By 2030, one in three people will live in a city with a population of at least 500,000, according to the United Nations. To address public health challenges unique to urban dwellers, from the disenfranchised facing marginalization and discrimination to the prevalence of infectious and chronic diseases, the School of Public Health will begin offering a master of public health degree with a concentration in urban public health.

“There is a growing need to educate students on addressing public health from an urban perspective,” says Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the School of Public Health. “We’re creating the opportunity to work with and for the people of Newark to address how social injustices and inequities drive health problems in urban populations. We have the perfect context—Newark—and willing partners in city government and area agencies that want to improve the health of the population. By marrying our academic efforts with people who are working in the real world, we can more effectively address health care disparities.”

A certificate program within the concentration will allow students to specialize in areas such as maternal and child health, LGBTQ health, disaster preparedness, and epidemiology. “Health and well-being are directed by biological and behavioral phenomena,” says Halkitis, “but these factors are not separate and must be understood within the urban health context.”