Health and Societies: Health Policy & Law, BA

The Health and Societies (HSOC) major examines health and medicine in social context, equipping students with the critical faculties and multidisciplinary skills that will prepare them for careers in public health, health services, and a variety of other arenas. The program is built on the foundation of three core disciplines: anthropology, history, and sociology. Methods and courses from other disciplines and fields—including epidemiology, political science, business/economics, law, environmental studies, and bioethics—supplement the core disciplines and provide majors with the variety of skills necessary to grasp the forces that have shaped our contemporary health landscapes. The Health and Societies graduate is a "multilingual" scholar and citizen, fluent in the methods and perspectives of several social science disciplines - theoretically informed but practically minded, with a global outlook and local experience.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 34. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Foundation Requirement
HSOC 0480Health and Societies1
or HSOC 0490 Comparative Medicine
Quantitative Methods
HSOC 2002/SOCI 2000Sociological Research Methods 21
or HSOC 2202/SOCI 2220 Health of Populations
Core Discipline
HSOC 0400Medicine in History1
or HSOC 1411 American Health Policy
or HSOC 1401 The Peoples Health
HSOC 1382Introduction to Medical Anthropology1
or HSOC 1222 Medical Sociology
HSOC or STSC Electives
Select 3 HSOC or STSC Electives (Attribute AHSM)3
Health Policy & Law Concentration
Select 1 Political Economy course (Attribute AHSO)1
Select 1 Health Policy course (Attribute AHSC)1
Select 1 Law & Society course (Attribute AHSA)1
Select 1 Philosophical/Ethical course (Attribute AHSH)1
Select 2 Concentration Electives (Attribute AHSE)2
Capstone Research Requirement
Select 1 4000-level HSOC or STSC Research Seminar1
Total Course Units34

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


HSOC 2002 Sociological Research Methods is cross listed with SOCI 2000 Sociological Research Methods and HSOC 2202 Health of Populations is cross listed with SOCI 2220 Health of Populations.


Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.6 in the major and 3.3 overall. Students should complete their capstone paper in the spring of their Junior year or Fall of their senior year and must obtain the support of a faculty advisor before applying for an Independent Study (HSOC 4980) to complete the Honors thesis. 

Honors Thesis (non-course requirement QST)

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2024 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.