Health and Society Minor

Director: Rachel Washburn

Health and Society is an interdisciplinary minor designed to provide undergraduate students with training in the social foundations of health. This includes, but is not limited to, how social arrangements shape morbidity and mortality patterns across different populations; the organization and financing of health care; how culture informs ideas and practices related to bodies, illness, and disease; and how people experience and make sense of illness in their everyday lives.

The minor requires students to take five courses, including HEAS 2000 Introduction to Health and Society and four additional courses selected from an approved list. Courses are offered in African American Studies, Bioethics, Biology, Communication Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Film and Television Studies, Health and Human Sciences, History, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Key features of the program include:

  1. an interdisciplinary and rigorous approach to understanding historic and contemporary social forces that impact health, and
  2. a flexible curriculum that allows students to focus on specific issues or perspectives of interest.

Students completing the minor will know about historic and current efforts aimed at improving the health of populations and should be able to use different disciplinary lenses to analyze how social forces shape health, broadly defined. They should also be able to formulate macro- and/or micro-level interventions aimed at reducing disease burdens on particular populations.