An Interdisciplinary Major
The Health, Society & Policy (HSP) program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree, offered and supported by the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (CSBS). It provides students the opportunity to earn an individualized BA or BS degree by selecting coursework from a number of different departments. The coursework is intended to guide students toward a broad, multidimensional perspective of human health and health care. Given its interdisciplinary focus, it is unlike a degree offered in a traditional department and has been pursued by students preparing for a range of careers in medicine, healthcare administration, community development, and public policy.
After completing the HSP major, students will recognize that human health is determined not only by things like pathogens, illness, and genetics, but also by lifestyle and behavioral choices, environmental exposures, socioeconomic resources, and cultural affiliation. Furthermore, HSP students will learn how institutional levels of influence; such as public policy and access to health care, affect health outcomes and create disparities across the globe and within subgroups of the population. This interdisciplinary approach to the study of human health allows students to explore how public policies and healthcare practices that integrate and act on these multiple layers of influence hold promise in improving both individual and population health.
The HSP program has been granting BA/BS degrees since 1977, with a total of almost 2,500 alumni. The program currently has over 350 majors, and graduates about 75 students per year.