Body of Knowledge for Health Administration Education: Teaching Epidemiology in the Age of Health Care Reform



As we embark on reforming the U.S. healthcare system, population-based healthcare is becoming even more important, and epidemiology is the basic science we will use to evaluate our effectiveness. Although recent research has shown that most undergraduate and graduate programs in health administration teach epidemiology courses in their curricula, the goals, objectives, and final content for such a course remain inconsistent across the programs. There are limited guiding principles (e.g., accreditation and certification criteria) on what health administration programs should expect of students studying epidemiology. To assess the similarities and differences in epidemiological content taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels, we systematically reviewed epidemiology content by querying those who teach this specific course via a national survey tool and syllabi obtained from programs. The purpose of this paper is to describe, for health administration programs, the (a) body of knowledge (i.e., content, principles) for a course in epidemiology taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and (b) perspectives of instructors regarding their approach in teaching epidemiology at the undergraduate or graduate level. This work will serve as a guide that can help educators when developing the competencies, goals, and objectives for epidemiology courses in their health administration programs.


Health Management and Policy

Publication Date

Summer 2013

Journal Title

Journal of Health Administration Education


Association of University Programs in Health Administration

Document Type