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Fundamentals of Health, Behavior and Society

East Baltimore
1st term
Health Behavior and Society
4 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Rajiv Rimal



Introduces students to a social ecological perspective of population health. Challenges students to address societal and structural forces such as socioeconomic position, racial and ethnic and gender sources of inequality as well as interpersonal processes reflected in norms, networks, and social capital. Focuses on behavior, communication, decision-making, and health outcomes at the individual, family, and community levels. Applies these social and behavioral perspectives to a better understanding of health problems and prepares students to develop effective public health interventions for individuals, families, communities, and populations.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Identify basic theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral science disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  2. Describe the socioecological perspective and how social and behavioral factors affect health outcomes and public health responses.
  3. Summarize public health research literature and explain how a study’s theoretical framework, methods, and findings fit within a socioecological perspective.
  4. Use the socioecological model and its underlying theoretical perspectives to identify and explain multiple determinants of health and their influences on health and health behavior.
  5. Compare how different theories and levels from the socioecological model shape our understanding of public health problems and their solutions.
  6. Evaluate public health interventions to identify their theoretical foundations and assess how they address health determinants outlined by the socioecological model.
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Lab Assignments
  • 45% Midterm
  • 35% Final Paper

Enrollment Restriction:

Graduate students

Instructor Consent:

No consent required