Course Listings



Each semester, the CUNY Urban Health Collaborative, a network of CUNY faculty, students and staff engaged in teaching, research or service on urban health, distributes a list of courses related to urban health available at various CUNY campuses. Below is the Spring 2008 list. Send updates to Zoe Meleo Erwin at


PSY 80103 --Health Psychology {92154} (3 credits), Mondays, 2:00-4:00pm, Revenson

This seminar presents an overview of current theory and research in the field of health psychology. The course emphasizes the biopsychosocial model of understanding health and illness. The aims of this course are threefold. First, students will become acquainted with current knowledge in substantive areas, such as risk factors in the development of illness, cognitive models of illness, stress and coping processes, micro-level and macro-level social factors,and behavioral and community-based health interventions. Second, students will develop an understanding of the models, theories, and methods used to explore person and environment factors in health and disease. Third, issues will be discussed with an awareness of diversity and the importance of understanding the sociocultural context; specifically, each topic area will be examined as it relates to issues of gender, ethnicity, SES, sexual orientation, and age. For more information e-mail


SOC 81900 - Interdisciplinary Methods for Urban Health Research (3 credits), Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30, Lennon (cross-listed with Public Health as PH 801)

This course introduces students to research on urban health problems from various disciplinary perspectives. The focus will be on how scholars from a range of disciplines investigate health disparities and develop interventions to promote well-being in urban communities. Disciplines include political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, demography, history, and epidemiology. The course will consider disparities related to gender, race, and socioeconomic status, with particular attention on specific populations, such as poor children and families, and homeless individuals. Throughout the course, attention is given to the distinctive set of challenges faced by urban populations. Students are expected to prepare three research papers and a final project. The research papers are expected to compare and contrast studies using two different disciplinary and methodological approaches. The final project is to further develop one of the research paper topics into a proposal to investigate health disparities drawing on the conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches of at least two disciplines.

SOC 84700 - Sociology of Medicine {91634} (3 credits), Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00pm, Pitts

This course will offer a selective survey of the field of medical sociology, with an emphasis on representations of the body, disease and pathology, constructions of illness, and the social and power relations of medicine and biomedicine. We begin by briefly examining the social history of medicine from the 18th Century onwards and the rise of the medicalized body. Key themes include the medical gaze and processes of medicalization. We then examine how the medicalized body is framed: representations of the body in medicine, cultural images, enthographies and narratives of disease and illness, and cultural understandings of medical subjects. The third section will explore the rise of biomedicine and biocapital. Key themes include conceptions of the posthuman, the power relations of biomedical technologies, and theories on the rise of new forms of subjectivity. Course readings will reflect a range of theorical approaches, including social constructionism, symbolic interactionism, feminisms, neoliberalism and poststructuralism. Among the aims of the course is to invigorate our sociological imaginations with regard to approaching medicine and the medicalized body and to foster innovative ideas for future exploration and research. For more information, e-mail

SOC 85404 - Family, Parenthood, and Adoption {91635} (3 credits), Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, Katz Rothman.

This course will offer a sociological analysis of the family in its many old and new variations, with particular attention to issues of birth and parenting. The focus will be on the United States and its particular racial, class and gender politics and eugenic history, with an awareness of the global context in which Americans live and raise our families. Specific topics to be covered will include: Infertility and the new technologies of procreation such as the donation and sale of gametes and ‘gestational services'; contraception and abortion, including prenatal testing and selective abortion; the medicalization and demedicalization of childbirth practices, the midwifery and homebirth movements; child bearing and rearing within gay and lesbian families; child care arrangements and services, including 'transnational mothering'; adoption, with particular attention to the issues of foster care, international and ‘transracial' adoptions; other topics to be agreed upon by members of the seminar.


Urban Health
Interested Students should contact Diane Brows at or 212-481-5111.

Masters-level courses:
COMHE 754 - Research and Evaluation, Krauss, Tuesdays, 6:05-7:50pm, Room 016E Identifying or designing a health program, finding funding sources, and developing a proposal covering program need, program objectives, a management and quality assurance plan, preliminary work, evaluation, budget, and a plan for funding support. (formerly COMHE 741) Prereqs: PH 700, PH 710, COMHE 750 or 700, COMHE 751 or 701, COMHE 752 or 740.

NUTR 710 - Public Health Nutrition, Spark, Wednesdays, 6:05-7:50pm, Room 417W, Fundamentals of nutrition in public health as they apply to health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and society, with emphasis on urban populations.

PH 700.01 - Biostatistics, TBA, Mondays, 5:00-7:50pm, PH 700.02 - Biostatistics, TBA, Mondays, 5:00-7:50pm, Room 106E. Room 106E, UPH matrics. 2 Sections meet together Application of statistical methods to health data: demographic concepts, life tables, rates and their use in administration and epidemiology, measurements and distributions, testing of significance, and concepts of sampling. Prereq: Elementary statistics or calculus.

PH 703.00 and 02 - Principles of Epidemiology, Yeh/Kelvin, Wednesdays, 5:00-7:50pm, Room 016E
Prereq: PH 700. Meets w/section 2 Lectures, seminars, exercises on concepts, principles, and uses of epidemiology. Study of selected communicable and chronic diseases to illustrate description of distributions and causes, analysis of causes, approaches to prevention. Prereq: PH 700. Matriculated students only.

PH 703.03 - Principles of Epidemiology, Klitzman/Devito, Thursdays, 5:00-7:50pm, Room 016E

PH 710 - Urban Health Promotion, TBA, Tuesdays, 8:00-9:45pm, Room 103E, Examines impact of social and political forces on the health of urban populations and describes roles for public health professionals in promoting health of urban communities.

PH 740 - Public Health Policy, Freudenberg, Wednesdays, 6:05-7:50pm, Room 103E, Through in-depth exploration of major health issues, course examines how government policies and social and economic factors influence the practice of public health in urban settings and how public health professionals can influence policy. Spring 2008 focus on obesity and schools and health. Prereq for MPH students: At least 33 cr including PH 700,701,702,703, and 710.

PH 770.09 - Immigration & Health, Viladrich, Thursdays, 8:00-9:45pm, This course offers a comprehensive overview of the most relevant topics on the vast and still growing field of immigrant health in the US. By relying on the sociological, anthropological, and public health literature, this course will examine general policy issues involving immigrant populations in the US (e.g., immigration law and changes in welfare reform), the characteristics of service provision, the diversity of alternative healing systems and practices among diverse immigrant groups, and the importance of socioeconomic and cultural determinants on immigrants' health outcomes. Immigrants' differences in terms of culture and nationality, class, race/ethnicity, age, and gender will also be considered.

Media, Community Advocacy and Urban Environments, Anderson and Angotti, Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00pm, Room 544HN, This graduate class will be a collaborative workshop that brings together Hunter College students from Urban Planning and Integrated Media Arts. Students will work in groups (1 Urban Affairs student and 1-2 IMA students per group) to create short documentaries dealing with a particular New York City neighborhood and a critical social issue residents or business owners are facing in that community. Priority will be given to Urban Planning students with existing relationships to a particular community and a commitment to working on a particular issue within that community. IMA students will be chosen based on their production skills, and their interest in creating media that can be used to create change. Please note that we are not intending to create one-dimensional, propagandistic pieces. On the contrary, we want to explore the use of varying styles of documentary to observe, document, inform, and impact audiences emotionally, intellectually and politically. If you are interested in taking the course, please contact Kelly Anderson at (IMA students) or (Urban Planning students)


PH 770.04 Visual Media, Technology & Health, Daniels, PhD January 17, 18, 22, 23, and 24, 2008, 10am-6pm Visual media - TV, documentary films, and now YouTube - affect how we think about health, public health, illness and the body. In 2007, for example, HBO launched a documentary series called "Addiction," funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA), presented a strong message that drug addiction is "a brain disease" (HBO, 2007). Among the most compelling pieces in the HBO series was a video diary a man made based on his own addiction to crack cocaine while he was a prominent news anchor. What do these visual images mean and how can we use Internet technology to counter these with other images? In this course, students will watch and critically evaluate health-focused documentary films; and, students will gain hands-on experience in creating their own visual media. At the end of this short but intensive course each student will have a completed a health-related video uploaded to YouTube.

Interested students should email Jane Levitt at

HEA 600.81 - Biostatistics, Borrell, 3 hours, 3 credits. Wednesdays, 6:00-8:40pm, Application of statistical techniques in the analysis of health data. Emphasis on interpretation of basic descriptive and inferential statistics in health research. Includes an introduction to computer software used in the statistical analysis of health data.

HSD 606.81 - Epidemiology Hybrid/Online, Menendez, Online & Wednesdays, 6:00-8:40pm, 3 hours, 3 credits. Epidemiological principles and concepts are examined with respect to their application to measuring the distribution and determinants of disease. Research designs in experimental and observational epidemiologic studies aimed at identifying risk factors and disease etiology are evaluated and critiqued as well as the validity and reliability of screening programs. PREREQ: HEA 600

PHE 702.81 - Environmental Health, Maantay, Tuesdays, 6:00-8:40pm, 3 credits. Impact of human activities on environmental quality and human health; effect of environment on health and disease; examination of ecological principles, environmental health assessment, health policy/law and environmental justice; human population dynamics; types and sources of pollutants and approaches to prevention and control. Environmental disease monitoring and health risk assessment are examined in a 2-hour laboratory using Geographical Information Science (GIS).

PHE 703.81 - Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health, Merzel, Thursdays, 6:00-8:40pm, 3 credits. Examination of social and psychological aspects related to health behaviors and the implications for public health practice; theories of health behavior change and their application; assessment of health behavior and health promotion interventions.

PHE 710.81 - Research Methods, Borrell, Mondays, 6:00-8:40pm, 3 credits. Principles of program evaluation and research applied to public health issues; design of research studies; analysis, interpretation and reporting of evaluation data. PREREQ: HEA 600.

PHE 680.01 - Community Assessment, Boden, January 3, 8, & 10th, 6:00-8:40pm, 1 credit.
PHE 680.02 - Focus Groups, Neville, January 15, 17, 22, & 23rd, 6:00-8:40pm, 1 credit.

For more information contact Sandra Fajardo, Assistant Director of Academic Advisement at

PAF 9730 - Comparative Health Care Systems, Altman, Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30pm, 3 credits. Explores the salient features of health systems of several countries. In order to develop an ability to review and critique other systems, and to establish the relevance of the course, the U.S. system will be discussed first. The review of other systems will be done (1) by reviewing the systems descriptively and (2) by assessing how the systems comparatively address issues raised in the review of the U.S. system. Finally, the knowledge attained will be used to discuss possible future changes to the U.S. system. The course assumes knowledge of the structure of the American health care system.
PAF 9799 - Quality Measurement, Reporting and Improvement in Health Care, Sofaer, Thursdays, 6:00-8:30pm, 3 credits. Health care in the US as well as other nations is increasingly relying on measurement, public reporting and improvement as strategies to improve the quality and safety of patient care, across providers and settings. This course will explore the concepts and assumptions underlying each of these activities, describe specific efforts in some detail, and identify the strategies and skills that appear to be most productive, based on evidence to date. The course is designed to help students participate in and eventually lead efforts of this kind both from within health care organizations and from within related stakeholder organizations such as government, private sector purchasers, consumer advocates, etc.

For more information, contact Professor Gerald Oppenheimer at

Course Number 772.4 Professor Eastwood Course title: Health Policy and Administration in Public Health Hours and Credits: Thursday, 6:20-9:00 pm. 30 hours plus conference; 3 credits Course description: Study of public health policy and its impact on health care service organization, administration, and delivery. Study of public policies that drive health care organization and delivery. Examples of special topics in public health policy such as Medicare and Medicaid development and changes. Administrative responses to policy shifts. Increasing complexity and frequent changes in law and regulation change how health care services are defined and delivered. Public health policy is among the most dynamic and volatile topics in the United States today. Frequent changes in health policy, federal and state statute and regulation have an effect on administrative and provider responses to shifts. The dramatic changes in federal/state programs such Medicare and Medicaid drive organization and delivery of services. Additionally, shifts in public policy are generally reflected in private sector responses (insurance, hospital and ambulatory care services, development and shrinkage of specific services). This course provides a policy-driven historical overview of public health policy, current policy debates, and state and local administrative responses to policy shifts. In addition, policy is examined from the "iron triangle" of health care reform: access, cost, and quality. There is no course that covers major health policies in the United States. The course provides necessary tools to interpret and understand the links between macro health policy and implementation.

H&NTR 773X -- Bioethics: Health and Medical Dilemmas Thursday, 6:20 - 9:00; 3 credits. Professor Betty Wolder Levin. Multidisciplinary perspectives on ethical issues concerning clinical and public health practice, research and policy. Overview and critical examination of bioethical theory and methods. Focus on urban health dilemmas, particularly those pertaining to race, class and culture. In depth, multilevel analysis of cases and policies concerning end-of-life care. Topics for terms papers and further discussion ( e.g. issues concerning reproduction, global health, HIV/AIDS, health determinants) to be determined by students' interests.