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HLTH 0150 : Professional Certificate in Social Determinants of Health

Time limit: 100 days
120 credits

Sorry! The enrollment period is currently closed. Please check back soon.

Full course description


It is currently acknowledged that social and structural conditions are key contributors to people’s physical and mental health. Socioeconomic conditions are also considered to be the main contributors of health inequities, which are avoidable and unjust. There is a growing demand for health professionals to acquire fundamental knowledge about these social and structural root causes, otherwise known as the social determinants of health. This topic is particularly timely, as the current COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated existing health disparities through clear inequalities among different groups and has also exacerbated health inequalities. Northeastern University has extensive expertise in the social determinants of health which contribute to the University’s philosophy and vision for creating an equitable society.  This theme permeates many of the programs and courses offered at Northeastern – such as at the School of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences (Department of Health Science, Applied Psychology, Master’s of Public Health Program), the School of Nursing, and the Institute of Health Equity and Social Justice Research. 


The Summer 2022 section is closed, but new sections will be available soon.


Program Details

This Professional Certificate in Social Determinants of Health meets a growing demand for health professionals to possess a fundamental knowledge of the social determinants of health, including social isolation and social support, structural and institutional racism, income inequality, and social and economic policies.  

It develops the following skills: awareness of the roles of social determinants of health in population health; knowledge of the pathways through which they can impact health; specifics in the ways in which health of different populations and demographic groups can be impacted; and enhancement of evaluation, diagnosis, and communication with patient and clients. These areas of study will be covered in the following six modules: 

  • Introduction to Social Determinants of Health  
  • Socioeconomic inequalities and health
  • Neighborhoods and health
  • Gender and health  
  • Race, ethnicity, and structural racism and health 
  • Integrating awareness of Social Determinants of Health into one’s professional practice 

The Professional Certificate in Social Determinants of Health is not for credit and is delivered in a fully virtual format with no synchronous components. The learners progress through the modules in step and participate in virtual discussions; it is instructor-led with the instructor giving feedback on certain assignments. The Certificate is offered in the span of a regular 15-week Northeastern semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer).  It is expected that each module can be completed in 2 weeks, with the final weeks devoted to preparing the final project.

Contact hours: 120

Who is this for?  

The Professional Certificate in Social Determinants of Health is geared towards multiple health professional, such as nurses, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, as well as social workers, counselors, therapists, community health workers, health coaches and first respondersParticipants who complete this program might be eligible to receive continuing education units, as well as a Badge from Northeastern University at the completion of the program. 

Nurses who complete the modules and evaluation will be awarded 120 contact hours by Northeastern University School of Nursing, accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).