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U.S. Health Justice Concentration

In the United States, the burden of disease and the benefit of long and healthy life expectancies are unequally distributed across the population. Vast, persistent and avoidable health inequalities by race, geography, class, gender identity and sexual orientation are well documented. Addressing these inequalities is both a critical challenge and critical objective for public health researchers and practitioners. Advancing health justice and equity are also central to YSPH's mission.

The U.S. Health Justice Concentration prepares students from any YSPH department to analyze and address systems and processes that perpetuate health injustice in the United States including how past and present systems of privilege and power, related to race, class, gender, sexual orientation and other identities, create unequal burdens on health that are avoidable and unjust. Students will develop tools to analyze public health research methods, discourse and practice using a health justice framework in addition to developing skills in organizing, advocacy and policy. Though not limited to Connecticut, the concentration emphasizes local health needs and partners with local organizations that are working to advance health justice.


2024-25 Matriculation
Students enrolled in the YSPH U.S. Health Justice Concentration must fulfill the requirements of their respective departments or programs. In addition, the U.S. Health Justice Concentration requires the student to complete:

USHJC Course Requirements (4-5 course units)

  • SBS 590 Advocacy and Activism - 1 unit
One of the following courses:
  • SBS 592 Biomedical Justice: Public Health Critiques and Praxis - Not offered AY24-25
  • SBS 593 Community-based Participatory Research in Public Health - 1 unit
One of the following applied practice experiences:
  • EPH 501 US Health Justice Practicum - 1 unit
  • EPH 521 Summer Internship - 0 units
  • HPM 556 Advanced Health Policy Practicum - 1 unit
  • HPM 555 02 Health Policy and Health Care Management Practicum - 1 unit
  • SBS 562 Inclusive Design for the Built Environment - 1 unit
One course that critically analyzes the roles of history, power and privilege in creating and maintaining health inequities:
  • SBS 581 Stigma and Health - 1 unit
  • SBS 570 LGBTQ Population Health - 1 unit
  • HSHM 406 Health Care for the Urban Poor - 1 unit
  • HSHM 436 Health and Incarceration in US. History - 1 unit
  • HSHM 465 Reproductive Health, Gender, & Power in the US - 1 unit
  • ENV 846 Perspectives on Environmental Injustices - 1 unit
  • HIST 479/HSHM 241 Sickness and Health in African American History - 1 unit
  • EMD 584 Advanced Global Health Justice Practicum - 0.5-1 units
  • HSHM 475 Race and Disease in American Medicine - 1 unit
  • SBS 587 Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Reform - 1 unit
  • CDE 545 Health Disparities by Race and Social Class: Application to Chronic Disease Epidemiology - 1 unit
  • SBS 531 Health & Aging - 1 unit
  • ARCH 3272 Exhibitionism: Politics of Display - 1 unit
  • ENV 649 Food Systems: Implications of Unequal Access - 1 unit
  • HSHM 424 Citizenship, Race, and Public Health in US History - 1 unit
  • CDE 570 Humanities, Arts, and Public Health
  • SBS 560 Sexual and Reproductive Health - 1 unit
One course that discusses how systems of government and law affect health equity at the local*, state, and national level:
  • SBS 585 Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights - 1 unit
  • HPM 588 Public Health Law - 1 unit
  • HPM 514 Health Politics, Governance, and Policy - 1 unit
  • ENV 975 Environmental Law & Justice Clinic - 1 unit
  • EMD 582 Political Epidemiology - 1 unit
  • EPH 555 Clinic in Environmental/Climate Justice - 1 unit
*Additional courses may be added to this list with approval of the concentration director.

U.S. Health Justice Concentration Competencies

  • Students will develop community organizing and health advocacy strategies to advance health equity.
  • Students will analyze the national, state, and local regulatory environment as leverage points to impact policy change that advances health equity.
  • Students will analyze the ways that power, privilege, and history shape the creation and interpretation of public health knowledge and practice.
  • Students will employ multiple sources of evidence (e.g., narrative and epidemiological data) and a critical justice lens to construct persuasive arguments that advance health equity
  • Students will reflect on how their own positionality, subjectivity, power and privilege shapes their engagement in public health practice and advocacy.