PBHL 402
Social Determinants of Health

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the social factors that impact individual and population health. The course presents students with theories and evidence supporting multiple underlying determinants of health in populations. We consider how health is affected by a variety of determinants, and we will explore how social influences affect population health. Social influences include socioeconomic status, environment, policy, gender, race, sexual orientation, and neighborhood quality. We examine structural factors that impact population health in the United States, and we explore the potential for structural interventions to address health inequities and improve population health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be encouraged to consider how they can make a difference in reducing or closing the health inequality gap that otherwise results from poor understandings of patients’ health ecologies.  Through a range of case studies, students will gain a better understanding of health inequalities and social determinants of health. Students will be able to articulate their potential to have a positive impact on the health of the populations they treat.

  • Describe the types of social determinants of health and how each can impact health outcomes;
  • Explore the relationship between social determinants of health and health disparities;
  • Identify social determinants of health when working with people and communities; and
  • Describe how individuals, health systems, and communities can address social determinants of health to improve outcomes and health equity.



Class Type

Graduate Course




Summer 2022