Palestine Social Medicine Course

Applications for the 2024 cohort of the summer course are now closed.

Important Information at a Glance

Dates: July 29, 2024 – August 17, 2024

Application Deadline: February 25, 2024

Open to: 20 students based in Palestine and 10 US-based students.

Cost of Participation: $2,750 (See below for scholarship opportunities)

Location: Amman, Jordan

Harvard FXB Scholarships: Available only to Harvard University applicants. Several need-based partial scholarships, each covering approximately half of the course’s fee, are available through the Albina Fund for Student Travel Fellowships offered by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

Course Overview

The Palestine Program for Health and Human Rights—a partnership between the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights and the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University—is hosting its second annual Palestine Social Medicine Course. This three-week intensive summer course is designed to introduce students to the social, structural, political, and historical aspects that determine Palestinian health beyond the biological basis of disease.


The Palestine Social Medicine course brings together a multidisciplinary cadre of Palestinian and Harvard students for an experiential learning experience in Palestine. The course offers both conceptual and practical engagement with the structural determinants of health affecting Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, and the Diaspora. The Palestine Social Medicine Course occurs annually at Birzeit University in the West Bank, occupied Palestinian territories. It includes travel throughout the West Bank and Israel for site visits focused on evaluating the range of health care available, as well as the variable social conditions which contribute to and determine health outcomes. 

To supplement existing coursework, the social medicine framework offers a progressive approach to social and structural determinants of health education. The Palestine course builds on the expertise, experience, and curricula of EqualHealth’s successful annual social medicine courses in Uganda, Haiti, and the United States, which over the last few years have trained hundreds of health professional students from these countries and beyond to both understand and respond to the social determinants of health. 

Course Objectives

The specific objectives of the course include:

  1. Educate Palestinian and Harvard health professional students on the social determinants of health in Palestine and other settings. 
  2. Integrate lectures and field visits into a comprehensive and dynamic learning experience.
  3. Develop student appreciation for the need to be historically deep and geographically broad in their approach to understanding the complexities of health inequity. 
  4. Build a growing network of structurally competent health professionals to address and champion Palestinian health.


July 29, 2024 – August 17, 2024 


Amman, Jordan

2024 Application Timeline:

  • December 20, 2023: Application process opens
  • February 25, 2024: Application process closes
  • March 20, 2024: Payment of nonrefundable $500 deposit to secure place in the program
  • April 20, 2024: Payment of full amount

Need Additional Information?

For questions regarding the social medicine course, please reach out to Nadine Bahour at 

Watch the recording of our webinar, Reassembling the Pieces: Experiences from the Palestine Social Medicine Course, to hear directly from students who participated in the inaugural Palestine Social Medicine course at the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University about their experience and takeaways: