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Home > Academics > Undergraduate >
Public Health and Health Equity

Addressing inequalities in health among groups of people within countries and among societies is a priority for the World Health Organization, the US federal government, and governments and civic organizations globally, and requires creative and multifaceted solutions. The interdisciplinary Public Health and Health Equity (PHE) Program is designed to empower students as leaders and change agents to reduce these inequalities. It seeks to prepare students for career and research opportunities in healthcare and public health, and is ideal for those interested in health advocacy, policy, education, program management, and law, as well as health-related media and communications, healthcare policy and administration, and global health.

PHE will equip students with the analytical tools and competencies they need to confront health inequities in a rapidly changing healthcare marketplace. Students will learn about the social determinants of health and how social, economic, environmental, and legal factors shape health inequities. They will explore the relationship between health, social policy, and the distribution of power and resources, identify strategies to reduce health disparities within and beyond US borders, and examine the efficacy of a human rights framework for dealing with global health concerns. They will learn how to use statistical analysis, critical thinking, and research methods as part of an evidence-based approach to understanding health disparities, and will build their leadership capacities with the goal of improving policies and practices that impact people’s health.

The PHE Program offers three academic tracks: the BA major and a BA or BS major with a concentration in health sciences. All three tracks integrate critical perspectives from ethnic studies; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; public policy; economics; philosophy; civic leadership; and psychology. They also promote hands-on learning: students will have the opportunity to become health advocates at Highland Hospital or to intern at other local health organizations. Students are encouraged to work directly on issues that they are passionate about and to develop their own visions for health justice as they move through the program.

The BA or BS with a health sciences concentration is geared toward students who wish to include a strong science component in their undergraduate studies and are interested in using scientific technologies and innovation to improve health outcomes. These students’ career interests may include medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, epidemiology, community health, public health, health education, global health research, health law, and health program management. The BS is recommended for students who wish to enter a graduate school program with an emphasis in medical research, while any of the three majors may apply to students aiming for graduate studies in clinical healthcare fields.

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Public Health & Health Equity Course List

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P: 510.430.2032
F: 510.430.3304

Last Updated: 6/22/17