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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Education in Health Sciences
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Social Sciences & Health

The educational mission of this track is to prepare its graduates for scholarly and research careers in the three thematic areas below. A cross-cutting emphasis is developing novel methods for characterizing and reducing health inequities in vulnerable populations.

Health Measurement and Application

In order to improve health, we need to be able to evaluate its physical, mental and social aspects across the lifespan. Health measurement is essential to the provision of patient-centered, responsive, evidence-based and cost-effective healthcare. Track faculty are renowned for leading the national trend toward measuring health from the perspective of people directly affected by a range of physical and mental disorders (i.e., patient-reported outcomes as well as the development of common metrics and toolkits that transcend disease areas, such as PROMIS and Toolbox). Our faculty also have expertise in developmentally-sensitive measurement and novel longitudinal applications.

Health Promotion and Disease Management

The burden of disease affects every aspect of our society. Despite major advances in prevention, early detection and treatment, it is vital to develop novel, evidence-based strategies to prevent and manage major health conditions. Our track faculty are making major contributions to the science of health promotion and disease management that build creatively on the complex and multidimensional nature of the determinants of health and disease and employ the multilevel interventions necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality for diverse individual across the full disease spectrum and the lifecourse. Our portfolio in this area includes innovative uses of technology to most effectively engage target populations (e.g., social media, web-based behavioral and psychosocial interventions, including symptom monitoring and management) and cultural tailoring particularly designed to improve quality of life and health outcomes in disparities populations. 

Mechanisms of Health and Disease Across the Lifespan

Increasingly, there is recognition of the potent impact of development on disease onset and course and the intersecting influences of brain, physiology and behavior on these patterns. Building on our robust collection of health measurement tools, faculty experts in developmental science, causal modeling, neuroscience and psychoneuroimmunology have broken new ground in the investigation of these complex and mutually interacting influences on disease patterns.  



 Required Courses

  • HSIP 400 Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Doctoral Colloquium
  • EPI_BIO 301 or PH 302 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • EPI_BIO 302 Introduction to Epidemiology or HSR 425 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • HSIP 401 Introduction to Health Measurement Science
  • PH 301 Behavior, Society and Health

Choose one of the following required courses:

  • STAT 348 Applied Multivariate Analysis
  • ANTHRO 306 Evolution of Life History Strategies
  • PSYCH 401-2 Psychology Proseminar: Social & Personality Bases of Behavior

Choose one of the following required courses:

  • EPI_BIO 402 Intermediate Biostatistics
  • HSR 465 Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • PH 323 Health Equity
  • PH 447 Behavioral Medicine Interventions: From the Individual to the Population

Choose a required writing course:

  • PH 445 Writing and Peer Reviewing for Publication
  • HSR 462 Grant Writing (0.5 credit)

 Recommended Electives

Choose four elective courses from the following. Other electives may be taken with adviser approval.

Patient-Centered Outcomes and Measurement

  • HSR 440 Disparities in Healthcare
  • HSR 460 Ethical issues in Health Services Research
  • HSR 470 Health Policy
  • PH 438 Survey Design and Methodology
  • Psych 405 Psychometric Theory
  • Psych 451 Statistics in Experimental Design
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

  • PH 439 Qualitative Research Methods
  • PH 446 Clinical Trials
  • PH 447 Behavioral Medicine Interventions
  • CLIN PSYCH:  Health Psychology
  • CLIN PSYCH:  Developmental Psychopathology
  • PSYCH 440 Self-Regulation
  • CLIN PSYCH 471 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • NUIN 433 Neurobiology of Disease
  • ANTHRO 490 Human Population Biology
  • HLTH COM 420 The Experience of Illness
  • HLTH COM 479 Health Information Technology for Communication

Mechanisms of Health and Disease Across the Lifespan

  • CLIN PSY 487 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Psych 497 Multi-Level Modeling in Behavioral Research
  • HDSP 413 Theories of Human Development
  • HDSP 306 Developmental Psychopathology
  • HDSP 404 Adult development & Aging
  • HDSP Child Development
  • NUIN 473 Mechanisms of Aging and Dementia
  • NUIN 433 Neurobiology of Disease
  • NUIN 401 Fundamentals of Neuroscience
  • Psych 312 Neurobiology and Behavior
  • HDSP 415 Nature/Nurture Revisited
  • CLIN PSYCH 471 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYCH 342 Biological Basis of Mental Illness
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