About the EQUITY Concentration
The Health Equity and Social Justice (EQUITY) concentration is hosted by the Gillings School’s Departments of Epidemiology, Environmental Sciences and Health Behavior. This concentration will prepare you for positions in diverse areas of public health through training in quantitative, qualitative and community-engaged approaches in research and practice.

A cross-cutting and interdisciplinary concentration, EQUITY will empower you with a fundamental understanding of the history, principles, theories and frameworks of health equity, anti-racism, social justice and human rights. Addressing Systemic Racism in Schools of Public Health (PDF)

What You'll Learn

This concentration will train you to assess social determinants of health and structural inequities and to devise community-engaged solutions to address them through public health practice or research.

Specifically, you will learn to:

Critically evaluate the social determinants of health and understand how they contribute to health inequities; and

Apply a range of community-engaged strategies and methodologies to advance Health equity and social justice through mentored fieldwork in the United States or another nation.

Required Courses & Sample Plan of Study

In addition to the interdisciplinary, 14-credit Gillings MPH Core, you will take seven concentration-specific courses and complete a community-based capstone project. 

  • ENVR 784: Community-driven Research and Environmental Justice
  • EPID 826: Introduction to Social Epidemiology
  • EPID 892: Translating Health Equity Methods into Practice
  • HBEH 746: Community-led Capstone Project, Part I
  • HBEH 700: Leading for Health Equity
  • HBEH 720: Health Equity Methods
  • PUBH 748: Leadership in Health Policy for Social Justice
  • HBEH 992: Community-led Capstone Project, Part II (MPH Culminating Experience)
  • Health Equity and Social Justice Degree Requirements and Study Plan (PDF)

    *This concentration has a $600 field fee to cover a portion of the expenses associated with required fieldwork that are not covered by state dollars paid through tuition. For administrative purposes, this fee is tagged to HBEH 746.

    You also will complete a summer practicum during your first year.


    Minority Health Conference

    Members of the Gillings School Minority Student Caucus have planned and executed the annual UNC-Chapel Hill Minority Health Conference since 1977. The conference is the country’s largest and longest-running student-led conference focused on public health issues.

    Career Opportunities

    Our Graduates Work As...
    Public health advisor
    Health policy analyst
    Outreach coordinator
    Health educator
    Research coordinator
    Coalition coordinator
    Our Graduates Work With...
    Government agencies
    Local and state health departments
    Nonprofit organizations
    Research and development firms
    International health agencies
    Colleges and universities

    99% of Gillings graduates have a job or continue their education within one year of graduating.

    Learn more about the opportunities that await you with an MPH from the Gillings School.

    Promoting health equity and social justice
    Ready to apply?
    Assistant Director of Academic Advising
    Adia Ware
    Rosenau Hall 202A

    Concentration Leaders
    Co-Lead: Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD
    Co-Lead: Anissa Vines, PhD
    Co-Lead: Courtney Woods, PhD

    School Events

    May 30
    9:00 am
    3:00 pm
    Inclusive Excellence Summer Symposium
    June 17
    8:00 am
    5:00 pm
    2024 Add Health Users Conference