380.635.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 4th Term | 3 Credit(s)
F 9:00:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    M. Christopher Gibbons
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Describe the contemporary/historic social, economic and societal forces that led to the rise of the modern city
    • Outline the major positive/negative health impacting characteristics of contemporary urban living in the US
    • Discuss the relative importance/impact of these characteristics on the health of urban populations
    • Outline the limitations of the traditional healthcare system and medical research to addressing health issues in the urban environment
    • Articulate major research gaps and opportunities in the field of Urban Health
  • Course Description
    Introduces students to the historic forces associated with the rise of the modern city and fundamental characteristics of urban living in the United States, and discusses the implications for healthcare and population health resulting from the increase (now more than half the world's population) in urban populations. Examines broad health indices in the inner cities, such as mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and overall life expectancy, as well as matters of social and racial inequality. Also examines factors associated with urban health such as poverty, poor nutrition, inadequate and unsafe housing, exposure to violence, and lack of a social services infrastructure. Enables students to appreciate the complexity and diversity of the major determinants of health among domestic urban populations.
  • Intended Audience
    MPH, doctoral, medical, and nursing students, and postdoctoral fellows
  • Methods of Assessment


    Class Assignments

    1)     A 20 page paper.  The paper will be an in depth manuscript covering the details of the urban health issue of concern highlighted in the student presentations. All assignments will be due at the last class. Topics need to be chosen by April 12. (Grade 60%)

    2)     A topical abstract.  The abstract is a one paragraph overview description of the chosen topic.  One abstract will be submitted per group. The abstract must include the names of each person in the group and the roles each person will play in contributing to the paper and the class presentation. The abstract is due by email on April 12th. (Grade 15%)

    3)     Students will make an in class group presentation. Presentations will discuss; a. The origins, cause and determinants of a current or future urban public health problem. b. The current research strengths, weaknesses and policy opportunities regarding this problem. c. A potential solution, strategy or policy intervention to address the issue of concern. (Grade 25%)

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    No textbook is required.  The readings will be provided.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course topics


    1. Introductin to Urban Health
    2. Baltimore City
    3. The Healthcare System and Patient Engagement
    4. Urban Neighborhoods
    5. The Faith Community
    6. City Schools and Youth violence
    7. Urban Gun Violence
    8. Intimate Partner Violence 
    9. The Grassroots Perspective


  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at