Population Health

Seattle undergraduate courses

Undergraduate students who would like deeper exposure to population health may find one or more of the following courses to be of interest. This list is a sampling of undergraduate courses across disciplines at UW Seattle that (1) are open to non-majors and (2) do not require completion of a prerequisite, thereby allowing interested students to register as they have availability in their schedule. Similar lists of courses are available for UW Bothell and UW Tacoma.

Arts & Sciences

AES 150 In-Justice for All: Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in the United States (5) I&S, DIV
Focusing on pre-Columbus era to 1970, students develop an understanding of how race, ethnicity, nationality, class and gender impact all Americans – especially those viewed as racial ethnic minorities.

AES 211 Environmental Justice (5) I&S, DIV
Examines introductory studies of environmental racism and ecological injustice in the United States and select areas of the world. Reviews environmental justice theories and methods applied to risk science, ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Includes comparative studies of social movements for “eco-justice.”

ANTH 215 Introduction to Medical Anthropology and Global Health (5) I&S, DIV
Explores influences of global processes on health of U.S. and other societies from a social-justice perspective. Emphasizes inter-relationships between cultural, environmental, social-economic, political and medical systems that contribute to health status, outcomes, policies and healthcare delivery. Focuses on health disparities within and between societies and communities around the world.

DIS ST 230 Introduction to Disability Studies (5) I&S, DIV
Introduces the field of disability studies. Focuses on the theoretical questions of how society predominantly understands disability and the social justice consequences. Examines biological, social, cultural, political and economic determinants in the framing of disability.

JSIS 123 Introduction to Globalization (5) I&S, DIV
Provides an introduction to the debates over globalization. Focuses on the growth and intensification of global ties. Addresses the resulting inequalities and tensions, as well as the new opportunities for cultural and political exchange. Topics include the impacts on government, finance, labor, culture, the environment, health and activism.

LSJ 200 Introduction to Law, Societies, and Justice (5) I&S
Explores the central role of law in social processes; investigates the primary types of legal regimes and compares them across different national and international contexts; contrasts legal with non-legal forms of social ordering; investigates the structure and practice of human rights law.

SOC 111 American Society (5) I&S
Explores the power of social structures using examples drawn primarily from the American culture. The impact of social institutions, the emergence of concrete patterns of social relations which organize and regulate social life and the inequality inherent in most social structures.

SPHSC 250 Human Communication and Its Disorders (5) I&S/NW
Overview of normal and impaired human communication, including speech, language and hearing disorders. Required for majors; open to nonmajors.

Built Environments

B E 220 Cities, Health, and Well-being (3) I&S
This course analyzes the ways urban built environments bear on physical and mental health and well-being (material-economic resources, security, social relations, open choices). It focuses on how the practices and knowledge of built environment professions and disciplines interact with public health, engineering and the sciences to understand and change cities.


MGMT 200 Introduction to Law (5) I&S
Legal institutions and processes; law as a system of social thought and behavior and a frame of order within which rival claims are resolved and compromised; legal reasoning; law as a process of protecting and facilitating voluntary arrangements in a business society.


DENTEL 520 Global Oral Health (1)
Provides an overview of global health inequalities and the burden of oral disease worldwide. Students will be introduced to international health care systems and the social, political, cultural, behavioral and economic factors influencing them. The course will use case studies with interactive student participation to analyze the impact of oral health on the public health system at a country level.

Open to undergraduates.


EDUC 200 Special Topics in Education, Learning, and Society (3-5, max. 15) I&S
Critical examination of current research and practice in education, learning and society


CEE 100 Twenty-First Century Civil and Environmental Engineering (1)
Introduction to the modern discipline of civil and environmental engineering including major sub-disciplines, professional careers, projects and departmental faculty. Explores the different disciplines and their relevance to today’s students. Credit/no-credit only.


ATM S 111 Global Warming: Understanding the Issues (5) I&S/NW
Includes a broad overview of the science of global warming. Discusses the causes, evidence, future projections, societal and environmental impacts and potential solutions. Introduces the debate on global warming with a focus on scientific issues.

ATM S 211 Climate and Climate Change (5) I&S/NW
The nature of the global climate system. Factors influencing climate including interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth and biosphere. Stability and sensitivity of climate system. Global warming, ozone depletion and other human influences. Intended for nonmajors.

ENVIR 239 Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts (3-5) I&S/NW
Presents frameworks of sustainability via exploration of key pillars of sustainability, the history of sustainability movements, and sustainability in action. Students examine personal and global aspects of sustainability through issues such as smart growth, environmental and natural building, green business and energy, ecotourism and international policy.

ESRM 100 Introduction to Environmental Science (5) I&S/NW
Covers the importance of the environment in society with particular emphasis on worldwide distribution and uses of resources, the role of natural and man-made environments and causes of environmental degradation. Introduces ethics of conservation and recycling.

ESS 203 Glaciers and Global Change (5) I&S/NW
Explores how glaciers record climate change and human activities through bubbles of ancient air and trace impurities in the ice. Also reviews glaciers impact on societies through sea-level, coastlines, water supplies and transportation routes. Open to non-science majors.


INFO 102 Gender and Information Technology (5) I&S, DIV
Explores the social construction of gender in relation to the history and contemporary development of information technologies. Considers the importance of diversity and difference in the design and construction of innovative information technology solutions. Challenges prevailing viewpoints about who can and does work in the information technology field.

Interdisciplinary Programs

NUTR 200 Nutrition for Today (4) NW
Examines the role of nutrition in health, wellness and prevention of chronic disease. Topics include nutrients and nutritional needs across the lifespan, food safety, food security, wellness, body weight regulation, eating disorders, sports nutrition and prevention of chronic disease.


LAW 305 Global Health and Justice (3) I&S
Explores health as a human right, focusing on injustices that occur around the world resulting in disease, disability and death. Using a justice framework, the course considers social determinants of health and vulnerabilities that exist among populations and sub-populations, such as women, children, people with disabilities or HIV and the poor. Special attention is given to low and middle income country health problems and struggles to attain healthy populations. Students will learn about the Millennium Development Goals, international human rights law and the pivotal role that law and legal infrastructure play in addressing injustices in health.


B H 201 Topics in Bioethics and Humanities (2)
Introduces topics in clinical, research, and population health ethics and methods of ethical analysis and argumentation. Addresses topics such as the birth of bioethics, informed consent, end-of-life care, genomic medicine, social justice in healthcare and in population health, and global bioethics. Credit/no-credit only.

B H 409 Ethics and the Social Determinants of Health (3) I&S, DIV
Examines ethical issues confronting healthcare workers caring for poor & minority populations, whose capacity for health and recovery from disease are compromised by social conditions in which they grow up, live, work, and age. Aims to broaden/reorient understandings of disease, patient autonomy and clinician duties within contexts of structural inequalities related to socioeconomic status/race/ethnicity/gender/other salient social differences.


NURS 201 Growth and Development Through the Life Span (5-6) I&S
Focuses on human growth and development throughout the life span. Emphasizes influence of growth and development theory and research on achievement of health and health promotional efforts directed toward persons of various ages and life styles. Optional service learning component. Open to nonmajors.


PHARM 301 Medications and Health: It’s Not All About Drugs (3) NW/I&S
Covers personal health promotion, treatment of illness, and health care. Explores several medication-related topics, provides insight on drug development and efficacy, and serves as introduction to students contemplating careers in health sciences, especially in pharmacy. Credit/no-credit only.

Public Health

BIOST 111 Lectures in Applied Statistics (1) NW
Weekly lectures illustrating the importance of statisticians in a variety of fields, including medicine and the biological, physical, and social sciences. Credit/no-credit only.

EPI 221 Maternal and Child Health – a Population Health Approach (5) NW
Provides a public health perspective of maternal and child health. Includes information on indicators of maternal, infant, and child health; risk factors for pregnancy complications, infant and child morbidity and mortality; and impact of maternal and child health on life course disease risk.

G H 101 Introduction to Global Health: Disparities, Determinants, Policies, and Outcomes (5) I&S
Provides an introduction to global health, including: the burden and distribution of disease and mortality; the determinants of global health disparities; the making of global health policies; and the outcomes of global health interventions.

G H 220 Global Environmental Change and Public Health (3) I&S
Humans are the primary drivers of global environmental changes that are changing the planet on the scale of geological forces. Students will be introduced to these changes and their consequences for human health and well-being, with a focus on climate change and its consequences.

HSERV 100 Personal and Public Health (3) I&S
Provides an overview of the key components of health and wellness. Presents a balance between individual responsibility and social determinants of public health, emphasizing a holistic preventative model. Incorporates self-assessment and considers the impact of personal, family, social, cultural and environmental factors on health.

HSERV 204 Communicating about Health: Current Issues and Perspectives (3)
Provides an overview of health communication topics and perspectives for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the health industry and those with a research interest in health communication such as caregivers, health care administrators, marketing and public relations professionals, media planners, public health promoters, and educators, researchers and others.

HSERV 482 The Health of Populations (4) I&S, DIV
Explores what makes a population healthy or unhealthy. Examines why the United States is less healthy than all other rich countries, despite being one of the healthiest fifty years ago.

Public Policy and Governance

PUBPOL 201 Introduction to Public Policy and Governance (5) I&S
Provides an introduction to policy analysis, governance, and public service. Students learn how individuals organize for common purposes, and design, implement, analyze, and evaluate policy. Students examine how policy decisions emerge and how the values of public, nonprofit and private sector leaders and institutions affect decisions and implementation.

Social Work

SOC WF 101 Social Work in Action: Bridging the Gap From Science to Service (5) I&S
Explores current social work practice and research applied to major societal problems. Lectures and discussions by leading faculty introduce students to the evidence-based perspective underlying program planning and practice innovation. Topics include: juvenile delinquency, child maltreatment, domestic violence, foster care reform, mental health, school violence, substance abuse and poverty.

SOC WF 201 Advances in Prevention Science: Bridging the Gap from Science to Service (5) I&S
Investigates the potential for preventing major social problems (child abuse and neglect, alcohol misuse and interpersonal violence). Critically examines the state of prevention science, includes dialogue about ways to enhance the exchange of ideas between research and practice communities, and explores implications for social policy.

Seminar Courses

NUTR 400 Nutrition Seminar (1, max. 4) I&S
Examines emerging issues in food and nutrition as they relate to personal and public health. Reviews evidence in the context of health policy. Credit/no-credit only.

CSDE 501 Population Studies Seminar Series (1, max. 12)
CSDE affiliates and visitors present current research projects. Credit/no-credit only. Can request add code if an undergraduate.