Meet PhD Requirements

Requirement:  Complete a minimum of two theory courses. At least one course must be numerically graded with a minimum grade of 3.0.

Definition:  Theory Courses explain the “why” or the big picture.  The Oxford Dictionary defines a theory as “A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. “

Note:  This list is not inclusive.  If the course you want to take is not listed, please check with the PhD Assistant Director before enrolling.


ANTH 562 - Clinically Applied Anthropology (3)

Anthropology as it relates to interdisciplinary delivery of culturally relevant healthcare. Cultural variation in illness beliefs and behavior, types of healing practices, illness prevention, social support networks. Prerequisite: graduate standing, permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with NURS 562.


BH 502 - Ethical Theory (5)

Studies the major normative ethical theories, including both teleological and deontological approaches. Emphasizes moral philosophy during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as contemporary commentary. Recommended: course in ethics or philosophy. Offered: A.


BH 456/556 - Social Justice in Health 

Examines the moral grounds for the view that social inequalities in health are unjust using contemporary literature from moral philosophy and bioethics, case studies, and film. Explores basic questions integral to determinations of social injustice as well as moral constraints on the pursuit of health equity.


EDPSY 503A - Culture, Learning, and Development (4)

Explores influential contemporary research and theory they view culture as foundational to learning and development. Considers these issues in a range of settings (classrooms, informal environments, families, early childhood to adult learners, etc.) and within specific domains (e.g. science, literacy, mathematics. Prerequisite: EDPSY 501 and graduate status in education or psychology. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: A.


EPI/HSERV 548 - Research Methods for Social and Contextual Determinants of Health 

Explores study-design, measurement, analytic, and interpretation issues applicable to research on social and contextual determinants of health and health disparities. This lecture/seminar course is offered to graduate students with knowledge of epidemiologic and biostatistical principles who are interested in understanding complex relationships between social/contextual factors and health. Prerequisite: EPI 511 or EPI 512/513; and BIOST 511/512/513 or BIOST 517/518. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with HSERV 548; W.


GEOG 575 - Advanced Political Geography (5, max. 10)

Provides resources for theorizing how politics shapes and is shaped by geographical relationships. Examines how politics are situated in complex material and discursive geographies that are partly reproduced through political negotiations. Examines interrelationships of contemporary capitalism with other complex systems of social and political power relations. Offered: jointly with JSIS B 575.


GEOG 576 - Research Seminar: Geographies of Racial Formations and Postcolonialism (5)

Overview of key insights from ethnic and Native studies, postcolonial, and critical race theories. Focuses on ho geographers can build from this literature to deepen our understanding of the relationship between race, state formations, and power relations.


GEOG 580 - Medical Geography (3)

Geography of disease, consideration in health systems planning. Analysis of distributions, diffusion models, migration studies. Application of distance, optimal location models to health systems planning; emergency medical services; distribution of health professionals; cultural variations in health behavior. Prerequisite: familiarity with social science research; health-related issues. Instructors: Mayer Offered: jointly with HSERV 586.


GEOG 600Independent Study or Research (*-)


GWSS 502 - Cross Disciplinary Feminist Theory (5)

Raises questions about how feminism becomes theory and what the relation of feminist theory is to conventional disciplines. Readings exemplify current crises in feminism (e.g., the emergence of neo- materialism; critical race theory; citizenship; identity; transnational and migrancy and questions of post- colonialism) to consider disciplinization.


GWSS 564 - Queer Desires (5)

Explores desire and the politics of sexuality as gendered, raced, classed, and transnational processes. Intimacies and globalization, normality and abnormality, and power and relationships as sites of inquiry into the constitution of "queerness." Students interrogate queer and sexuality studies using varied media - films, activist writing, scholarly articles.


HSERV 514Social Determinants of Population Health and Health Disparities (3)

Explores the elements and actions of a population health approach, including conceptualizing the determinants of health, synthesizing knowledge about major social determinants, and applying knowledge to improve population health and reduce health disparities. Enrollment priority for Health Services PhD students. Prerequisite: HSERV 511, permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with EPI 547.


IECMH 537 - Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (3)

Provides an overview of typical social and emotional development and psychopathology in children ages three and younger. Demonstrates attachment relationships with parents and family to infant's development and psychopathology. Core course of Infant Mental Health Certificate program


LIS 534Indigenous Systems of Knowledge (3)

Conceptual foundations and comparative analysis of indigenous knowledge organization systems. Feasibility and use of contemporary knowledge organization mechanisms including thesauri and ontologies in expressing the cultures and artifacts of indigenous peoples.


NURS 590 - Ecology of Human Health (5)

Provides conceptual foundation for the study of human health ecology within nursing science. Frameworks for understanding human health as an outcome of individual, family, and group interactions and transactions with environments are applied.  Provides the basis for evaluation and developing therapeutic approaches to improve health.


Pol S 427 - International Political Economy (5)

Examines major theoretical problems, substantive issues, and schools of thought in international political economy (IPE), including issues of trade, production, and finance. Preparation for critical analysis of dilemmas entailed in establishing and maintaining an instrumentally effective and ethically acceptable IPE system.


Pol S 517 - Marxism and Critical Theory (5)

Works of Marx and Engels as well as selected works of twentieth-century Marxist and critical theorists. Themes such as Marx's method, twentieth-century interpretations of Marx, and relationship of twentieth-century theorists to their eighteenth- and nineteenth-century forebears.


Pol S 555  - The Politics of Representation & Marginality (5)

This course examines the purpose and function of political representation, with a focus on parallels and gaps between theories of representation and political practices.


Psych 510 - Core Concepts in Social Psychology (4)

An overview of contemporary theories and research in social psychology, focusing on introducing graduate students to the field as practitioners of social psychological research. Prerequisite: graduate standing in psychology, or permission of instructor.


Psych 580 - Minority Mental Health (3)

Surveys topics on mental health and treatment of racial and ethnic minorities. Theory emphases include: models addressing ethnic identity, cross-cultural differences, models of culturally sensitive intervention. Practice emphases include unique psychotherapy strategies for: African-, Asian-, and Latino-Americans, and American Indians. Prerequisite: graduate clinical major standing in psychology, or permission of instructor.

PUBPOL 599Critical Race Theory (3)

Introduce and explore key concepts associated with CRT, and examine the specific analytic strategies critical race theorists deploy to discuss the sues and meanings of “race” in U.S. legal institutions and political ideology.


Soc 517 - Deviance & Social Control

Survey of current research on deviant behavior and mechanisms of social control; definitions and forms of deviant behavior, causal analysis, and legal or other methods of social control.


Soc 513 - Demography and Ecology (3)

Theories and research on human fertility, mortality, mobility, migration, and urbanization in social/economic context.  Comparative and historical materials on Europe, the United States, and the Third World. Offered: jointly with CSDE 513


Soc Wl 554 - Analytical Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy (3)

Broad overview of the social welfare policy process, including epistemological issues, content on social problem construction and definition, policy agendas and case study methodology. Introduction to analytical tools and concepts needed to take a proactive role in policy development, advocacy, implementation, and policy research.


Soc Wl 577 - Promoting Well-Being among At-Risk Groups through Prevention Research (3) Interdisciplinary overview of major concepts and methods in health promotion and prevention research, with emphasis on at-risk populations. Attentive to health disparities, collaboration with diverse communities and biobehavioral advances in addition to application of theory and prevention-science framework.  Encourages interdisciplinary participation and supporting students in articulating their research perspectives.


Soc Wl 579 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Prevention Science: Children and Adolescents (3) Overview of theory, research, and practice in prevention science. Developmental perspective examining factors that promote or inhibit health development at different stages and during transitions (focus on birth through age 21). Designed for interdisciplinary dialogue, and includes guest faculty from around the University who are specialists in course topics. Credit/No-credit only.


Soc Wl 585 - Qualitative Research Design and Data Collection (3)

This course is the first in a two quarter sequence at the end of which students will have the skills to design, conduct and evaluate a qualitative research project that will advance their overall career goals.  Qualitative research is a writing-intensive undertaking, so we will use weekly writing exercises to develop each of the components needed for a rigorous and innovative qualitative research proposal.  We will pay particular attention to the advantages and disadvantages of various qualitative methodologies and data collection strategies in devising compelling research.


Values 511 - Ethics Matters (5)

Asks what we fundamentally require of ourselves and others if we are to live together in morally acceptable ways by discussing moral qualities as they appear in various arenas. Topics include: autonomy, respect, integrity, and trust.