Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases make up a substantial burden of disease globally. Their control remains critical to protecting the health and development of all populations. Even in an era where non-communicable diseases are increasingly causing morbidity and mortality, we still face numerous infectious disease threats. In addition to established problems such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria respiratory infections, and diarrheal illnesses, emerging infections like pandemic H1N1 influenza A (2009), Ebola, MERS-CoV, Zika, and multi-drug resistant organisms present ongoing threats to all health systems. Defining the causes, patterns, and options for the control and prevention or treatment of infectious diseases is key to comprehensive public health policy for all countries.

During the past 60 years, significant advances have been made in reducing the threat of a number of infectious diseases. For example, smallpox has been eradicated and, with continued efforts, poliomyelitis and dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) are likely to be eradicated in the next several years. Emerging and reemerging infections, however, present new and exciting challenges. Additionally, the tools and techniques for infectious disease control are not always optimally utilized, and this presents an area of health promotion activity that needs to be constantly evaluated.

We have defined many of the problems and, in many instances, know what needs to be done for control and prevention. With the advent of new molecular and "big data" techniques, there are ever-evolving methods to prevent infectious diseases. However, there are still areas that need research to better define the problems, and to identify the best methods of control and prevention or the best strategies to implement what we already know.

The infectious disease concentration is designed to prepare students to assume appropriate, responsible, challenging positions to address these significant global infectious disease problems. Students will acquire the necessary skills to provide leadership, research, and service and to work as members of teams committed to the prevention and control of infectious diseases throughout the world.

In addition to the department requirements outlined here, this concentration requires:

Two infectious disease courses (5 total credits) + concentration electives


Upon completion of the MPH in global health with a concentration in infectious disease, the graduate will be able to:

  • Assess the major forces that influence the health of populations around the world.
  • Critique major global priorities and the reasons for their prioritization.
  • Critique the evidence for improving health delivery systems and health statuses of individuals, communities, and populations around the world.
  • Design programs, policies and/or interventions intended to improve health services and health status of individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Conduct research, including formulation of specific research aim, conducting literature review and formulating hypothesis and selecting appropriate methodologies related to the emphasis.
  • Compose a written scientific thesis that is consistent with department guidelines and relevant writing style sources.
  • Present the key methods, findings, and public health implications of research on a poster and verbally communicate it to an audience of public health professionals.
  • Explain the science of infectious disease including types of organisms, mechanisms of pathogenesis, host response, and susceptibility.
  • Apply principles of infectious disease epidemiology, laboratory detection, and clinical strategies to identify specific infectious pathogens and diseases.
  • Interpret the geographic and demographic distributions and morbidities and mortality of major infections in the US and globally.
  • Implement strategies to prevent and control infectious diseases.
  • Appraise the environmental, behavioral, and social factors that contribute to the emergence, re-emergence, and persistence of infectious diseases.
  • Develop and maintain surveillance for infectious diseases.

Sample of courses relevant to infectious disease at Rollins: 

Course NumberCourse Title
GH 511 International Infectious Diseases
GH 515 Transforming Public Health Surveillance


Behavioral Epidemiology
EPI 544 Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases
GH 506 Introduction to Microbial Risk Assessment
GH 512 Health in Complex Emergencies
GH 516 Global Perspectives in Parasitic Diseases
GH517/EPI 540 Case Studies in Infectious Diseases
GH 528 Public Health/Clinical Microbiology Labs
GH 529 Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries
GH/EPI 535 Epidemiology in Public Health Practice
GH 536 Religion and Health in context: HIV
GH 538 Food and Nutrition in Humanitarian Emergencies
GH 544 Field Trials and Intervention Studies
GH/EPI 550 Epi and Dynamics of STD & HIV Transmission
GH/EPI 558 Global Issues in Antimicrobial Resistance
GH 562/EPI 542 Epi of Tuberculosis
GH 563 AIDS: Public Health Implications
GH 564 Public Health Preparedness and Bioterrorism
GH/EPI 566 Immunization Programs and Policies
GH 571 Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases
GH 580/EH 546 Control of Foodborne & Waterborne Disease
GH/EH 582 Global Climate Change: Health Impacts and Response