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Social Determinants of Health


This is an introductory course on social determinants of population health with a focus on the United States. The course will introduce you to, or reinforce your knowledge of, issues related to health that consider behavioral, psychological and structural factors in population health beyond the healthcare system. We will examine social, economic, and political factors that contribute to health inequalities and suggest innovative ways to reduce disparities in health when the goal is to achieve health equity.

This course will increase your awareness, knowledge, and understanding of issues related to behavioral, psychological, and structural factors that contribute to understanding population health and health inequities. We will discuss conceptual and methodological issues key to health professionals working towards achieving health equity to reduce health disparities at multiple levels of influence. There will be opportunities to practice skills involving cultural humility, deliberative dialogues and professional self-assessments.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequalities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels





4 weeks



U-M Credit Eligible



  • Cleopatra Caldwell

    Professor and Chair

    Department of Health Behavior and Health Education