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HSP Welcomes New Director

Becky Utz

Health, Society & Policy welcomes new Director, Dr. Rebecca Utz from the Department of Sociology.

Professor Utz completed her PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2004.  Before that, she completed a Master degree in gerontology from Miami University, and worked as a research associate for American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in Washington DC.  She has been a faculty member at the University of Utah, Department of Sociology, since 2004.  She is currently an Associate Professor.
In the classroom, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate students how to be better consumers and producers of researchers (research methods).  She also regularly teaches courses related to epidemiology and population studies.  She has mentored countless students, and takes great pride in providing hands-on advising so students can learn to be independent researchers.

Her research interests fall into two broad categories:  1) the gerontological interests involve primary data collection and randomized intervention studies to evaluate the most effective way to assist aging families who are coping with end-of-life issues such as bereavement and caregiving.  2) the epidemiological interests use population-based surveys and quantitative data to track trends in obesity prevalence by birth cohorts and whether familial or environmental characteristics influence the risk of childhood and adolescent obesity.

She enjoys living in Utah, with her husband and two young daughters.

HSP says farewell to Director, Dr. Norman Waitzman, who will now be serving as Chair in the Department of Economics. His longstanding contribution to the HSP Program and its students is greatly appreciated!

NUTR 5650/6650 (Eating for Justice, Sustainability and Health) replaced by ENVST 5558 (Food for Justice, Health & Sustainability

NUTR 5650/6650 has been replaced by ENVST 5558 as one of the options in the Lifestyle: Individual, Culture & Society section of the HSP course requirements. The course has the same instructor, basic format and content. In the Schedule, the course description lists it as a Capstone for Environmental Studies majors with prerequisites. However, it does not serve as a Capstone for HSP students, nor are prerequisites required. However, it does require a permission number to register. Contact and indicate you are an HSP major.

FP MD 4500 (Public Health, A Global Perspective) changes names to PBHLT 4500

FP MD 4500 has changed names to PBHLT 4500 in the Global Perspectives on Health section of the HSP course requirements.

ENVST 2050 (Environmental and Sustainability Science) Offered as a New Course to replace BIOL 1400

ENVST 2050 is being offered as one of the options in the Biological & Environmental Matrix of Health section of the course requirements for the HSP major. This course will replace BIOL 1400 which was recently discontinued by the Department of Biology. It fulfills an SF General Education requirement.

ECON 3190 (Introduction to Health Economics) Offered as a New Course

There is a new class being offered Fall and Spring semesters as one of the HSP major options. It is ECON 3190 (Intro to Health Economics) offered in addition to ECON 5190 (Health Economics). Each HSP student is required to complete one of these two courses. ECON 3190 is recommended for most students. ECON 5190 is recommended for students who have a previous background or interest in economics.


The deadline for the 2018-2019 HSP departmental and College of Social and Behavioral Science scholarships will be in January 2108. See the departmental financial aid page for information and the application form.  You may also contact Amy Kimball at if you have any questions.

Capstone Topic for 2017

The theme of the Capstone class for 2017 was Families and Health

New HSP Introductory Course

Fall 2011 an introductory course, BSH (HSP) 1001, was added to the program and is highly recommended for incoming students or those who have been in the program for a year.  This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary scope of the major and its power for understanding health and society. It is designed to create a cohort for Health, Society and Policy majors.

Name Change

The name of the Behavioral Science and Health program was changed to Health, Society and Policy in 2011 in response to a request from advisors and students for a name that more aptly describes the program. The BSH prefix for courses was changed to HSP in January 2012.

Last Updated: 7/10/17