Human Rights and Social Justice.

As part of Boston University’s on-campus Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, you have the option to add a Context Certificate to your functional area of concentration, deepening your knowledge in an area or population of greatest interest to you.

Human Rights and Social Justice Context Certificate

Health is strongly affected by racism, sexism, poverty, violence, and discrimination. Consequently, public health strategies that promote human rights and social justice are needed to empower vulnerable and marginalized populations, including the elderly and immigrants, to improve their health and well-being. This 12-credit certificate equips students to engage communities at the local, state, country, and global levels to address critical public health problems in a human rights framework.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Apply principles of human rights and social justice to analyze public health problems, and to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of national and international public health policies and programs.
  • Use the principles of human rights and social justice to address inequalities and disparities that continue to plague public health programs.
  • Develop strategies for human rights and social justice advocacy in public health policy and program planning.
  • Describe the roles of history, power, privilege, and structural inequality in producing health disparities.

Sample Course Titles

  • Health and Human Rights
  • Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights
  • Ethical Issues in Medicine and Public Health
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Poverty, Health, and Development
  • Social Justice and the Health of Populations: Racism and Other Systems of Oppression in America
  • Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • Strategies for Public Health Advocacy

View the BU Bulletin for Course Requirements

Sample Practicum

  • Juvenile Mental Health Advocacy Project at Health Law Advocates, Inc.
  • Policy and Advocacy at the Massachusetts Public Health Association
  • Patient Advocacy and Institutional Ethics Committee at Boston Medical Center
  • Forensic Medical Evaluation Group for asylum-seekers and torture survivors at Boston Medical Center
  • The WAGE Project, Boston

Certificate Director

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about MPH degree requirements and admissions, request information to learn more.