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Foundations of Social Epidemiology


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

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


Learns 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. Reviews the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of social epidemiology from a historical perspective. Focuses 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. Focuses 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:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Discussion Board
  • 40% Assignments
  • 30% LiveTalks

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.