Evaluation Certificate Course & Practicum Requirements

All students must take...

1) BCHS 2525: Introduction to Applied Research: 3 credits; fall, spring, terms; The goal of the course is to give students a basic understanding of social and behavioral sciences research principles, as well as how these methods are implemented in the field of public health. The relationship of applied research to program evaluation, the link of theory to research, and the translation of research information to applied public health programs and policies will be emphasized. Participatory research will be highlighted. Quantitative and qualitative strategies, research designs, data collection methods, participant selection, and data analysis will be covered.

2) BCHS 2558: Health Program Evaluation: 3 credits; spring term; prerequisite: BIOST 2011 or equivalent, prerequisite or concurrent BCHS 2525: Introduction to Applied Research. The course surveys evaluation and policy research methods applied to health. Students learn to critically assess the adequacy of evaluations, how to plan and pilot test an evaluation and participate in actual evaluation activities.

3) Six credits of electives (listed below)

4) BCHS 2503: Practicum: 3 credits, 400 hours. Details of the evaluation work done as the practicum for the certificate are to be determined in collaboration with the director of the certificate and the department’s practicum coordinator.

Doctoral students enrolled in the certificate are required to take, as 3 of their elective credits...

BCHS 3003: Seminar in Advanced Evaluation Techniques: 3 credits; fall term. This course provides an understanding of evaluation theory and methodology with an emphasis on human service organizations. Doctoral students will be expected to implement an evaluation for a community public health agency OR to develop an evaluation proposal that can be the basis for a dissertation topic. Master’s students are admitted to this course with instructor permission.


Master’s students choose six credits of these or other approved courses for their evaluation elective requirement:

BCHS 3002: Health Survey Methods: 3 credits; spring term. This course introduces and reviews the techniques for the collection of health data through survey methods. Students learn to critically assess surveys and to design surveys.

BCHS 3007: Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods: 3 credits; spring term. This course familiarizes students with the basic principles, methodology, and tools of ethnographic and qualitative research, and their application to the assessment of public health problems and the design and evaluation of public health programs.   The course provides opportunities for students to develop their own skills in ethnographic and other qualitative research through community-based fieldwork, critical review of published case studies, and development of proposals for research and evaluation employing ethnographic approaches and qualitative methods. (A similar course may be substituted with approval of the certificate director.)

PIA 2730: Community Development and Focus Groups: 1.5 credits spring term
NUR 3055: Community Development and Focus Groups, Preparation, Facilitation, and Application: 1.5 credits summer term.
This workshop prepares students to use focus groups as a data-gathering tool. Critical components of the class includes observation of and hands-on experience with facilitating discussions, taking notes and analysis for report preparation. By the end of this workshop students are expected to describe the theoretical underpinnings and processes of focus groups; identify situations in which focus groups are an appropriate methodology; design all aspects of focus groups, including sampling and writing questions; conduct focus groups, record focus groups, and analyze and report on focus groups data. The workshop uses lectures, discussions, and interactive exercises to familiarize students with all aspects of focus groups, including the theoretical basis of focus groups, formulating questions, recruiting participants, facilitating the discussion, taking notes, and applying the data.

BCHS 3003: Seminar in Advanced Evaluation Techniques: 3 credits; fall term; Masters students with required coursework completed may take this class with instructor permission (refer to description above).

BCHS 3030: Measurement: 2 credits; fall term. The goal of this two-credit course is to provide students with fundamental skills to identify, use and create scales and indices for research and evaluation. The course will be primarily based on classical measurement theory, yet we will discuss item response theory as well. We will also cover good measurement processes, including establishing and evaluating validity and reliability. We will address communication of measurement principles and applications to lay and scientific audiences. Throughout the course, materials will highlight the influence that culture and socio-demographics have on measurement tools and their validity.

Students are also invited to take BCHS 2610: Concept Mapping (1 credit; spring), BCHS 2608: Introduction to CBPR (1 credit; spring), and abbreviated methods courses towards this elective requirement with the approval of the director of the certificate.

Additional courses in this series will be forthcoming.

BCHS 2511: Independent Study: As an option to one of the elective courses, some students may qualify for independent study as determined by the certificate program director. These credits will continue the work that the student has begun under BCHS 2503; in some cases, the student may take on a new evaluation project, with the approval of the director of the certificate.


Students choose an evaluation practicum that is of interest to them and work with an evaluation mentor through-out their practicum. Recent sample practica include...

  • Evaluation of falls prevention interventions in residential programs for elderly.
  • Assisting in the implementation and evaluation of specialized services for young mothers and their children.
  • Monitoring and providing evaluation technical assistance to community-based smoking prevention and cessation programs.
  • Participating on evaluation team for comprehensive child development-early education child care initiative.
  • Assisting in the development of methodologies for the evaluation of disaster response efforts.