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Frequently Asked Questions


Visit HSP's homepage and click on "advising."


Health, Society & Policy (HSP); formerly Behavioral Science & Health (BSH), has been a major for over 40 years. It was approved as a bachelor’s program in the College of Social & Behavioral Science at the University of Utah in 1977. Currently, there are over 350 students declared in the major, about 75 students who graduate per year, and a total of almost 2,500 alumni. 

Students have a federal right to privacy. This means that if you want to be able to discuss your academics with an advisor by video or phone, or to grant a family member or friend access to your academic information in your absence, you can complete the online Consent to Release Form and create a FERPA PIN that you may use to identify yourself on the phone and/or give to designated individuals.

How to Create a FERPA PIN:
  • Login to Campus Information System (CIS).
  • Go to the Student Records box and click on "FERPA Consent to Release Form." 
  • Read the FERPA Consent to Release Form completely.
  • Select the Financial Aid/Scholarship/Income Accounting box and any other department you wish to have your FERPA PIN associated with.
  • Create a PIN.
  • Complete the release information section. In this section, you will enter the name of your designated person(s), relationship to them, and their email address. 
  • Click save to complete the process.
  • You can now give your FERPA PIN to the individuals you designated on the form. They need to have your student ID number (UNID) and your FERPA PIN to access your records.

A Bachelor of Science (BS) builds on quantitative (math-related) methods/skills requiring two courses designated as Quantitative Intensive (QI). A Bachelor of Arts (BA) builds on proficiency in a second language and requires demonstration of fourth semester second language proficiency. The Health, Society & Policy degree requirements includes two QI courses. By completing the major, students automatically qualify for a BS degree. To earn a BA, students must get credit for additional foreign language work. 

  • Bachelor of Science = 2 Quantitative Intensive courses (QI) (The HSP major includes two QI courses.) 
  • Bachelor of Arts = 4 language classes (i.e. SPAN 1010, 1020, 2010, 2020), one intermediate class, or a language proficiency test. Specifics of how to fulfill the BA Language Requirement. 

This choice will not have an effect on your ability to get a job or your success in applying for graduate school, though it does serve to formally certify additional language skills you have earned.

No. Some of the required HSP courses are offered in classroom formats only. However, HSP does have many online, hybrid and evening courses to choose from making it a relatively flexible degree. 

Yes! The online application typically opens in late fall. Recipients are notified by the end of each spring semester and awarded the following academic year. Among other requirements, HSP scholarships require applicants to be declared in the HSP program. The College of Social & Behavioral Science has additional scholarships available to HSP applicants. 

HSP is an open major and therefore does not require an application or prerequisite courses in order to declare. Students have the option to choose between either a Bachelor of Science (BS), or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. If you have been accepted to the Honors College you may declare an Honors BS or BA in HSP. HSP does not have a separate departmental Honors track.

If you would like to declare your major, request an academic advising appointment and advisors can change your declaration on your academic record during the meeting. 

HSP advisors have access to make declarations in HSP, as well as in Political Science and Economics. Students who are interested in dual majoring in a degree other than Political Science or Economics may make an appointment to meet separately with the advisors to declare majors or minors in those respective departments. 

It may be easier than you think to complete a dual major in the College of Social & Behavioral Science. You might choose a dual major out of interest in an allied field, or you may find you have hours to complete to reach the 122 total hour requirement. When students double major, classes fulfill requirements towards both majors. For example, PSY 3000 in the Statistics section of the Health, Society & Policy major also applies to the Psychology major and minor. 

If you repeat the same course at the University of Utah:
  • It only counts for credit hours once.
  • It is always the most recent course’s grade that factors into the GPA, not the highest grade.
Both grades appear on transcripts, but only the most recent one affects GPAs. Read more about the Repeated Course Policy.
For example: 
  • A student takes MATH 1050 at the U and gets a B and 4 credits. 
  • Later, the student re-takes MATH 1050 and gets a B- for 4 credits. 
  • The B- grade is the one that will factor into the GPA because it was taken most recently.
  • The student will get 4 total credits for both classes, not 8. Credit is only awarded once. 
If you repeat the same course at the University of Utah and another college or university:
  • It only counts for credit hours once
  • It is always the UofU grade that factors into the GPA, not the highest grade.
Duplicate transfer credits will be removed during your graduation audit. Please submit a Duplicate Course Notification if you took the same class at another college/university and UofU. 

Contact the Campus Help Desk to sync your umail account to your personal email on your phone. Never worry about logging separately into your umail or missing an important university correspondence such as as scholarship, financial aid, or graduation information. 

If you need help with your phone settings, call the IT help desk at 801-581-4000 x 1.


The graduation ceremonies (Commencement and Convocation) are an optional formality and are typically held once a year at the end of every spring semester. You will graduate when you successfully finish all of your coursework and requirements, which could be either fall, spring or summer semester. When you submit your graduation application, you will select the semester in which you anticipate completion all of your requirements, not the semester in which you plan to attend the graduation ceremonies. 

Since the ceremonies are only held once a year, all graduates from that academic year and the following summer are allowed to participate.

Typical year example:

In the May 2019 graduation ceremonies, graduates from the following semesters were invited to participate: 

  • Fall 2018
  • Spring 2019
  • Summer 2019 (summer graduates may attend either the previous or following May)

Names will be listed in the printed Convocation program if students apply for graduation by March 1. Anyone outside of the allowed semesters are referred to their college for approval to participate, but their names will not appear in the program until the following year. Summer candidates who participate before they graduate will not be recognized for honors that may be designated once they have graduated.

Learn more about Commencement and Convocation ceremonies. 

First, carefully review your degree audit and graduation requirements, then contact your advisors with any questions. When you are ready to apply, look for the Graduation tile in the CIS Student Homepage, then click Apply for Graduation. The application is very short, just a few clicks. 

Note that students who apply by March 1 will have their name included in the printed program at Convocation Ceremony. If you don't apply in time for your name to appear in the printed program, this will not affect your actual graduation. Your name will still appear in the following year's program available by contacting the College of Social & Behavioral Science. 

Get more information about Graduation & Commencement including deadlines.  

A wide range of options are available. Many graduates go on to graduate programs in medicine, physician assisting, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical thereapy, nutrition, epidemiology, hospital administration, public health, business, law, and more. Graduates get jobs working for insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, government agencies; and in private industry in health, safety, and wellness programs. Salaries vary with employer, location, course work, and related experience. This major provides students with a broad range of skills and information related to health that can be applied in a variety of areas. 

Last Updated: 10/5/21