Students in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health arrive with a wide range of academic and practical experience. Non-departmental students are also attracted to its courses. To share with students a common base of essential knowledge, and to permit instructors to delve more deeply into these topics during classroom time, the department has developed four learning modules.

For non-departmental students, an instructor may require the completion of one or more module early in a course. Students in the department need to complete all four before they can graduate. A module is considered 'complete' when the student has passed the related test in CourseWorks with a grade of 80% or higher. Students who believe they possess the necessary expertise to complete the test can go directly to it. If a student scores less than 80%, s/he can contact Robin Mangini.

Each module should take approximately three hours to complete. Students should plan on one sitting for each test; CourseWorks times out after three hours, and the test questions are randomly generated each time.