Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a coherent curriculum that fulfills the major requirements while developing a “theme” related to the student’s interests, which is included in their transcript as follows: Health Studies: Global Health, Health Studies: Women’s Health, etc. This theme can evolve as a student progresses through the major.

The health studies major requires 12 courses: six introductory courses and six in-depth courses. These courses must be drawn from at least three academic departments. Double majors must also complete 12 courses but may count 2 courses from their second major.

Students must take one course from each of the six categories below.

The major is by application only, which can be obtained from Nadine Knight, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The program advisor for the major is Renée Lynn Beard. Please send any questions you have about the major to her email.

1. Perspectives on Health

This course introduces students to some of the major health challenges faced around the globe and to some of the key responses to these health challenges.

  • CISS150: Introduction to Global Health

2. Introductory Biology Course

This lab-based course will provide content, but also insight into how natural scientists conduct research.

  • BIOL161: Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • SOCL 365: Illness Narratives

3. Introductory Social Science Course

The introductory social science course will provide health studies students with an introduction into the methodological approaches taken by social scientists.

  • ECON112: Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON114: Social Welfare and Public Policy (cannot be used as prerequisite for other ECON classes)
  • POLS100: Principles of American Government
  • POLS102: Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS103: Introduction to International Relations
  • PSYC100: Introduction to Psychology*
  • SOCL101: Sociological Perspective*
  • ANTH101: Anthropological Perspectives

*Students may only count 1 of these courses toward the major.

4. Introductory Statistics Course

Many potential themes that students may select require the analysis of complex data to study population-level issues in health, and a firm grounding in statistical methods is essential to reading and contributing to the interdisciplinary health literature.

  • BIOL275: Biological Statistics (prerequisite BIOL-161 or 162)
  • SOCL226: Social Statistics (prerequisite SOCL-101 and others)
  • PSYC200: Statistics (prerequisite PSYC 100)
  • ECON249: Statistics (prerequisite ECON-111 or ECON-112)
  • MATH120: Statistical Reasoning
  • MATH220: Statistics (prerequisite Calculus 1 or equivalent)

5. Ethics

A major in health studies at a Jesuit college will encounter issues that evoke moral questions and inquiry, and a firm grounding in the fundamentals of ethical thought is essential. (Additional classes might be taken from Category Two below.)

  • ANTH351: The Anthropology of Biotechnology
  • PHIL250: Medical Ethics
  • PHIL289: Ethical Issues in Death and Dying
  • PHIL309: Approaches to Medical Ethics
  • PHIL340: Albert Schweitzer - Reverence for Life
  • RELS230: Theological Perspectives on Medical Ethics
  • RELS313: HIV/AIDS and Ethics

6. Policy

To facilitate change and understand obstacles to change, students need a firm understanding of how governments influence and shape conversations about health.

  • CISS255: Critical Issues in Global Health
  • CISS 299-04: Health and Development
  • CISS 299: Pandemic Policy
  • ECON222: Health Economics (prerequisite ECON-111 and 112, perhaps ECON-111 waived for some students)
  • POLS206: Public Policy (prerequisite POLS-100)
  • POLS249: Comparative Public Policy (prerequisite POLS-102)
  • POLS257: Politics of Development (prerequisite POLS-102)
  • POLS287: Humanitarianism (recommended POLS-103)

7. Upper-Level Depth Requirements

Students must select six additional courses from the two categories below. Four courses must be taken from one category and two from the other, and no more than three of these additional courses may be in the same academic department.

In addition, students must propose a theme that provides a rationale for the upper-level coursework. Although not every course has to directly tie into the theme, a justification for how each course was chosen should be provided. Possible themes that would be supported are offered below. Study abroad or consortium courses may also be appropriate.

An essential part of the application process, and the subsequent advising process, will be for students to articulate how their selection of upper-level courses tie together into a coherent whole. Selection of a “theme” will help to guide these selections, and perhaps to guide selection of introductory classes. This close work with the advisor will help students avoid taking a “hodgepodge” of upper level courses. Common themes have been Global Health and Public Health but other possibilities include Women’s Health; Health and Human Rights; Health Disparities; or Mental Health. The themes should be outlined as part of the application process.

Category One: Natural Sciences and Statistics

  • BIOL230: Developmental Biology (requires Biol-161 only)
  • BIOL241: Virology (requires Biol-161 only)
  • BIOL266: Cell Biology (requires Biol-161 only)
  • BIOL267: Neurobiology (requires Biol-161 only)
  • BIOL261: Genetics (requires Biol-161 and Biol-162)
  • BIOL392: Molecular Immunology (requires Biol-161 and Biol-162)
  • BIOL390: Physiology (requires Biol-161 and Chem-232)
  • BIOL283: Evolution (requires Biol-161 and Biol-163)
  • BIOL223: Microbiology (requires Biol-161 and Chem-222)
  • BIOL301/ CHEM-301 Biochemistry (BIOL-301 requires CHEM-222; CHEM-301 requires CHEM-222 and CHEM-231)
  • CHEM371: Molecular Pharmacology (requires CHEM-299)
  • PSYC221: Physiological Psychology
  • PSYC315: Biology of Mental Disorders (prerequisite PSYC 221)
  • PSYC316: Drugs of Abuse (prerequisite PSYC 221)
  • STAT231: Linear Models 
  • STAT232: Categorical Data Analysis 

Category Two: Social Sciences, Policy, and the Humanities

  • ANTH260: Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH351: The Anthropology of Biotechnology
  • CISS255: Critical Issues in Global Health
  • CISS299-04: Health and Development 
  • CISS350: HIV/AIDS in Global Perspective
  • DFST109: Introduction to Deaf Studies
  • ECON205: Economics of Development (prerequisites ECON-111 and Econ-112)
  • ECON222: Health Economics (prerequisites ECON-111 and -112, perhaps waived for some students)
  • HIST290: Sex and Society in Africa
  • HIST317: Pain and Suffering: US History" (With permission by Poche)
  • PHIL250: Medical Ethics
  • PHIL273: Philosophy of Medicine
  • PHIL288: Death
  • PHIL289: Ethical Issues in Death and Dying
  • PHIL309: Approaches to Medical Ethics
  • PHIL340: Albert Schweitzer - Reverence for Life
  • POLS206: Public Policy (prerequisite POLS-100)
  • POLS249: Comparative Public Policy (prerequisite POLS-102)
  • POLS257: Politics of Development (prerequisite: POLS-102.)
  • POLS287: Humanitarianism (prerequisite POLS-103)
  • PSYC225: Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC229: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC239: Psychology and Aging
  • PSYC244: Health Psychology
  • PSYC252: Food, Nutrition & Health
  • PSYC314: Science, Medicine, and the Holocaust
  • PSYC337: Substance, Use, Misuse, and Abuse
  • PSYC340: Mental Health and Culture
  • PSYC347: Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC366: Seminar: Mind, Body, Health and Medicine
  • RELS202: Native American Religious Traditions
  • RELS230: Theological Perspectives on Medical Ethics
  • RELS313: HIV/AIDS and Ethics
  • SOCL257: Aging and Society
  • SOCL263: Medical Sociology (prerequisite SOCL101)

Experiential Component

Students may also propose to take courses that involve a more experiential component. To appreciate both the complexities and nuances of the challenges facing the health of our communities, whether they be local, national or global, direct engagement with these current challenges is essential.

With an emphasis on integration and collaboration, direct involvement in the community allows students to reflect on and observe how their classroom experience can be applied in the field. This engagement will also provide a unique opportunity to observe the necessary dynamic and flexible responses that may be required to impact a community (or demographic) in need.

Academic Internship Program

The ACIP 380: Academic Internship Seminar in Healthcare Management course may be approved on an individual basis. The Health Policy seminar can also be approved on an individual basis.

Learn more about the Academic Internship Program.

Washington and New York Semester Programs

For the Washington or New York Semester Away Programs, students must submit a short description of their work over the semester and their thesis for review by the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies director and health studies advisor. Students with approved theses will receive credit for 1 course.

Learn more about the Washington Semester Program and New York Semester Program.

Study Abroad

Students considering studying abroad as part of the major should consult Renée Lynn Beard, program advisor for Health Studies, for guidance. 

Learn more about study abroad.