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Concentration in Women’s and Reproductive Health

The concentration in Women's and Reproductive Health prepares students to address complex and challenging problems in women’s and reproductive health in high-income settings as well as in low- and middle-income countries. Training focuses on [1] the general and reproductive health status of women over their life course, including health determinants and health disparities, and [2] evaluating strategies and programs that promote women’s health and that of their newborns and young children. Students also obtain training in the application of gender equity frameworks, research approaches, and demographic methods. There are required courses that cover fundamental topics in the concentration and elective courses on specific women’s and reproductive health issues, allowing students to tailor their coursework to their interests and career goals. This concentration is well suited to working professionals who are committed to advancing women’s, reproductive, and/or maternal and child health and who seek leadership positions in domestic and international agencies.

There are many challenges to improving women’s and reproductive health including the low status of women in many cultures and countries, political constraints to addressing the reproductive health needs of women and men alike, under-representation of women in research, providing the full complement of reproductive services to populations in need and the limited evidence for effective strategies to improve women’s reproductive and broader health and well-being.

Students will address these challenges by choosing coursework about women’s, reproductive, maternal and child health concerns, either domestically or in a low resource setting.

This concentration is well suited to those seeking leadership positions in domestic and international agencies concerned with addressing the complex and challenging problems in women’s and reproductive health in high income countries as well as low- and middle-income countries.

Concentration Directors

The concentration directors for the DrPH Women's and Reproductive Health concentration is

Sally Safi, PhD

Ian Salas, PhD

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

Concentration Competencies


Assess the principal health concerns for women or mothers and newborns, the associated population-based risk factors, and the relative impact of each risk factor.


Apply a life course framework to understanding the determinants of a woman’s or reproductive health concern, implications for a woman’s health later in life, and the population strategies to address it.


Evaluate strategies to promote population-level women’s, reproductive, maternal, and child health, including healthcare services and systems delivery strategies used to address health concerns in the population.


Evaluate research approaches to understand woman’s or reproductive health concerns and the implications of the research.


Apply frameworks related to women’s and reproductive health for improving their health.


Identify and assess the causes and consequences of population change related to women’s and reproductive health using demographic methods.


Concentration Curriculum

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 27 credits of concentration-specific courses.* These courses cover the following six domains:

1. Health Concerns for Women, Mothers, and Newborns (2 courses)

2. Life Course Perspectives on Women's, Maternal, and Newborn Health (1 course)

3. Promote Population-level Women's, Reproductive, Maternal , and Child Health (1 course)

4. Evaluate Research Approaches (1 course)

5. Apply Frameworks Other Than Life Course (1 course)

6. Population Change and Methods (1 course)

In addition to the requirements described above, students must take additional coursework (proposed electives) to make up a total of 27 credits of concentration-specific courses. The proposed elective courses could be taken from any of the course options listed below or from other courses at the School. Courses electives outside the options listed below will require the advisor’s approval prior to registration.

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