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Social Inequality, Health & Policy

The BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy introduces students to the causes and consequences of the huge disparities in health, life expectancy, and medical care delivery that exist in the world today. Through the lenses of multiple disciplines, the BDP focuses on what national and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, can and should do to effectively reduce the most glaring health vulnerabilities. As part of the BDP, students will learn to investigate how large-scale demographic and social developments—including international migration, the growing numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, changes in marriage and family patterns, and aging populations—affect nations’ population structures, the overall quality of life of their populations, and the evolution of their health care delivery systems.

For a complete list of courses and requirements, view the Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP curriculum sheet.

Students in the Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP must focus their coursework on one of four suggested pathways

  • Family, Fertility, and the Life Course
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Public Health
  • Social Inequality

To learn more about each strand, download the Social Inequality, Health & Policy Strand Descriptions (PDF).


With 19 credit hours of coursework and Connecting Experiences, students may earn a BDP certificate in Social Inequality, Health & Policy.

Courses counting toward a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy may also satisfy core, major, and elective requirements in a student’s degree plan. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers, but instead helps students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way.

Foundation Courses [7 hours]

  • Forum Seminar
  • Population Studies Course
  • Methods Course

Courses in a Strand [6 hours]

  • Family, Fertility, and the Life Course
  • Migration and Diaspora
  • Public Health
  • Social Inequality

Connecting Experiences [6 hours]

BDP advisors assist students in finding meaningful connecting research and/or internship experiences related to Social Inequality, Health & Policy. For examples of Connecting Experiences Social Inequality, Health & Policy students have completed in the past, read these Connecting Experience spotlights.

Integration Essay

Students write a three to four-page essay at the end of the BDP experience, drawing together the different pieces of the BDP.

Faculty Panel

An interdisciplinary faculty panel guides students in choosing courses and identifying research and internship experiences that allow them to explore population issues as they relate to their majors and career goals.