Course Work

Overview of Required Courses

Students who pursue the Scholarly Concentration in Community Health solely or in conjunction with an application (i.e. Immunology, Global Health, Prevention Research), are required to complete a total of 12 units. If you are pursuing an application, the 6 units of elective course will be taken in the application area.

1. PEDS 250: The Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (3 units)

2. AND one of the following methods courses:

  • PEDS 202C: Qualitative Research Methods and Study Design (3 units)
  • PEDS 202A and 202B: Practical Applications for Qualitative Data Analysis (Aut, Win; 2 course series; 3 units each)
  • MED 247: Methods in Community Assessment, Evaluation and Research (3 units)
  • HRP 258: Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Clinical Research (3 units)
  • Other methods course: If a student believes another methods course is more applicable to their project, a “written request” must be submitted to the Foundation Director for approval prior to taking the course. The request must include justification for why this course is needed to conduct the scholarly project.


3. AND a selection of elective courses (6 units):

  • Community Health Option: For students interested in completing all 12 units in Community Health, the 6 elective units can be selected based upon specific interests and preferences.
  • Application Option: For students interested in pursuing an application, the 6 elective units will be determined by the application director (i.e. Immunology, International Health).
  • Note: Students also may chose to build on their course work in the pursuit of a Master’s degree in Public Health, as a joint degree program between Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. Any course taken in pursuit of a joint degree will count toward the 6 elective units.

Required Course Options

  • PEDS 250: Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (3 units) How race/ethnicity and SES contribute to health disparities, how vulnerable populations are uniquely at health risk, and how the built environment relates to health and wellness. Topics include: gender, age, race/ethnicity, language, education, individual SES and neighborhood SES as related to health; individual and structural race bias; health needs of vulnerable populations (e.g., the homeless, the incarcerated, immigrant populations, children, and uninsured/underinsured); and environmental forces (e.g., urban design/planning, traffic/car culture, green space, housing, food access/culture, law enforcement, and media).
  • PEDS 202C: Qualitative Research Methods and Study Design (2-3 units)Introduction to qualitative research methods and study design. Students gain practical experience designing a qualitative study. Explore qualitative methods through class lectures, foundational readings and hands-on learning. Core topics include: theoretical frameworks, research questions, methodological approaches (e.g., interviews, focus groups, participant observation, photovoice), data collection, sampling, reliability and validity, and IRB protocols. This course is designed for students needing support to plan and design an independent research project (e.g., Med Scholars, Honors Thesis). Prerequisite: Consent from instructor for undergraduates.
  • PEDS 202A and 202B: Practical Applications for Qualitative Data Analysis (Aut, Win; 2 course series; 3 units each) Gain experience analyzing qualitative data using qualitative analysis software (i.e. Nvivo, Dedoose). Conduct analysis using your own or existing data sources. Explore multiple qualitative data analysis topics through class lectures, foundational readings and hands-on learning. Core topics include: grounded theory, qualitative data analysis approaches, software-based analysis, cleaning and coding of data, and interpreting data. Final course product will be a draft manuscript for submission with students listed as co-authors. Core topics include: identifying themes and representative quotes, community-engaged dissemination, abstract submission, posters, oral presentations, manuscript writing, and journal selection.
  • MED 247: Methods in Community Assessment, Evaluation, and Research (3 units) Students will learn pragmatic skills necessary for the design, implementation, and analysis of structured interviews, focus groups, survey questionnaires, and field observations. Based on in-class exercises, students will identify strengths and limitations of different study designs; construct interview and focus group questions; moderate focus groups; content analyze qualitative data using qualitative software; design questionnaire surveys, and correctly interpret commonly used statistical analyses. Open to medical students, graduate students, and undergraduates.
  • HRP 258: Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Clinical Research (3 units) Fundamentals of probability and statistics for clinical researchers. Equips students with the tools to understand and critically evaluate the medical literature. Topics to include: random variables, expectation, variance, probability distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, sampling theory, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation, regression, analysis of variance, and survival analysis.

    Electives Course Options

    Course options include, but are not limited to:
  • EDUC 193A: Listen Up! Core Peer Counseling Skills (Aut, Win, Spr; 2 units) Topics: verbal and non-verbal skills, open and closed questions, paraphrasing, working with feelings, summarization, and integration. Individual training, group exercises, role play practice with optional video feedback. Sections on relevance to crisis counseling and student life. Guest speakers from University and community agencies. Students develop and apply skills in University settings. Sections will be assigned during the first week of the quarter.
  • EDUC 193P: Peer Counseling at the Bridge (Aut, Win, Spr: 1 unit) Mental health issues such as relationships, substance abuse, sexual assault, depression, eating disorders, academic stressors, suicide, and grief and bereavement. Guest speakers.
  • MED 241: Clinical Skills for Patient Care in Free Clinics (Win, Spr; 1 unit) Enrollment in this course is by application only for advanced volunteers at the Cardinal Free Clinics. Focus is on preparing students to gain early clinical experience by teaching basic skills such as taking patient histories, working with interpreters, providing motivational interviewing, and presenting cases to medical students or physicians. Students learn through classroom lectures and practice sessions. Upon successful completion of a competency assessment, students are able to serve in a clinic role in the Cardinal Free Clinics. Prerequisite: Advanced standing as a volunteer at the Cardinal Free Clinics.
  • FAMMED 216: Caring for Individuals with Disabilities (Win; 1 unit) Over 57 million individuals in the US (20%) have a disability and face significant healthcare disparities, stigmas, and difficulty accessing care. This interactive seminar course has been designed to better prepare MD and PA students to care for individuals with disabilities throughout their careers. Throughout the course, individuals with disabilities, caregivers and physicians will discuss a variety of topics including: disability framework, medical model vs. social model of disability, healthcare disparities, language and disability, communication, ethics, government and non-governmental services, laws and policies, and coordinating complex care. Students will be matched with a patient partner whom they meet outside of class at a mutually convenient time to learn about the patient and caregiver journey, and to further explore the impact of topics discussed in the course at the individual level. Upon finishing this course, students will have a fundamental knowledge of common disabilities, understand patient-centered care for people with disabilities, and foster skills necessary to improve the lives of their patients. Course open to MD and PA students only.
    HRP 272 (CHPR 227): The Science of Community Engagement in Health Research (Win; 3 units) The Science of Community Engagement in Health Research course will focus on how the science of community engagement can be applied to diverse health-related research topics across the translational spectrum with the ultimate goal of high quality research that transforms human health and addresses health disparities. The course will provide historical context, theoretical frameworks, foundational skills in diverse community engagement methodologies, and tools for examining the effectiveness of various engagement strategies aimed. Specifically, the course will cover: 1) Historical context for community engagement in health-related research; 2) Evolution of community engagement as a science; 3) Theoretical frameworks for various community engagement approaches; 4) Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR); 5) Community engagement strategies for different stages of translational research; and 6) Evaluation of various engagement strategies; and 7) Ethics of community engagement.
  • FAMMED 244: Ethnicity and Medicine (Spr; 1-3 units) Weekly lecture series. Examines the linguistic, social class, and cultural factors that impact patient care. Presentations promote culturally sensitive health care services and review contemporary research issues involving minority and underserved populations. Topics include health care inequities and medical practices of African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, immigrants, and refugees in both urban and rural settings. 1 unit requires weekly lecture attendance, completion of required readings, completion of response questions; 2 units requires weekly lecture attendance and discussion session, completion of required readings and weekly response questions; additional requirement for 3 units (HUMBIO only) is completion of a significant term paper Only students taking the course for 3 units may request a letter grade. Enrollment limited to students with sophomore academic standing or above.This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units to be eligible for Ways credit.
  • INDE 215: Queer Health and Medicine (Spr; 1 unit) Explores specific, pertinent, and timely issues impacting the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community; examines the role of the primary care physician in addressing the health care needs of this community. Guest lecturers provide a gender-sensitive approach to the medical care of the LGBT patient, breaking down homophobic barriers and reaffirming patient diversity. May be repeated for credit.
  • PEDS 219: Design for Child Health Equity: Redesigning Healthcare Delivery (Spr; 3 units) n this class, our aim is to imagine novel interventions that may reduce health disparities for discharged NICU babies with medical complexity (CMC). We will be focused on patients and families from low-income communities served by Stanford's General Pediatrics Division. This class will define and address Essential Disparities in child health, informed by national evidence and community needs assessments. We will engage hospitals, clinicians, families, social service experts, policy experts, technologists and YOU to imagine and redesign post-NICU care. Students will participate in a field trip to the hospital Neonatal ICU, and visit homes of discharged NICU families. Students will enjoy an expert panel day incorporating a parent advocate, policy and hospital experts. From this research, students will design products, services and systems firmly rooted in human-centered design methodology.