Micro-Minor in Health Equity

An HSSJ student in a baseball cap sits in the foreground of a class

The Health Equity Micro-Minor engages students in questions surrounding the social and structural inequities that historically marginalized populations face when trying to achieve their full health potential.

Coursework is interdisciplinary, exploring diverse cultural perspectives on how health relates to the principles of social justice, ethics and human rights. Students also gain an in-depth understanding of health equity and related concepts.

The micro-minor requires three courses:

  • one foundational class in health equity
  • two electives, such as Race, Medicine and Public Health, Principles of Ethical Leadership or World on a Plate.

How to Apply

  1. Bring a Declaration of Major/Minor form to program co-director Maranda Ward to obtain a signature. Contact Maranda Ward with any questions about the micro-minor or about enrolling in the foundational course.
  2. Request a signature from co-director Maranda Ward.
  3. Submit the signed declaration form to your home school advising office for processing.

Program Outcomes

Students who complete the micro-minor will be able to:
  • Explain how eliminating health disparities serve as a metric for progress toward health equity for all U.S. populations
  • Describe historical, economic and/or social indicators of disadvantage, marginalization and discrimination within U.S. subpopulations
  • Review changes to policies, practices, laws and systems as what fosters opportunities for populations to be healthy
  • Critically analyze the role of racism and/or discrimination to explain the disproportionate morbidity and mortality rates and other adverse health outcomes among historically marginalized populations

Defining "Health Equity"

When we talk about health disparities, we are talking about the unnecessary differences in health that exist within and across socially disadvantaged populations. These differences relate directly to issues such as poverty, discrimination and segregation.

These types of unfair health differences are not people-based issues (such as age, genetics or biology) but policy-based ones. In the health equity micro-minor, coursework is designed to emphasize that any discussion of health disparities must include the sociocultural and geopolitical factors that shape population health.

In the core micro-minor course, Foundations of Health Equity, students will learn to distinguish between the concepts of health difference, health disparity, health inequity and health equity.

Course Requirements

 The following requirements must be fulfilled: 9 credits, including one 3-credit required course and 6 credits in elective courses.
All students must complete HSCI 2050 before taking either of the two electives courses. There are no other prerequisites for any of the elective courses.
HSCI 2050Foundations of Health Equity
Two courses selected from the following:
AMST 4702WRace, Medicine, and Public Health *
or HIST 3001W Special Topics
or HONR 2047W Self and Society Seminar
HIST 2016Capitalism and Inequality from the Industrial Revolution to Present
HSCI 2050Foundations of Health Equity
HSSJ 1177Social Justice and Public Policy *
or HSSJ 2200 Principles of Ethical Leadership
PUBH 2117Service Learning in Public Health
SUST 3003World on a Plate

*Only one course from this set of options may be counted toward program requirements.