Courtney Boen, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Courtney Boen

Assistant Professor of Sociology


McNeil 232


Courtney Boen is an Assistant Professor and Axilrod Faculty Fellow in the Department of Sociology and the Graduate Group in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Research Associate in the Penn Population Studies Center and Population Aging Research Center; a Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics; and an Affiliate in the Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration. Dr. Boen’s research combines critical and relational theories of race and racism, insights from the life course perspective, and a variety of social demographic techniques to document and interrogate the patterns and determinants of population health inequality, with a particular focus on the social and political factors producing racial-ethnic, immigration and legal status, and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Her work aims to improve understanding of the links between macro-level systems of inequality, meso-level institutional policies and environments, and micro-level biological and psychological processes in the production of population health disparities. Currently, Dr. Boen is leading several research projects examining how structures of racial domination and immigrant exclusion pattern stress exposure across domains of social life (e.g., in contacts with the criminal legal system, in exposure to immigration enforcement activities, in exclusion from processes of wealth accumulation) in ways that shape population health. Her research has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The Journals of Gerontology, Biodemography and Social Biology, the Journal of Aging and Health, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Boen received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MPH from Tufts University.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2017
M.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2013
M.P.H., Health Services Management and Policy, Tufts University, 2007
B.A., Sociology and Community Health, Tufts University, 2006

Research Interests

Population Health, Racial Health Inequality, Aging and the Life Course, Social Demography, Medical Sociology, Race and Racism

CV (url)