Health and Society Program Minor

Health and Society is a multidisciplinary field that examines human health as an eco-social phenomenon and draws principally from the humanities and social sciences. The rapid global growth of things “health” - public health, health care, health policy, and biomedical sciences and technology - in the face of growing disparities raises serious questions about the underlying social conditions that contribute to collective health and illness. Thus the intersections of gender, race, social class, sexuality, and ethnicity in a transnational and global context are central focal points in the Minor. This Minor is fitting for any student interested in learning about health and its social, cultural, political, ethical, environmental, and economic dimensions.

Goals for the Health and Society Minor

  • The Health and Society Minor seeks to educate students to:
  • Understand historical and current collective efforts to improve health
  • Introduce students to the multiple social determinants of health and their complex interactions
  • Examine how gender, race, class, sexuality, age, and ability shape health, illness, healing, and health care
  • Analyze how health problems are defined and how strategies for improved health are selected and implemented

 Requirements for the Health and Society Minor

 The Health and Society Minor consists of five units:

  • WGST 150 Health and Society. This required introduction course is open to first-years and sophomores; juniors and seniors may enroll only with permission of the instructor.
  • Four 200 level (or higher) electives from the list of Courses Approved Toward the Health and Society Minor.
    • At least one of the four electives must be in the WGST Department.
    • At least one must be a 300 level elective

*Students wishing to count a non-Wellesley course toward the Health and Society minor must petition the Program co-directors prior to course enrollment.

* The Minor is open to students in any major at the College. WGST majors can do the Health and Society minor so long as no single course counts toward both the major and the minor.

Courses for Credit Toward the Health and Society Minor

The following courses may be counted as electives for the Health and Society Minor. Courses not listed may be accepted by petition to the Program co-directors. Note that some 200- and 300- level courses have prerequisites that do not count toward the Minor.

AFR 226 Environmental Justice, "Race," and Sustainable Development
AFR 297 Medical Anthropology: A Comparative Study of Healing Systems
AFR 340 Seminar. Topics in African American History
ANTH 238 The Vulnerable Body: Anthropological Understandings
ANTH 251 Cultures of Cancer
ANTH 274 Anthropological Genetics
ANTH 314 Human Biology and Society
CPLT 334 Literature and Medicine
ECON 232 Health Economics
ECON 332 Advanced Health Economics
PE 205 Sports Medicine
PHIL 249 Medical Ethics
POL1 317 Health Politics and Policy
SOC 241/AMST 241 A Nation in Therapy
SOC 314 Global Health and Social Epidemiology
WGST 200 Introduction to Reproductive Issues: Culture and Politics
WGST 212 Feminist Bioethics
WGST 214 Women and Health
WGST 220 American Health Care History in Gender, Race, and Class Perspective
WGST 240 U.S. Public Health
WGST 304 Seminar. Public Health and Colonial Medicine in Southeast Asia
WGST 310 Health Activism
WGST 321 Seminar. Gender, Justice and Health Policy
WGST 330 (Im)Morality on Stage: Repro-Eugenics in Twentieth-Century United States
WGST 340 Seminar. Global Health