Majors & Programs

Health and Social Change

Find solutions to public health issues through the lens of social justice.

The opioid epidemic.
Climate change.
Black Lives Matter.
Reproductive rights.
Gun control.

The stories making headlines are often rooted in social inequities at the nexus of public health, environmental health, media, and culture. The world needs change agents who understand the roots of these problems and are ready to make a positive impact on society. 

Develop an understanding of how societal and cultural issues affect health and learn how to enact change in our Health and Social Change program: Where public health intersects with social justice. 

As a civically minded, socially conscious person, you are aware of the shortcomings of our current approach to health and well-being. You see the inequities and systemic issues that plague our society and human health. You want to break down barriers and imagine a new way. 

In the Health and Social Change major, you will:

  • Explore health issues through a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives in local, national, and global contexts;
  • Apply foundational knowledge in health science and research to complex health problems;
  • Identify opportunities for action at the individual, community, and policy level;
  • Influence a variety of audiences through art, culture, media, and communication strategies to create long-lasting change.

Emerson’s Health and Social Change program goes beyond traditional health sciences, health management, or public health programs to examine how to create a new culture of health that engages social justice, communication, and the arts. This program will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to implement cultural, policy, and social change down the street and around the globe.

If you’re someone who wants to examine cultural and societal issues in order to improve health outcomes, this major is for you.

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If we want people to adopt healthier behaviors, we have to make healthier places to live and work. And where we can’t do that, we at least have to acknowledge how our communities directly influence our health.