Health and Society Minor

This interdisciplinary minor examines the role that cultural norms, values, history, media, science, and policy play when it comes to issues of health, wellness, and disability. Students will gain an understanding of how the body works, the impact of disease, and how to critically evaluate scientific information and data. Communication of science and health information as it relates to our daily lives and in the context of media, policy, and public health will also be a focus.

The minor consists of four courses (16 credits). Students must select at least one course from each track and complete at least one course at the 300 or 400 level. Students who minor in both Psychology and Health and Society may not double-count PS 201 and PS 340.


Human Biology and Health

  • CD 234 - Speech and Hearing Anatomy and Physiology
  • CD 315 - Autism*
  • CD 403 - Speech Science
  • SC 210 - Human Health and Disease
  • SC 211 - Food and Nutrition
  • SC 212 - Evolution of Human Nature
  • SC 213 - The Brain and Behavior
  • SC 214 - Plagues and Pandemics
  • SC 215 - Personal Genetics and Identity
  • SC 216 - DNA and Society
  • SC 235 - The Science of Mindfulness
  • SC 291 - Topics in Human Biology and Health**
  • SC 310 - Science in Translation: Health and Genetics*
  • SC 391 - Advanced Topics in Human Biology and Health**

Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts

  • CC 210 - Culture, Diversity, and Health Communication
  • CC 214 - Mental Health, Media, and Public Policy
  • CC 255 - Topics in Health Communication
  • CD 153 - Disability and the Media
  • CD 193 - Introduction to Communication Disorders: Diversity and Difference
  • IN 316 - The War on Drugs 
  • IN 317 - Special Topics in Health and Society**
  • IN 352 - Sex, Society, and Health
  • PH 212 - Ethics of Eating
  • PS 201 - Abnormal Psychology
  • PS 340 - Narratives of Disorder*

* Note prerequisites
** Check current course listings for specific topics


Nancy Allen*, senior executive-in-residence in Health and Society, is a public health professional with teaching and research interests in health communication, HIV/AIDS, human sexuality, and the opioid epidemic. She teaches classes on infectious diseases, sexual health, the war on drugs, and disability. 

Agaptus Anaele, assistant professor in Marketing Communication, teaches and researches in the areas of digital media and strategic health communication campaigns, engagement and social change, and technology and peacebuilding.

Amit Bajaj, associate professor and undergraduate program director in Communication Sciences and Disorders, teaches undergraduate courses in speech science. He is interested in using qualitative research methodologies to examine quality of life issues among persons who stutter.

Beatriz Gonzalez-Flecha, affiliated faculty member in Interdisciplinary Studies, is a biomedical scientist with a wide variety of research interests and teaches courses in nutrition, human health and disease, and the science of mindfulness. 

Ruth Grossman, professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and director of the FACE Lab, teaches a course on autism for the minor. Her research is focused on various aspects of face-to-face communication in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). 

Heather May*, senior lecturer in Communication Studies, is particularly concerned with mental health, the ways that race and poverty affect health outcomes, and the ever-changing landscape of healthcare in the United States. For the minor, she teaches culture, diversity, and health communication.

Eileen McBride, assistant professor in Psychology, is a clinical psychologist whose research examines the role of self-efficacy in educational settings and in communication disorders. For the minor, she teaches abnormal psychology and narratives of disorder.

Amy Vashlishan Murray, associate professor in Human Biology, is a molecular biologist with research and teaching interests at the intersection of genetics, neurobiology, and public understanding of science. She teaches courses in DNA and society, personal genetics and identity, and science in translation: health and genetics.

Jamie Rosenblum-Lichtenstein, affiliated faculty member in Biology, teaches courses in human health and disease, and DNA and society. Her research interests include cell and molecular biology, physiology, genetics, and immunology.

Alisa Ruggiero, senior scholar-in-residence in Communication Sciences and Disorders, is a speech-language pathologist with expertise in neurogenic communication disorders. For the minor, she teaches speech disorders and anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing mechanisms.

Todd Smith, associate professor in Chemistry, teaches courses that allow students to apply a scientific perspective to topics such as food and cooking, the structure and function of DNA, and the effect of human-made chemicals in our environment. For the minor, he teaches DNA and Society and topics courses such as chemistry in the kitchen and our evolving pharmacopeia.

Jaime Tanner, associate professor in Biology, has research interests in the links between form and function in mammalian skulls and animal behavior. She teaches classes in human evolution and environmental health.

Lisa Wisman Weil, senior scholar-in-residence in Communication Sciences and Disorders, is a language scientist and speech-language pathologist. She teaches courses on communication disorders: diversity and difference, language acquisition, survey of language disorders, and autism.

Please note this may not be a comprehensive list, as our affiliated faculty rotate on a semesterly basis. Please refer to the semester registration listings to identify any additional faculty participating in the minor.

* Minor Coordinator