Multicultural Health


Continuing wide discrepancies by ethnicity in health and access to health care in the United States pose dramatic challenges to the field of public health. These problems range from high infant mortality rates in many communities of color to large gaps in morbidity and mortality among adults. Such differentials present major challenges to virtually every discipline within public health, from environmental and occupational health, epidemiology, health education, and health policy and management.

As the composition of the U.S. population becomes increasingly multicultural, it is critical that schools of public health play a leadership role in addressing the challenges and opportunities afforded by our changing demographics through multiple means. The Specialty Area in Multicultural Health was created to address this challenge.


After completing selected coursework, students will receive a Multicultural Health certificate upon graduation in addition to their degree.

This specialty area requires 9 units, consisting of a required course, PH 202B, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Health Status and Behavior, and 6 additional units. It is strongly recommended that one of the student's additional elective courses be taken outside the School of Public Health.

Required Course:

  • PH 202B Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Health Status and Behavior

The required core course for this specialty area focuses on ethnic and cultural diversity in health behavior as a basis for public health programs.

Elective Courses:

  • PH 204F: Culture, Public Health Practice, and Eliminating Health Disparities: From Ideas to Action in the 21st Century
  • PH 212C: Health and Social Policy in Mexico and Latin America 
  • PH 221B: Understanding and Overcoming Health Care Disparities
  • PH 255A: Social Epidemiology
  • PH 290.002 Research Advances in Health Disparities: Multidisciplinary Perspectives 


Students interested in pursuing coursework and/or research in multicultural health should apply to any of the regular academic programs of the School of Public Health. Once students are enrolled, they can sign up for the Multicultural Health Specialty. For more information, please contact