Health and Society Minor

Health and Society Program Minor

This Minor is no longer offered. Students who have already declared an H&S minor by May 2020 are eligible to complete it with the courses listed below. Students who have not declared an H&S minor can still select a WGST regular minor with an emphasis on health or a WGST major with a health concentration. 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. 

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

Requirements for the Health and Society Minor

The Health and Society minor consists of five units:

  1. WGST 150 Health and Society. This required introductory course is optimally taken before other courses in the Minor.
  2. Four 200 level (or higher) electives from the list of Courses Approved for Credit toward the Health and Society minor.

At least one must be a 300 level elective *Students wishing to count a non-Wellesley course toward the Health and Society minor must discuss this with their advisor. 

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 Minor director. 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

ANTH 238 The Vulnerable Body: Anthropological Understandings

ANTH 251 Cultures of Cancer

ANTH 274 Anthropological Genetics

ANTH 314 Human Biology and Society

ECON 232 Health Economics

ECON 332 Advanced Health Economics

ENG 294 Writing AIDS, 1981-present

ES 201/GEOS 201 Environmental, Health, and Sustainability Sciences with Laboratory

HIST 352 Mental Health in European History

PE 205* Sports Medicine-Lower Extremity

PE 206* Sports Medicine-Upper Extremity

PEAC 221 Global Health Governance

PHIL 222 Ethics of Technology

PHIL 249 Medical Ethics

POLI 317 Health Politics and Policy

QR 190 Epidemiology

REL 235 Religion, Healing, and Medicine

REL 236/ANTH 236 Diving Madness: Dreams, Visions, Hallucinations

SOC 241/AMST 241 A Nation in Therapy

SOC 314 Global Health and Social Epidemiology

WGST 214 Women and Health

WGST 226 The Body Across Medicine, Media and Politics

WGST 230 Gender and Technologies

WGST 240/PEAC 240 U.S. Public Health 

WGST 302 Global Health and the Environmental Crisis

WGST 310 Health Activism, Public Health and Epidemics

WGST 320 Seminar: Race, Gender, and Science

WGST 322/SOC 322 Seminar: Contemporary Reproduction

*Either PE 205 or PE 206 counts towards the Minor but not both.