Title of Work

Training the next generation of Public Health Leaders: Integrating social justice in MPH Curriculum

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

May 2020

Conference Location

Eagan, Minnesota


Background: MPH curriculum should prepare students with social justice knowledge, language and tools to actively work towards health equity (with community/in community) and public health policy initiatives. To that end, we are supplementing/updating St. Catherine University’s MPH in Global Health core curriculum to explicitly bring social justice and health equity to the forefront of our coursework. Methods:With a faculty and student collaboration and input from an advisory board, we have: 1) reviewed social justice texts and supplemental readings, 2) reviewed syllabi of 6 core MPH courses and identified areas for strengthening social justice language and activities, 3) explicitly defined social justice as it relates to our program, 4) revised MPH orientation, and 5) developed a process of evaluation by the students.Results: As a result of these initiatives, we have updated the core MPH curriculum by selecting articles, activities, and examples that reflect the need for equity in public and global health. Additionally, we have created a complementary training program that weaves key concepts together from student orientation to graduation in an overarching framework. This includes a supplemental reader, in-depth analysis of key social justice ideas, and translation of social justice concepts into skills. Upon exiting the program, students will evaluate their competencies in regards to equity and social justice.Conclusion: This curriculum will prepare St. Kates grads with the skills and understanding needed to work in a field centered in health equity and social justice.

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