Concentration in Health and Society

Students in the Health and Society concentration gain a broad understanding of how supraindividual factors (including socioeconomic inequality, demographic processes, neighborhood environments, cultural norms, and social networks) affect health and medical care. Students explore the fields of medical sociology, stratification, demography, and network science. The core courses in the concentration satisfy the social science requirements of premedical programs while also providing a solid foundation for students interested in public health, health policy, and global health. 

Requirements for the concentration are:

  1. Thirteen term courses in Sociology (including the senior colloquium). Up to five course credits may be drawn from outside the Sociology department, with approval from the director of undergraduate studies. A maximum of two courses taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the requirements of the major.
  2. SOCY 127, Health and Illness in Social Context.
  3. SOCY 151, Foundations of Modern Social Theory, is highly recommended.
  4. A course in statistics: SOCY 162, Methods in Quantitative Sociology, or STAT 103, Introduction to Statistics: Social Sciences, or GLBL 121, Applied Quantitative Analysis, or a higher-level statistics course approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
  5. SOCY 160, Methods of Inquiry, or a comparable course approved by director of undergraduate studies.
  6. In order to build a broad base of interdisciplinary knowledge on health, students may take up to five course credits from outside the Sociology department. It is recommended that students select at least one course credit from the following: BIOL 101, Biochemistry and Biophysics; BIOL 102, Principles of Cell Biology and Membrane Physiology; BIOL 103, Genes and Development; BIOL 104, Principles of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; MATH 112, Calculus of Functions of One Variable (or higher-level Mathematics course); ECON 170, Health Economics and Public Policy.
  7. Two upper-level seminars in Sociology selected from the following: SOCY 341, Poverty and Social Welfare Policy in the United States; SOCY 314, Inequality in America; SOCY 361, Demography, Gender, and Health; SOCY 390, Politics of Reproduction; other courses approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
  8. A one- or two-term senior essay integrating sociology with health and medicine. Students in the intensive major write a two-term senior essay and attend the yearlong biweekly colloquium (SOCY 493, 494). Students in the nonintensive major take one additional 300-level seminar in Sociology and write a one-term senior essay in SOCY 491 or 492.