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DrPH concentration in Health, Equity, and Social Justice

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.

 DrPH Program Concentration Competencies
Health Equity and Justice Concentration

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 Faculty

Faculty leads for the DrPH Health, Equity, and Social Justice concentration are noted below. Please click the link to learn more about each faculty member’s research interests, departmental and center or institute affiliations, and contact information.

Roland Thorpe, PhD

Christine Marie George, PhD


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.

Students are expected to complete two required courses that address the conceptual and philosophical basis of Health Equity and Social Justice namely (i) Conceptual and Evidential Foundations of Health Equity and Social Justice and (ii) Health Disparities and Equity, for a total of 7 credits. These are new courses that will be available beginning summer 2018.

In addition, students must complete at least 7 credits from those courses categorized as “Design and Implementation of Interventions” and at least 7 credits from those courses categorized as “Research and Evaluation Methods”, see tables below for course options and when they are offered online and onsite (if applicable). This makes a total of 21 credits.

In addition to the 21 credits described above, students must take a minimum of 7 credits of additional coursework (special electives) to make up a total of 28 credits of concentration-specific courses. The special elective courses could be taken from any of the course options listed below or from other courses at the school. Courses to be taken as special electives, but which are outside of the options listed below, will require advisor’s approval prior to registration.

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


I.  Required Courses for DrPH Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration (7 credits):


II.  Students are required to take 7 or more credits from the following courses addressing the Design and Implementation of Interventions for Health Equity and Social Justice. 

Course #TitleCreditsOnsite TermOnline Term
 330.647.11 Childhood Victimization: An Overview of Public Health Efforts   1   SI 
 330.610.11 Knowledge for Managing County and Local Mental Health,  Substance Use, and Developmental Disability Authority   1   SI 
 221.665.11 Early Childhood Intervention in Tribal Communities   2   SI  
 221.625.11 Evaluation Plans for Primary Health Care Projects in Low and  Middle Income Countries: Evaluating Adequacy of District Level  Implementation   3   SI  
 221.632.11 Introduction to Improving Quality in Public Health Practice   1   SI  
 330.658.89 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in International  Humanitarian Settings   2   SI  
 330.681.89 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of Refugees after  Resttlement in High Income Countries   2   SI  
 188.694.81 Health of Vulnerable Worker Populations   3    1st
 380.681.01 Strategic Leadership Principles and Tools for Health System  Transformation in Developing Countries   4   2nd 
 380.768.81 Selected Topics in Women's Health and Women's Health Policy   4    1st
 410.620.13 Program Planning for Health Behavior Change   3   WI 
 410.620.81 Program Planning for Health Behavior Change   3    4th
 180.600.13 Special Topics in Health and Human Rights: Public Health  Implication of Health as Human Right   2   WI 
 410.668.01 Policy Intervention for Health Behavior Change   3   2nd 
 380.663.01 Gender-based Violence Research, Practice and Policy: Issues and  Current Controversies   3   3rd 
 410.672.81  Introduction to Campaigning and Organizing for Public Health   3    3rd
 380.623.81 Adolescent Health and Development   3    3rd
 380.750.01 Migration and Health: Concepts, Rates and Relationship   3   3rd 
 221.688.81  Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care   4   SU   3rd
 221.635.81  Advances in Community-Oriented Primary Health Care   3    3rd
 380.765.81  Preventing Infant Mortality and Promoting the Health of Women,  Infants and Children   3    4th
 380.761.81 Sexually Transmitted Infections in Public Health Practice   4    4th
 221.624.81  Urban Health in Developing Countries   3    4th
 380.725.01  The Social Context of Adolescent Health and Development   3   4th 
 330.680.81 Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Mental Disorders in Low  and Middle Income Countries   3    4th
 330.607.81  Prevention of Mental Disorders: Public Health Intervention   3    4th

III.  Students are required to take 7 or more credits from the following courses addressing the Research and Evaluation Methods for Health Equity and Social Justice. 

Course #TitleCreditsOnsite TermOnline Term
 309.631.81 Population Health Informatics   3    2nd
 313.790.81 Introduction to Economic Evaluation   3    2nd, 4th
 221.645.81 Large-Scale Effectiveness Evaluations of Health Programs   3    2nd, 4th
 308.603.81 Demographic Methods for Public Health   4   3rd 
 380.611.01 Fundamentals of Program Evaluation   4   3rd 
 380.604.81 Nutrition and Growth in Maternal and Child Health   2    1st
 380.711.01 Issues in Survey Research Design   3   3rd 
 380.651.01 Methods and Measures in Population Studies   4   4th 
 340.666.81 Foundations of Social Epidemiology   3    4th
 330.626.89,  330.626.11 Estimating the Effects of Mental Health Interventions in  Non-  Experimental Settings   1   SI 
 330.672.11 Evaluation of Mental Health Services System   1   SI 
 221.620.11 Applying Summary Measures of Population Health to  Improve  Health  System   4   SI 
 221.620.81 Applying Summary Measures of Population Health to  Improve  Health  System   4     4th
 221.722.81  Quality Assurance Management Methods for Developing    Countries   4     1st
 330.621.11 Mixed Methods for Research in Public Health   2   SI 
 330.657.81 Statistics for Psychosocial Research: Measurement    4     1st
 140.664.81 Causal Inference in Medicine and Public Health 1   4     4th
 340.638.11 Epidemiologic Methods for Planning and Evaluating Health  Services   2   SI 
 340.613.11 Design and Conduct of Clinical Trial   2   SI 
 340.706.11 Methods and Applications of Cohort Studies   2   SI 
 223.632.01 Methods for Planning and Implementing Evaluation of Large-Scale  Health Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries   4   4th 
 309.712.81 Assessing Health Status and Patient Outcomes   3    2nd
 410.671.11 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods   3   SI 
 410.673.11 Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis for Public Health   2   SI 
 410.615.01 Research Design in Social and Behavioral Sciences   3   2nd 
 309.616.81 Introduction to Methods for Health Services Research and  Evaluation   2    3rd



Applications of Innovative Methods in Health Equity Research2  SI  3rd



IV.  Students are required to take 7 or more credits in special electives from the following courses, or any of those listed above which are not already being used to fulfill other requirements. The following courses address the conceptual and philosophical basis for Health Equity and Social Justice. 

Course #TitleCreditsOnsite TermOnline Term
 700.622.01 Bioethics, Human Rights, and Global Health  3    1st 
 380.604.81 Life Course Perspectives on Health  4     1st
 318.623.01 Social Policy for Vulnerable Population in the United States  3    3rd 
 308.610.01 The Political Economy of Social Inequalities and Its  Consequences for  Health  and Quality of Life  3    4th 
 380.756.01 Poverty, Economic Development and Health  4    2nd 
 180.625.01 Environmental Justices: Concepts, Methods and Practice  3    3rd 
 410.864.01 Critical Issues in Health Disparities  1  1st, 2nd,  3rd, 4th 


State-specific Information for Online Students

Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.