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Health Studies

Health Studies: Major

The health studies major facilitates the exploration of the world’s health problems through a multidisciplinary lens.

You will acquire critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills necessary to address complex issues related to bioethics, infectious and chronic diseases, mental health, and policy. The accompanying pursuit of social justice informs this goal. Collaborative engagement in a voluntary experiential learning environment will allow you to challenge current health care structures, and apply your methodological training to authentic, “real world” problems.

As a health studies major, you will take courses from a diverse range of departments at Holy Cross and will therefore be exposed to multiple perspectives on health and wellbeing. Our multidisciplinary approach creates opportunities for you to articulate the importance of your liberal arts background. That is, a liberal arts approach to the study of health prioritizes questions as much as solutions; it does not view health issues simply as problems to be solved, i.e., as pre-professional skills training. Rather, it seeks critical dialogue on the causes — medical, social, political and economic — of health issues as well as the consequences of our responses. 

The major is ideal for students who are interested in the health field but do not necessarily want to become medical doctors. If you are interested in preparing for a career in medicine and dentistry, please visit the Health Professions Advising Program

Program Highlights

Health studies majors will learn:
  • methodological approaches used by natural and social scientists to study health
  • statistical analysis of complex population-level health data
  • fundamentals of ethical thought in the health field
  • how governments influence and shape conversations about health
  • social determinants of health, including how gender, race and class shape health