Department of Population Health

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Interim Chair: Dr. Rosanne Keathley (936)-294-1171

Department of Population Health website


The mission of the Department of Population Health is to foster student-centered learning for early and advanced health professionals; to conduct applied, evidence-based research in population health; and to improve health and well-being through community engagement at the local and global levels.


  • Nationally-recognized
  • Honorary affiliation (Eta Sigma Gamma)
  • Student-focused
  • Value student diversity (various ethnic and cultural backgrounds)
  • Seeking to create a diverse pool of graduates for successful entry into the workforce
  • Outstanding faculty and staff

Career Opportunities

  • Hospitals
  • Geriatric facilities
  • Correctional Health Care
  • Corporate health promotion programs
  • Federal, state and local health agencies
  • Wellness Settings
  • School settings
  • Voluntary agencies
  • Clinical settings

Student Organizations

  • Eta Sigma Gamma - National Health Science Honorary Society - requires a 3.0 GPA in Health and an overall 2.5 GPA; focus is research, service, and education; volunteer hours required.


The graduate Health and Health Care Quality and Safety programs provides for a 200 or 400-hour professional internship. The internship will be conducted in either the school, community, medical or corporate health setting under the instruction and supervision of a qualified and experienced health-care professional.

HLTH 5097. Special Topics in Health. 3 Hours.

HLTH 5331. Foundation Of Community Hlth. 3 Hours.

The epidemiological, biostatistical methods of investigation are applied to international, national, state, and local health issues. Additionally, the historical and philosophical foundations of community health are presented with an orientation to current health programs, medical care trends, and health problems experienced by diverse populations.

HLTH 5332. Human Ecology. 3 Hours.

A study of the major factors which determine health or illness, including how populations respond to various determinants of health including lifestyle, heredity, environment, and health care resources.

HLTH 5333. Colqm In Human Sexuality. 3 Hours.

A study of all the factors influencing growth and development. Consideration of the special problems including developing family life, sexuality issues, intimate relationships, and the cultural impact they have on society.

HLTH 5334. Colloq In Use & Abuse Of Drugs. 3 Hours.

A value education approach to the prevention of drug use and abuse is presented along with personal, family, community and school factors influencing drug use. The origins and derivations of drugs are explored. The mental, emotional, physical, social and physiological effects from the use of drugs will be analyzed.

HLTH 5338. Colqm In Consumer Hlth Edu. 3 Hours.

The study of consumer goods and services as related to the health of individuals, their family and their community. Marketing principles for health promotion and current health care bioethical issues are addressed.

HLTH 5355. Health Services Administration. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to introduce the student to the domain of health care administration and management. Topics discussed in the course include organizational theories, leadership strategies, human resource constructs, ethical issues, and marketing initiatives. The content of the course serves as a foundation to the graduate programs in Health.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

HLTH 5360. Comm Theory Prac Health Prof. 3 Hours.

A laboratory experience built around research on motivational concepts as they influence changes, perception, attitudes, values and behavior. Diffusion patterns, group discussion and decision making, and interviewing techniques will be covered. Attention will be given to the selection, use, and evaluation of media, materials, visual aids, press, radio, mass media, etc.

HLTH 5361. Theoretical Foundations of Health Education and Health Promotion. 3 Hours.

A study of the history, philosophy, and practices of Health Education. Exploration and application of behavioral science concepts and methodologies to community health education and in-service training of health professionals. Case studies and other practice models will be used.

HLTH 5363. Leadership in Health Promotion. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for the individual who will assume some type of supervisory position in health promotion or sport management. The courseis focal point involves exposure to administrative skills required of those who serve in a leadership capacity.

HLTH 5365. Aging And Health Promotion. 3 Hours.

A discussion of health promotion issues for the elderly including physical assessment, chronic care, health care maintenance, psychological adaptation, nutrition, and other current topics.

HLTH 5371. Health Care Quality & Safety. 3 Hours.

This foundational course is designed to provide the student with the introductory concepts in the domain of health care quality and safety. The fundamental topics discussed in the course include the elememts of patient safety and satisfaction, measures for improving organizational and patient quality, accountability standards, and the system approach for continuous improvement. The course is intended to be taken during the graduate student's first year in the program.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

HLTH 5373. Risk Mgmt in Health Care Orgs. 3 Hours.

This course is a study of the management and mitigation of risk in the health care environment. Topics include process analysis using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), root cause analysis, and the reporting of data relating to risk management. The management constructs of monitoring and reporting, risk prevention, and communication strategies to minimize risk and injuries in the health care environment.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing, admission to the program, and HLTH 5371.

HLTH 5374. Research Seminar. 3 Hours.

A study is made of research techniques, identification of problems, research designs and data gathering procedures. Students will develop a proposal for a research project.

HLTH 5375. Statistical Design in Health. 3 Hours.

Principles of advanced statistical techniques and measurement theory with emphasis upon their application to Health, Kinesiology, and related areas will be presented.

HLTH 5377. Independent Studies. 3 Hours.

The student with specific interest and background experience in a specialized area will have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts in a laboratory situation. The student may have practical experiences in a clinic, agency, special school or other types of institutions.
Prerequisite: Permission of the Graduate Coordinator.

HLTH 5378. Health Care Informatics. 3 Hours.

This course provides an in-depth study of digital technologies in health information management systems. Topics discussed in the course include approaches to data acquisition, storage systems, retrieval constructs, analysis of information, and technological use to provide information to drive decisions that address opportunities and problems in health care organizations.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

HLTH 5384. Quality and Safety Public Reporting Systems. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the quality and safety reporting requirements that foster continued improvement and financial efficiencies by making publicly available report cards and rankings of providers. Students will access, manipulate, and create customized reports on health service delivery settings as requested by federal and state governmental entities and accreditation organizations. In this course, students will prepare plans of action to manage public perception of report cards and to lead evidence-based organizational initiatives for improvement of quality and safety measures. Credit 3 hours.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

HLTH 6098. Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

This phase of the thesis investigation includes the completion of the review of the related literature, formulation of the research design and procedures and related pilot studies. Some data collection may also occur, and the thesis symposium must be completed to the satisfaction of the advisor and members of the thesis committee. Variable Credit (1-3).

HLTH 6371. Advanced Concepts in Health Care Quality. 3 Hours.

This advanced course in health care quality and safety uses a systems approach to examine quality philosophies and frameworks. The course focuses on design, validation, quality measure applications, metrics for processes and outcomes, benchmarking concepts, strategic quality management, and the management of human factors.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing, 3 Hours of Undergraduate Statistics, and HLTH 5371.

HLTH 6373. Leading Change in Health Care Organizations. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on advanced theoretical concepts and applications in the areas of leadership, organizational development, team building, change management, and the particular challenges involved with leading change in health care organizations. The effects of the culture of change initiatives will be examined, as well as approaches to motivating organizations to create more openness to the capacity of change through competent leadership.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing, Admission to the Program, and HLTH 5373.

HLTH 6384. Health Care Quality & Safety Capstone. 3 Hours.

This culminating course is designed to integrate all of the contextual material from the coursework included in the MS in Health Care Quality and Safety program. Emphasis will be placed on the assimilation and application of health information, organizational processes, continuous improvement constructs, and operational and patient safety strategies. This course includes a student capstone project that focuses on assessment, planning, and evaluation about an emerging healthcare quality and safety issue.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing, admission to the program, completion of HLTH 5355, HLTH 5371, HLTH 5373, HLTH 5374, HLTH 5378, HLTH 5384, HLTH 6371, and HLTH 6373.

HLTH 6396. Health Prog Planning/Internshp. 3 Hours.

A comprehensive review of the components of health program planning with emphasis on the socio-economical, cultural, and political factors that influence the health status of a community. Emphasis is focused on a comprehensive approach to health program planning and behavior change models.

HLTH 6397. Internship. 3 Hours.

Professional field experience conducted in an approved setting for health education within the medical community, workplace or school setting. The 300 hour practicum is facilitated under the supervision of a qualified health educator or approved preceptor.

HLTH 6399. Thesis. 3 Hours.

This phase of the thesis work includes the completion of the data collection, as well as the actual writing and defense of the thesis.