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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jack Goldberg
EPI 420
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Epidemiology

For the undergraduate student wishing to devote only one quarter to a course in epidemiologic methods. Description of ways in which variation in disease occurrence is documented and how that variation is studied to understand causes of disease. Offered: WSp.

Class description

This course is a basic introduction to epidemiology. The uses of descriptive and analytic epidemiology are presented. Key concepts include: classification of disease, definitions of incidence and prevalence, uses of rates, rate adjustment, outbreak investigation, study design, cohort studies, case-control studies, experimental studies, life tables, and screening.

Student learning goals

To describe, define and apply basic concepts of disease transmission and occurrence

To recognize appropriate data sources for epidemiologic study

To define, compute and interpret measures of disease occurrence to solve problems and design epidemiologic studies

To distinguish between random and systematic error in the interpretation and design of epidemiologic studies

To recognize and apply appropriate research study designs and to compare and contrast their individual advantages

General method of instruction

Class will be evenly divided between lecture and discussion. The professor will provide the lectures and the TA's are responsible for the discussions. The discussion material is based on exercises that the student completes prior to coming to class. The exercises are designed to highlight the main issues covered in the weekly lectures.

Recommended preparation

A basic course in biology and statistics would be helpful but not essential.

Class assignments and grading

Textbook readings. Discussion exercises require application of epidemiologic thinking and simple calculations.

Grades are based on a combination of homework, discussion section quizzes, a midterm and final examination. The mid-term and final are multiple choice examinations.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course Website
Last Update by Angelica M. Buck
Date: 10/10/2012