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Health, Society & Policy Course Descriptions


Introduction to Health, Society & Policy (1) Fall semester, first half. This core course is an introduction to key concepts, questions, and analytical tools to demonstrate the interdisciplinary scope and power of this major for understanding health and society. It will create a cohort of Health, Society & Policy majors from the outset of the program, introduce students to the different disciplines in the program and what each brings to health and wellness, and explore career possibilities for students who graduate with this degree.


A. Research Methods & Statistics (choose one set of two classes)

ECON 3620 Mathematics for Economists (3) [QI] Prerequisites: MATH 1090 (preferred) or MATH 1050, ECON 2010 and ECON 2020. The use of mathematical language and techniques to formulate and solve problems in economics. Topics include linear algebra, differential and integral calculus, and constrained optimization.

ECON 3640 Probability and Statistical Inference for Economists (3) [QB] Prerequisites: MATH 1090 (preferred) or MATH 1050, ECON 2010 and ECON 2020. Frequency distributions, moments, sample spaces, random variables, probability distributions, sampling theory, estimators, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, two-variable regression models. Applications of computer software packages.


FCS 3200 Research Methods in Family and Consumer Studies (4)  Basic research designs, measurement techniques, and methods of data collection used in social and behavioral science research, with special attention to fields relevant to FCS. Students analyze research reports and journal articles.

FCS 3210 Statistics in Family and Consumer Studies (4) [QI, QB] How to present and analyze data relevant to Family and Consumer Studies. Topics include means, standard deviations, T-tests, chi-square, ANOVA, regression analysis, correlations, and computer assignments.


PSY 3000 Statistical Methods in Psychology (4) [QI, QB] Prerequisite: PSY 1010, MATH 1030 or higher. Applying statistical methods to psychological research, including basic descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and correlation. Includes laboratory.

PSY 3010 Research Methods in Psychology (4) [QI, CW] Prerequisite: PSY 1010, PSY 3000. Naturalistic, case study, correlational, and experimental research methods. Includes laboratory.


SOC 3111 Research Methods (3) This course introduces students to systematic methods that organize the research process and the multiple forms of research that it includes. The course explains the logic of research design, explores some common forms of data-gathering (such as interviews, surveys, observation, etc.), and links them to issues of data reporting. Provides basic research skills for use to students as either original producers or critical consumers of social research.

SOC 3112 Social Statistics (4) [QI, QB] The goal of this course is to enable students to both calculate and interpret statistical analyses within the context of social science research. The course introduces basic concepts of statistical analysis, both in theory (lectures) and practice (labs). The course begins with a discussion of descriptive statistics, including frequency distributions, graphs, and measures of central tendency and variability. Next, the course examines relationships between variables and measures of association, including bivariate regression and correlations. The course concludes with an introduction to inferential statistics, including t-tests, ANOVA, and chi-square.

B. Social Epidemiology (required)

SOC 3673 Social Epidemiology (3) [QI] Methods and findings of the quantitative analysis of social factors in morbidity and mortality.

C. Ethics & Values (choose one)

PHIL 3310 Science and Society (3) [HF] Examines the impact of both science on society and of society on science. It will discuss the way in which science is a social enterprise and is affected by social demands. Case studies for studying the intersection of science and society will be drawn from such areas as the history of physics, the development of genetics, the measurement of human intelligence.

PHIL 3510 Business and Professional Ethics (3) [HF] Moral issues in business such as justification of market allocation, problem of public goods, duties to consumers and employees, advertising, secrecy, and truth justifications for governmental regulation. Satisfies business ethics requirement for Management, David Eccles School of Business.

PHIL 3520 Bioethics (3) [HF] Moral issues arising out of advances in biological knowledge and technology, e.g., concerning behavior modification, genetic engineering, euthanasia, abortion, transplants, rights of patients.

PHIL 3370 Philosophy of Biology (3) This course deals with major conceptual issues arising in biology, along with their philosophical implications. Topics may include such issues as evolutionary patterns and their explanation; nature-nurture debates; the meaning of 'gene'; and varieties of biological explanation.


A. Biological and Environmental Matrix of Health (choose one)

ANTH 4133 Maternal and Child Health (3) Meets with ANTH 6133. This course is about ecological constraints on female reproductive biology and child health. It focuses on how parenting behaviors have evolved over the course of human evolution. It investigates mammalian reproductive strategies, energetic costs of pregnancy and lactation, and cross-cultural variation in female fertility rates and child survival.

ANTH 4291 Evolution of Human Health (3) Meets with ANTH 6291. History of human health in ecological, cultural, and historic contexts.

ENVST 2050 Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Science (3)[SF]The goal for this class is to have students versed in the topics of: 1) Ecology and Sustainability, 2) Biodiversity, and 3) Earth Resources and Environmental Quality. The course consists of lectures, participation exercises, which will require critical thinking and data analysis, and the laboratory assignments (at-home and field based). The materials have been designed to step you through the topics and if you already have some science background this class will help you make connections among scientific disciplines and ESS.

GEOG 3090 Introduction to Medical Geography (3) Meets with GEOG 5090. Graduate students should enroll in GEOG 5090 and will be held to higher standards and/or more work. This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to medical geography. Topics include history of medical geography, environments and health, developmental change and human health, diffusion of disease, human modification of the environment and health, inequalities in health outcomes, inequalities in provision and utilization of health care resources, and methods for spatial epidemiology ranging from GIS (Geographic Information Systems)-based visualization to statistical analysis. Selected case studies will be presented in order to illustrate real-world applications of theories, methods, and techniques discussed in class.

H EDU 3700 Environmental Health (3) Overview of the many facets of environmental health problems, issues, and programs. Field trips are taken to various program sites.

NUTR 1020 Scientific Foundations of Human Nutrition and Health (3)[AS] Role of carbohydrates, protein, lipids, water, vitamins and minerals in human nutrition. Relationship of nutrition to maintenance of health and prevention of disease. Role of nutrition in weight control, sports nutrition, eating disorders, pregnancy/lactation, and chronic disease are discussed. Students participate in laboratory applications for lipid profiles and blood pressure assessment.

B. Lifestyle: The Individual, Culture & Society (choose 2, not from the same department)

ANTH 4193 Medical Anthropology (3) Meets with ANTH 6193. Applied anthropology addressing the problem of behavioral change with regard to health issues from an evolutionary and cultural perspective. Examples will be drawn from cultures world wide.


FCS 5430 Families, Consumers, and Health (3) Covers two broad areas: the interplay among health care delivery, government policy, and consumers, and the role families play in affecting the health of family members. Content emphasis will vary according to the instructor.

FCS 5630/6630 Healthy Communities (3) A variety of disciplines offer insights into why we live in the place-based communities we currently inhabit—their social, physical, psychological, and policy contexts. Researchers also advocate for a variety of community criteria to provide healthy and viable settings for humans and the planet. This course examines research from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, public health, environmental health, and planning, to address threats to and meanings of healthy communities.

GERON 5001 Introduction to Aging (3) Overview of gerontology presented by examining some of the major issues, problems, and solutions related to an aging society; research methodology and theories of aging; and future implications at local, national, and international levels. The value of interdisciplinary and life course perspectives are emphasized.

H EDU 5370 Health and Optimal Aging (3) Cross listed as GERON 5370. Meets with GERON 6370. Central issues involved in promoting healthful behavior and quality of life among older adults are explored and bring together the influences and contributions of theory, research, and practice as applied in gerontological health promotion and wellness. Content includes health promotion and wellness programming, the theoretical foundations of behavior change, lifelong learning and development, and relevant research findings pertaining to the health and well-being of older adults.

H EDU 3050 Community Health Issues (3)[SF] Major public-health problems, their causes, and resources for dealing with them. Students will look at the social and political implications of public-health issues.

PSY 3460 Introductory Health Psychology (3) Prerequisite: PSY 1010. Social and psychological variables influencing health and coping with illness. Stress reactions, risk factors in chronic disease, coronary-prone behavior, prevention of disease.

ENVST 5558 Food for Justice, Health & Sustainability (3) This course is designed as a capstone experience for students in the ENVST Food and Community Resilience Emphasis Area. [No prerequisites for HSP students, but permission code needed to register.] Food movements are playing an increasingly vital role in the development, promotion, and success of justice, sustainability, and health movements throughout our society. From "eat local" and Community-Supported Agriculture practices to garden-related voluntourism, eating itself has become a merging of the personal and the political that can either reject or embrace a commitment to justice, sustainability, and health. In this course, students will explore political and economic factors that affect a just and sustainable food system, consider how our food choices promote or discourage justice and sustainability, and navigate the ways that our food cultivation, preparation, and consumption is related to healthy lifestyles. And there will be cooking, canning, and field trips to local farms and restaurants.

SOC 3671 Sociology of Health (3) This class is organized around assigned readings, lectures, and class discussions; students are responsible for all material covered in each. Four independent topic areas or modules are covered during the semester, including the convergence of social science and medicine, health and illness behavior, mainstream and alternative health care, and health care delivery in the U.S. and other societies

SOC 3610 Gender, Sexuality & Health (3)This special topics course is intended to be an introduction to the social disparities in health, with a particular focus on gender and sexuality disparities.

C. Global Perspectives on Health (choose one)

BIOL 3460 Global Environmental Issues (3) [IR, SF] Examination of the world in terms of natural resource consumption, environmental quality, and global change. Techniques in analyzing and evaluating information. Survey of environmental ethics, human population growth, human impact on the chemistry of the atmosphere, water, energy resources, agricultural productivity, and biodiversity. Service-learning.

PBHLT 4500 Public Health: A Global Perspective (3) [IR]  An introduction to public health providing students with a global perspective on disease and wellness on a population basis.  The course content will include infectious disease, chronic disease and injury, environmental health, nutrition, mental health, global public health organizations, economics, the impact of culture and religion on health ethics, public health in special populations and humanitarian emergencies.

H EDU 5060 International Health Promotion (3) [IR] 
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an advanced overview of prevalent health problems and issues that affect human kind throughout the world. Emphasizing a health promotion framework for addressing global health and wellness, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach including clinical, epidemiological, and ethnographic perspectives on cross-culture health issues.

SOC 3650 Population and Society (3) [IR, QI, QB]  Not only is the overall world population growing, the composition of the earth's population is constantly changing. These changes exert powerful influences on society, impacting the well-being of people in many ways. For example, population growth and population change influence economic development, the natural environment, health care, and other important social phenomenon. This creates a need for studying and understanding population dynamics. This course is devoted to the study of demographic processes, their causes, and their consequences. We will review population trends across time and across cultures, learn how to empirically measure changes in the population, and discuss how these trends impact society, policy, and culture.

SOC 4674 Global Health (3) 
Meets with SOC 6674. This course provides an overview of key concepts and principles of global health. Although the content of this course covers all continents, the main focus of the geographical area is Asia. The factors that account for global health issues are explored by an interdisciplinary approach. Throughout the course, the student is expected to focus on why the inequality of health and well-being exists in the globe, how the health and well-being of people in other countries impacts the lives of people elsewhere, and how to make a difference in shaping the world in the future.


A. ECONOMICS OF HEALTH (required, choose one, ECON 3190 recommended for most students)

ECON 3190 Introduction to Health Economics (3) An introduction to the economic dimensions of health, and of health care institutions and markets, including facets of their historical trajectory. The course also provides an introduction to the dimensions of economic policy aimed at addressing current problems related to health and health care delivery and finance. This course fulfills the HSP health economics requirement.

ECON 5190 Health Economics (3) Meets with ECON 6190. Graduate students should register for ECON 6190 and will be held to higher standards and/or additional work. Economics of health care, health-care delivery systems, public and private health insurance, location of health facilities, and health-care inflation.


H EDU 4310 Health Promotion/Marketing (3) Health promotion and marketing concepts as they relate to health education program planning. Experience in specific marketing strategies.

MKTG 3000 Marketing Vision (3) For non-business majors only. Topics we will consider in this course include the dynamic relationship of marketing and society; the world-wide impact of American commercial culture, global brands, and globalization; the evolving marketplace of the internet and its consequences for society and the future; and laws and regulations concerning competition, privacy, and intellectual property. In the process, and in addition, students will learn skills related to product development and design, where and how to sell products, customer perception of prices, the use and effects of branding, and other marketing tactics.

H EDU 4790 Health Service Administration (3) Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting in public and private health-care organizations including hospitals, clinics, public-health departments, and voluntary organizations.
POLS 3300 Introduction to Public Administration (3) Prerequisite: POLS 1100. Introductory public administration course broadly focused to introduce concepts of administrative theory, practice, political aspects of administration, policy making, fiscal management, public human resource management, etc. The service learning component (POL S 3301) may be added for one additional semester hour of credit.

H EDU 5100 Health Care in the United States (3) Organization and financing of U.S. health-care system; evolution of roles played by provider and consumer organizations in meeting community needs; changing health status of Americans; and proposals for improving health-care delivery system.

MGT 3000 Principles of Management (3) Concepts and fundamentals of modern management processes: planning, organizing, staffing, training, and controlling. This course may not be used by management majors to satisfy a departmental elective.

POLS 3320 Introduction to Public Policy and Analysis (3) Introduction to models used in public policy analysis; explores key issues from such areas as environment, health, welfare, criminal justice, and civil rights.

POLS 3380 Politics and Budgets (3) Organization, techniques, and politics of administrative planning, budget preparation and legislative appropriations, and control systems in public organizations. Program budgeting, benefit-cost, and other analytic techniques of public planning and budgeting.

POLS 5321 Health Policy (3) Meets with POLS 6321. Graduate students should register for POLS 6321 and will be held to higher standards and/or additional work. Introduction to health policy issues in the United States; needs and demands for public action; organization and nature of political support; process and problems of decision making in health policy areas.

POLS 5570 Management of Nonprofit Organizations (3) Management functions, issues, and skills that are distinctively nonprofit, such as board-staff relations, accountability to internal and external constituencies, managing volunteers, balancing professional and political interests, and ethics. Effects of the legal context and regulatory environment on the managing in nonprofit organizations.

FCS 5450 Nonprofit Community Organizations (3) This course covers the role of community nonprofit organizations in our society, especially their function in community building and engaging citizen participation.  This class offers a broad intellectual foundation and applied approach to the guiding theories and philosophy of nonprofit practice and community development. By examining different models of community-based nonprofits, students will get experience exploring relevant issues of public service, funding, evaluation, theories of change, public policy, social capital, and civic engagement.

V. ELECTIVE (choose one)

An additional course from sections III or IV

SOC 3769 Social Disparities in Health (3) [DV] An examination of how race, ethnicity, and health intersect, exploring the nature of racial and ethnic categories, the patterns of United states demography, and the role of social environmental factors such as social class, racial and spatial segregation, healthcare inequalities, and systemic racism in contributing to racial and ethnic inequalities in health.


WRTG 4905 Studies in Professional Discourses (3) [CW] This course introduces students to professional discourse, such as legal, medical, governmental, media, or non-profit.  Course content may include discourses of legislation, sustainability, risk assessment, world health organizations, legal precedent, and the like.  Using a variety of theories and methods for gathering and analyzing professional discourses, students will consider the ways in which professional discourses intersect with larger discourses of power and ideology.  Variable topics. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course.



HSP 4999 Honors Thesis/Project (3) Restricted to students in the Honor's College.

SBS 5900 CSBS Internship (1-6) Offered every semester for Health, Society & Policy majors. It allows the student to earn university credit while obtaining practical experience in a community health setting. The student must meet with the CSBS Internship Coordinator, Dominique Blanc, before signing up for the internship course. The number of credit hours earned is determined by the number of actual working hours spent at the health setting.

Independent Research (1-6) (Arrange with individual departments.)

VI. CAPSTONE (required)

HSP 5000 - Health, Society & Policy Capstone (3) Prerequisite: Senior Standing. Spring semester only.
This course is designed to give coherence to a multi-disciplinary program and to draw the faculty from those disciplines together in a joint effort. Each year a single topic in health will be chosen (poverty and health, aging, AIDS, medical ethics, etc.) and explored from the perspective of the various disciplines involved in the HSP Program.


Last Updated: 7/31/17