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Concentration in Health Equity and Social Justice

Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration

The DrPH concentration in Health Equity and Social Justice is an interdepartmental concentration focused on understanding and addressing the multiple determinants of health, particularly among disadvantaged and marginalized groups in both high in­come, and low and middle income settings.

Through the concentration students learn about innovative epidemiological, social and behavioral tools to assess population health and influences upon it, and students acquire skills relevant to the design, implementation and evaluation of health programs designed to benefit the poor and marginalized groups, including the development and management of intersectoral partnerships.

This concentra­tion is well suited to those seeking leadership positions in agencies concerned with plan­ning and implementing projects designed to meet public health needs.

Concentration Co-directors

The DrPH Health Equity and Social Justice concentration co-directors are:

Please click their links to learn more about their research interests, departmental and center or institute affiliations, and contact information.

Concentration Competencies

1. Employ bioethics and human rights concepts relating to equity and social justice in analysis of public health programs and policies.
2. Advocate with and on behalf of disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and communities to improve their health and wellbeing and build their capacity.
3. Conduct assessments of health equity in communities and systems to identify the behavioral, cultural, social, environmental and organizational determinants that promote or compromise health in disadvantaged groups.
4. Identify evidence-informed strategies, and measurable goals and objectives, to promote health equity and social justice.
5.  Implement effective, efficient and culturally sensitive strategies to improve health equity and social justice.

Concentration Curriculum

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 28 credits of concentration-specific courses. These courses broadly address pedagogy under the following categories:

  1. Concepts, philosophical bases and methodological issues in HESJ
  2. Design and implementation of interventions (programs, policies and practice) for addressing HESJ issues
  3. Research and evaluation methods applicable for HESJ
  4. Conceptual and philosophical basis electives for HESJ

*Courses taken to fulfill foundational requirements may not be applied to fulfill concentration requirements.

Course Requirements for the Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration (min. 28 credits)

I. Required Courses (15 credits):

Course # Course Title Credits
410.605 Fundamental Tools for Promoting Health Equity 3
221.656 Conceptual and Evidential Foundations of Health Equity and Social Justice 3
410.630 Implementation and Sustainability of Community-Based Health Programs 3
340.667 Health Equity Research Methods to Address Social Determinants of Health 4
TBD DrPH Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration Seminar 2

II. Design and Implementation of Interventions for Health Equity and Social Justice: take 3 or more credits from the below courses.

Course # Title Credits
330.647 Childhood Victimization: An Overview of Public Health Efforts 1
330.610 Knowledge for Managing County and Local Mental Health, Substance Use, and Developmental Disability Authority 1
221.625 Evaluation Plans for Primary Health Care Projects in Low and Middle Income Countries: Evaluating Adequacy of District Level Implementation 3
330.681 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of Refugees after Resettlement in High Income Countries 2
188.694 Health of Vulnerable Worker Populations 3
380.681 Strategic Leadership Principles and Tools for Health System Transformation in Developing Countries 4
380.768 Selected Topics in Women's Health and Women's Health Policy 4
410.620 Program Planning for Health Behavior Change 3
180.600 Special Topics in Health and Human Rights: Public Health Implication of Health as Human Right 2
410.668 Policy Intervention for Health Behavior Change 3
380.663 Gender-based Violence Research, Practice and Policy: Issues and Current Controversies 3
410.672 Organizing for Public Health with the Six Steps to Effective Advocacy: Turning Public Will into Public Policy 3
380.623 Adolescent Health and Development 3
380.750 Migration and Health: Concepts, Rates and Relationship 3
221.688 Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care 4
221.635 Advances in Community-Oriented Primary Health Care 3
380.765 Preventing Infant Mortality and Promoting the Health of Women, Infants and Children 3
380.761 Sexually Transmitted Infections in Public Health Practice 4
221.624 Urban Health in Developing Countries 3
380.725 The Social Context of Adolescent Health and Development 3
330.680 Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Mental Disorders in Low and Middle Income Countries 3
310.635 Policing and Public Health 3

III. Research and Evaluation Methods for Health Equity and Social Justice: take 3 or more credits from the below courses.

Course # Title Credits
410.635 Applications of Innovative Methods in Health Equity Research 4
309.631 Population Health Informatics 3
313.790 Introduction to Economic Evaluation 3
221.645 Large-Scale Effectiveness Evaluations of Health Programs 3
308.603 Demographic Methods for Public Health 4
380.611 Fundamentals of Program Evaluation 4
380.604 Life Course Perspectives on Health 4
380.604 Nutrition and Growth in Maternal and Child Health 2
380.711 Issues in Survey Research Design 3
380.651 Methods and Measures in Population Studies 4
340.666 Foundations of Social Epidemiology 3
221.620 Applying Summary Measures of Population Health to Improve Health System 4
221.722 Quality Assurance Management Methods for Developing Countries 4
330.621 Mixed Methods for Research in Public Health 2
330.657 Statistics for Psychosocial Research: Measurement 4
140.664 Causal Inference in Medicine and Public Health 1 4
340.613 Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials 2
340.706 Methods and Applications of Cohort Studies 2
223.632 Methods for Planning and Implementing Evaluation of Large-Scale Health Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries 4
309.712 Assessing Health Status and Patient Outcomes 3
410.671 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods 3
410.673 Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis for Public Health 2
410.615 Research Design in Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
309.616 Introduction to Methods for Health Services Research and Evaluation 2

IV. Conceptual and Philosophical Bases Electives:  take electives from the below courses, or any of those listed above which are not already being used to fulfill other requirements, to meet the 28 credits required for the concentration. Special elective courses outside these options  will require advisor approval prior to registration.

Course# Title Credits
221.654 Systems Thinking in Public Health: Applications of Key Methods and Approaches  
700.622 Bioethics, Human Rights, and Global Health 3
380.604 Life Course Perspectives on Health 4
318.623 Social Policy for Vulnerable Population in the United States 3
308.610 The Political Economy of Social Inequalities and Its Consequences for Health and Quality of Life 3
180.625 Community-driven Epidemiology and Environmental Environmental Justice 3
410.864 Critical Issues in Health Disparities (max. 2 credits) 1
550.844 Current Issues in Public Health: COVID-19 Pandemic Response 2
410.619 Social Justice: Policy, Practice and Research 4
410.683 Global Perspectives on LGBT Health 3