Health Studies

Health Studies: Self-Designed 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

Health on The Hill

The Health Studies program manages the Health on The Hill blog in which majors express their concerns, feelings, and overall thoughts about health issues on The Hill, and globally. 

Health Studies News

Paul Farmer event poster
WATCH: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss the Living Legacy of Global Health Champion Paul Farmer
aerial photo of the HC campus
Holy Cross Professors’ Research to Address HIV Stigma, Racial Equity in Health and the Impact of Local Poetry in Worcester
The initiative was sponsored by an $800,000 Mellon Foundation grant
Nine Holy Cross faculty members are participating in a panel discussion at a faculty symposium held in Dinand Library. Photo by Michael Quiet
True Democracy Is Made Possible Through Work of Liberal Arts Institutions Like Holy Cross, Says Famed Legal Scholar Martha Minow
Holy Cross faculty symposium on democratic citizenship and global engagement was part of the inauguration festivities for President Vincent D. Rougeau