Population Health

Undergraduate courses

The UW seeks to foster the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers by developing innovative education opportunities that address the complexities of population health.

The Population Health Initiative offers or partners to offer several undergraduate courses that are intended to raise awareness of the range of intersecting and overlapping factors that influence health.

GEN ST 199: First-year Interest Groups (fall quarter)

The Population Health Initiative has partnered with the University of Washington’s First Year Programs to introduce the concept of population health to the approximately 3,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students who join a First-year Interest Group (FIG) each year.

As part of this course, students engage in the Seattle Communities and Research (CoRe) project, which is an exploration of Seattle neighborhoods over several weeks during the fall. In teaming with the CoRe project, the Population Health Initiative offers students a population health lens through which they can analyze the various aspects of a neighborhood that contribute to resident’s overall health and well-being.

GEN ST 297: Disasters (spring quarter)

Disasters: Approaches to Preparation, Response and Recovery

The Population Health Initiative first offered a General Studies course, “Disasters: Approaches to Preparation, Response and Recovery,” during spring quarter 2019.

The course features a series of faculty lectures focused on the research and service-related activities at the UW that contribute to preparations for, responses to, and recovery from a natural or human-made disaster.

This one-credit course is available to undergraduate students on a credit/no credit-only basis. Each lecture is open to all interested faculty, students, staff, alumni and members of the community.

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GEN ST 391: Research Exposed - Population Health (winter quarter)

Image of President Cauce

President Cauce addresses students in a 2018 class.

The Population Health Initiative partners with the University of Washington’s Undergraduate Research Program each winter quarter to offer the Research Exposed! (General Studies 391) course, which features a series of faculty lectures focused on the three pillars of population health: human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity.

Undergraduates may take this course for credit (i.e., one credit/quarter; three quarters max). Each lecture is open to all interested faculty, students, staff, alumni and members of the community.

More information about Research Exposed course can be found on the Undergraduate Research Program website. A summary of the courses from winter quarter 2018, 2019 and 2020 can be found on our News page.

Honors 232A: Improving Population Health through Social Entrepreneurship (spring quarter 2020)

The Population Health Initiative is partnering with the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance to offer the undergraduate Honors course, “Improving Population Health through Social Entrepreneurship,” in spring 2020.

The course will offer students a fundamental understanding of the process of social innovation, and the role that social enterprises can play in addressing population health challenges. Through a combination of lectures, guest speakers, case studies and a team project, students will learn how organizations can advance work that has a positive societal impact while also remaining financially sustainable.

Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the key characteristics of a social enterprise and become familiar with examples of mission-based organizations in population health
  • Understand the financial and business models that enable an organization company and investors to value both social impact and financial return on investment
  • Critically assess whether a population health intervention can become a sustainable social enterprise
  • Understand the governance structures of social enterprises and ethical frameworks within which they operate

Other undergraduate courses

The Population Health Initiative has also compiled a sampling of courses that are open to all undergraduates who are interested in gaining deeper exposure to population health-related topics.

View Bothell courses

View Seattle courses

View Tacoma courses