Minor Requirements

Health and Society courses explore the processes that shape individual and population health in their social, material and physical contexts. Disability, psychiatric disorders, ideals of well-being, and models of medical intervention vary between cultural settings and across history.

At the individual level, how and where one lives may influence mental health, the onset of diabetes, and the length of life. Health is also influenced by our relationships: marriage is associated with longer life for men; social networks carry information and generate reminders to see physicians; but networks and interaction may also generate stress and demands that degrade physical and mental health alike. These relationships form within frameworks of health care policy and systems of provision, cultural expectations and values such as the sanctity of life and calls to respect human rights, and exposure to environments that reflect endowments, economic activity, and political choices.

To understand health in its broader contexts, the minor encompasses a range of disciplines and methods, and differential emphases on theory, practice and policy implications. For those interested in medical school, the changing nature of the MCAT means that students considering application to medical school will need richer exposure to social science theory and methods. The minor further provides a background for the allied health professions, the study of law with an emphasis on health, and doctoral work in a range of social science disciplines.


College students in any field of study may complete a minor in Health and Society. The flexibility of this minor complements majors in any of the disciplines.

Minor Requirements

The Health and Society Minor requires a total of five courses, including:

  • HLTH 17000 Introduction to Health and Society or HLTH 17001 Introduction to Health and Society II (Summer Quarter offering)
  • Four approved Health and Society Minor courses designated as counting toward the minor

Minor Courses May Not:

  • Be double counted with the student’s major(s) or with other minors;
  • Be counted toward general education requirements;
  • Must be taken for quality grades (not P/F); andMay include a methods course, but only one general methods course may count toward the minor.


  • Students may petition to count 1 course (including a course from study abroad) not featured in our approved course list toward the minor.
  • Petitions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis; A petitioned course must connect to issues of health ‘broadly conceived’ in order to be considered (it should explore the processes that shape individual and population health in their social, material and physical contexts).

Declaring the Minor

Students who wish to declare a minor in Health and Society must contact the program before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year. To declare your minor, please review our declaration guidelines, fill out a minor map, and contact hlth@uchicago.edu with questions.