Skip Navigation

Course Directory

Foundations of Social Epidemiology

East Baltimore
2nd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Tuesday,  10:30 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Lorraine Dean
Frequency Schedule:
Every Other Year
Next Offered:
2021 - 2022

340.751 or 340.601 or equivalent. Students must complete Introduction to Online Learning prior to enrolling in this course.


Students learn to apply social epidemiologic concepts, introduced through weekly online lectures and readings, and the use of discussions and case studies. Prepares students to understand and appreciate the contribution of social factors to disease etiology, course and the distribution of states of health in populations. After reviewing the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of social epidemiology from an historical perspective, we focus on the scientific findings in the field from the 1970's until today. The influence of social context on behavior is well known, and forms the backbone for most health promotion interventions; we focus initially on how the social environment influences behavior, by shaping norms, reinforcing social control, providing environmental opportunity, and coping strategies.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the field of social epidemiology and discuss the major unsolved issues confronting the field
  2. Demonstrate the quality and limitations of measurement of key social conditions influencing health and illness of populations
  3. Distinguish between psychological (individual-based) approaches to discussing health disparities from the social perspective (community-based), and demonstrate how the empirical literature critically supports these differences for a particular health or disease state.
  4. Operate within and facilitate a discussion group format
Methods of Assessment:

Online lecture quizzes (35%), Individual Assignment I (15%), In-class activities and leading discussions (30%), and a second Individual Assignment II (20%).

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Course is a modified blended course. Students are expected to prepare, listen and read materials PRIOR to the class meetings. It is critical that students participate in the online lectures and readings in order to be prepared for the class meetings.