)

This course teaches quantitative skills in disease control epidemiology and the evaluation of health intervention outcomes. Students will engage in in-depth interdisciplinary study of disease detection and control strategies from a “systems science” perspective, which addresses classical public health dilemmas such as how to allocate limited resources, investigate disease outbreaks, and analyze common problems at the intersection of social policy, prevention science, and public health. Prerequisites: a course in probability and statistics, and a course in multivariable calculus including ordinary differential equations. Units: 4

CHPR 255: The Responsible Conduct of Research for Clinical & Community Researchers (Autumn, Spring)

This course delves into topics of key relevance to patient-oriented research and community-health research. Its topics include: clinical research versus clinical care; protecting human subjects; financial and non-financial conflicts of interest; reporting research results and incidental findings; human biological materials; community consent and recruitment from communities; and ethical issues in clinical trials, especially placebo versus active control trials. Units: 1

CHPR 260: Prevention Across Medical Disciplines (Spring)

This course is a coordinated seminar series that presents evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention guidelines by research and clinical faculty including: cardiovascular medicine; oncology; nephrology; immunology and rheumatology; infectious diseases; endocrinology, gerontology and metabolism; gastroenterology and hepatology; hematology; blood and marrow transplantation; pulmonary and critical care medicine; general medical disciplines (including family medicine); as well key prevention issues addressed in primary care and outcomes research; biomedical informatics research; and the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Units: 3

CHPR 290: Advanced Statistical Methods for Observational Studies (Spring)

In this course students learn to identify key statistical issues in observational studies and methods and study designs to address issues of confounding. Topics include advanced statistical methods for observational studies: methods for missing data, matching-based inference, sensitivity analysis, propensity score methods, instrumental variables, directed acyclic graphs, and marginal structural models. Students learn how to perform detailed data analyses on a variety of data using the statistical computation environment R. Units: 2-3

CHPR 298: Directed Reading (Autumn – Summer)

Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Units: 3-5