Health & Society Minor

Click here to read about two of our current Health & Society minors, Neha Sikka and Eddie Cruz

Sociology majors may not minor in Health and Society.

Health & Society Minor Checklist

The newly created Health and Society minor (program code 502) provides students with an excellent opportunity to study questions of physical and mental health, health behaviors and practices, and health care institutions, in an integrated way—primarily through a social and cultural lens, and spanning both national and global contexts. Health care providers and policy makers increasingly recognize that a full understanding of topics such as social inequalities in health, doctor-patient interaction dynamics, cultural influences on health behaviors, medical decision-making practices, and biological versus social explanations for mental and physical health conditions, is an essential component of a well-rounded education for future health care professionals.

The minor is housed in the Rutgers Sociology department, which is widely regarded as offering one of the strongest medical sociology programs in the United States. However, it also takes advantage of relevant course offerings in other SAS departments, including Anthropology, Economics, Exercise Science, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology, resulting in a minor with an interdisciplinary orientation. Please note that the Health and Society minor is not available to Sociology majors, although Sociology majors are encouraged to avail themselves of our wide range of courses in this area as they craft their major program of study.

The Health and Society minor requires at least six courses totaling 18 credits, including both upper- and lower-level courses as noted below.

The following three Sociology courses are required:

01:920:101      Introduction to Sociology (3)

01:920:210      Sociology of Medicine and Health Care (3)

01:920:307      Sociology of Mental Illness (3)

Students are also required to take at least one additional elective course in Sociology, out of the following list of courses:

01:920:227      Population and Society (3)

01:920:232      Sociology of Food and Eating (3)

01:920:303      Social Gerontology (3)

01:920:332      Social Inequalities (3)

01:920:335      Health and Inequality (3)

01:920:359      Environmental Sociology (3)

01:920:361      Sociology of Drug Use (3)*

01:920:410      Sociology of Alcohol Problems (3)

01:920:433      Race, Science, and Medicine (3)

01:920:434      Social Science and Public Policy (3)

01:920:438      Sociology of Age (3)

01:920:440      Sexuality and Society (3)

01:920:462      Sociology of Selected Institutions (3)

Finally, students are required to take at least two elective courses from the following list of courses offered by affiliated departments. Please note the special restrictions that apply to the choice of electives, as noted at the bottom of this page.

Africana Studies

01:014:347:     Health Issues in the African-American Community (3)


01:070:307      Medical Anthropology (3)


01:119:150      Biology, Society, and Biomedical Issues (3)

01:119:154      Genetics, Law, and Social Policy (3)


01:220:316      Health Economics (3)

01:220:348      Economics of Social Welfare Programs (3)


01:359:209      Introduction to Health, Medicine, and Literature (3)

Exercise Science

01:377:225      Contemporary Health Problems (3)


01:447:354      Social, Legal and Ethical Implications of the New Genetics (3)


01:506:226      Contemporary Challenges in International Health (3)

01:508:328      History of Health and Healing In Africa (3)

01:508:322      Black Death to Obesity Epidemic: History of Public Health in the West (3)

01:512:121      Health and Environment in America (3)

01:512:225      Sexuality in America (3)

01:512:321      Health Care and Society in America (3)

01:512:322      Drugs: A Social History (3)*


01:730:105 or 106       Current Moral and Social Issues (3 or 4 credits)**

01:730:107 or 108       Introduction to Ethics (3 or 4 credits)**

01:730:249      Bioethics (3)**

Political Science

01:790:290      Politics and Social Policy: Lessons from Europe (3)


01:830:101      General Psychology (3)

01:830:272      Drugs And Human Behavior (3)*

01:830:333      Adolescent Development (3)

01:830:335      Adult Development and Aging (3)

01:830:340      Abnormal Psychology (3)

01:830:377      Health Psychology (3)


01:840:112      Death and Afterlife (3)

01:840:221      Ethical Issues, Religious Responses (3)**

Women’s Studies

01:988:240      Gender and Science (3)

01:988:487      Language of Women’s Health and Health Policy (3)

Special notes:

No more than two elective courses chosen may overlap with the major. Students also must satisfy existing departmental prerequisites for any of the courses used for this program.

*To ensure breadth, students may take no more than two of the following three courses focused on substance use:

01:920:361      Sociology of Drug Use (3)

01:512:322      Drugs: A Social History (3)

01:830:272      Drugs and Human Behavior

** Students may take no more than two of the following four courses focused on medical ethics:

01:730:105 or 106       Current Moral and Social Issues (3 or 4 credits)

01:730:107 or 108       Introduction to Ethics (3 or 4 credits)

01:730:249      Bioethics (3)

01:840:221      Ethical Issues, Religious Responses (3)