MSU Denver

Strive for healthier communities

Public health is a fast-paced and critical component of our healthcare system that promotes and protects the health of people and their communities. The public health field is experiencing a bright outlook in Colorado. The state expects to see 85,000 related job positions in 2025.

Principles of Public Health provides a historical context for the development of the public health field, reviews the public health infrastructure and workforce, and explores the application of evidence-based practices addressing public health issues our communities face today.

Public Health offers career paths in government, nonprofit organizations, healthcare, and education. After successfully completing this course, you can jump right into the workforce with an entry-level position or continue on to a degree in Public Health at MSU Denver.

The class is taught by MSU Denver faculty experts in the field, 100 percent online, eight weeks long, and self-paced.

About the course

Spring 2023 schedule

  • Registration opens – Mid-November
  • Classes start – February 1
  • Last day to register – March 1
  • Class ends – April 1

Credit-By-Exam to convert the class to credit

  • Registration opens – March 1
  • Registration closes – April 15
  • Credit-By-Exam must be completed – May 15


The course is $395, with a $35 transaction fee per payment. There are no books to purchase.


If you choose to convert the noncredit class to credit through Credit-By-Exam, the cost is $122 with no transaction fee.

What do I receive after I pass the course?

After successfully completing the Principles of Public Health course, you will receive a certificate of completion. You will also receive a digital badge that will be embedded with the competencies learned. You can include this badge on your resume, LinkedIn page, portfolio, or share it with an employer.

You will also receive a personal advisement session with industry leader Erin Seedorf.

Course description

Students in this course will be introduced  to the field of public health by providing a broad overview of strategies and interventions that regulate population level health. The course will examine health disparities, quality and accessibility as well as the best practices that have been taken by the public health workforce to promote health equity and healthy lifestyles, taking a focused approach to current issues and strategies in the field.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify the key features of the historical development of public health, including the most important achievements of public health
  • Distinguish differences between federal, state, and local public health organizations
  • Describe a public health approach using a structured framework and apply to a new public health problem
  • Identify characteristics of reputable sources of evidence-based public health literature
  • Describe the basic principles of epidemiology, including rates, risk factors, disease determinants, causation, and statistical analysis
  • Identify the categories of health determinants, basic health behavior models, and behavior change frameworks and theories
  • Identify the scope of health law, policy, and principles of ethics in public health in relation to a public health issue
  • Identify the needs of vulnerable as well as at-risk populations in relation to the most important public health problems

Competencies to be gained:

  • Students will be able to describe the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society
  • Students will be able to communicate concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations
  • Students will be able to define basic concepts of public health investigation, population health data, health behavior theory models, and analyze the application of evidence-based approaches essential to public health practice

Public Health career goal pathways

Pathway 1: Enter the workforce quickly. Complete the Principles of Public Health course and immediately enter the workforce with job titles like Clinical Data Coordinator, Outreach Worker, Health Medical Scribe, Research Assistant, Administration Tech, and Community Health Worker.

  • Median salary is $34,500 year.

Pathway 2: Continue your academic journey and earn a degree in public health, which allows you to increase your earning potential. You can find positions like Policy Associate, Community Partnerships Coordinator, Infection Control Coordinator, Infection Prevention Program Coordinator, Health Data Science Coordinator, Health Educator, and Environmental Protection Specialist.

  • Median salary is $59,600 a year.

Take the course to upskill your resume to advance in your career or discover a new passion.

Career pathways for Public Health

Instructor, Dr. Erin Seedorf

Dr. Erin Seedorf has 20 years of experience in different professional roles in various public health settings (i.e., local public health, state public health, and academia). She joined the Department of Health Professions at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Fall 2010 as affiliate faculty. She now serves as Assistant Faculty coordinating the MSU Denver Public Health Program.
Previously, she served as a program manager and evaluation specialist at University of Colorado Denver.

Headshot of Erin Seedorf

Instructor, Dr. Kristin Banks

Dr. Banks has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector as an operational leader and expert in quality and performance improvement. Currently, she is a Senior Director at DaVita, where she leads a national performance improvement team that supports independent nephrology practices as they transition to value-based care. Before joining DaVita, Dr. Banks worked at Kaiser Permanente for 13 years in various leadership capacities, including population health, primary and specialty care operations, and health services research. Kristin holds a Doctorate of Public Health from the University of Colorado, a Master of Public Health from Boston University, and a Black Belt in Process Improvement.

Headshot of Kristen Banks

Instructor, Shane Walker

Shane Walker, MHA, was born and raised in Colorado. He enjoys doing the typical Colorado activities such as snowboarding, fishing and hiking, and is an avid fan of the local sports teams.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado Mesa University in Kinesiology and Health Promotion in 2017. and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from MSU Denver in 2021. His thesis focused on what factors affected Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy.

He previously served as a Community Relations Coordinator for Keystone Health and Wellness and now works for Children’s Hospital of Colorado as a Physician Relations Representative.

Headshot of Shane Walker

If you are a current MSU Denver student who is or has been enrolled in courses for the recent current spring, summer, or fall semester, do not submit any forms. Contact Andrea Pazos at [email protected] for instructions on how to register for these courses.

Contact us

Email us

Phone: 303-615-1234

Office Location:
Jordan Student Success Building
3rd Floor – #330
Auraria Campus

Mailing Address:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Innovative and Lifelong Learning
P.O. Box 173362
Campus Box 6
Denver, CO 80217-3362