BA in Health, Behavior, and Society

This major has 12 required and one pre-requisite course. The health, behavior and society (HBS) major leads to a bachelor of arts degree and satisfies the social sciences requirement of the Rochester Curriculum.

Key goals for this major:

  • Understand the psychological and societal structures and mechanisms affecting human health behavior
  • Understand that health and disease do not depend uniquely on biological mechanisms, but include societal and cultural influences as well
  • Understand that psychological and behavioral factors affect human health, and interact with surrounding economic and environmental conditions
  • Understand the role of behavioral theory, research, and clinical practice in the promotion and maintenance of physical health and well-being

***Beginning in spring 2024 and moving forward, PHLT 102 ‘Introduction to Public Health II' will no longer be a required course for public health majors. Moving forward, PHLT 102 will no longer be offered. Students who are already declared as a health, behavior, and society (HBS) major will continue to follow their programs as they originally declared. If a student completed PHLT 102 with the intention of using it for their intended HBS major, the undergraduate public health program will work with that student to incorporate it as part of their HBS major.

Major Requirements

Some of these courses require prerequisites. These prerequisites are not counted toward the major. Prerequisites can be found in UR Student or in the CDCS. 

Pre-Requisite Course (One Course)

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology

Public Health General Core (Four Courses)

PHLT 101: Introduction to Public Health I
PHLT 103: Concepts of Epidemiology
STAT 212: Appl. Stat. I (valid until spring 2024) or STAT 180 'Introduction to Applied Statistical Methodology (valid beginning fall 2024)
PHIL 228 (PHIL 228W): Public Health Ethics or PHIL 225: Ethical Decisions in Medicine

Specific Core Requirements (Three Courses)

ANTH 216: Medical Anthropology or PHLT 215W (H): Public Health Anthropology
PHLT 116: Introduction to the U.S. Health System
PSYC 283: Behavioral Medicine

Electives (Five Courses)

Choose five of the following:

  • BCSC/PSYC 246: Biology of Mental Disorders
  • CLST 208: Healing in Antiquity
  • GSWS 206/PHLT 206: The Global Politics of Gender and Health
  • GSWS 213: Politics of Nature
  • GSWS 232: Body and Sexuality
  • HIST 203/203W: Childhood, Health and the Formation of US Social Policy
  • HIST 242/242W: Unequal, Unjust: 100 Years of Racism in American Public Health
  • HIST 303W: International Human Rights
  • HIST 359W: Birth in the Nation: A History of Reproduction
  • HIST 373W: American Health Policy and Politics
  • HIST 383W: Disease and Society from Antiquity to the Present
  • INTR 205: Global Sustainable Development: Policy and Practice
  • INTR 237: Gender and Development
  • MHB 220: Stories in Healthcare: Clinicians, Patients, and Narrative Medicine
  • MUR 236/PHLT 227: Music, Ethnography, and HIV/AIDS
  • PHLT 216: Peer Health Advocacy (valid until spring 2022)
  • PHLT 234W: Maternal and Child Health Policy
  • PHLT 236 or PHLT 230: Health Care and Law (PHLT 236) or Public Health Law (PHLT 230)
  • PHLT 265W: Global Health
  • PHLT 394A: Peer Health Advocacy Internship* (valid until fall 2022)
  • PHLT 394C: Washington Semester Internship**
  • PHLT 397W: Community Engagement Internship***
  • PSCI 255: Poverty and Development
  • PSYC 209: Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • PSYC 230: Psychology of Well-Being
  • PSYC 262: Human Motivation
  • RELC 183: Incarceration Nation
  • WRTG 266: Words Have Power: Writing for Social Change

*In order to have PHLT 394A count as a HBS elective course, students must complete a total of 4 credit hours of PHLT 394A.
**Permission of HBS faculty advisor required to use as a HBS elective course.
***Open to juniors, seniors, Take 5, and e5 public health majors.

Students may use up to two PHLT internship courses towards their public health major.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Students are required to register for two upper-level writing courses. The registration rules for new or existing College courses are determined by their respective home departments.

Overlapping Major Courses

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the public health-related programs, no more than two courses may overlap between a public health major and another major.

The pre-requisite course (PSYC 101) and the introductory statistic course (STAT 212 or STAT 180) are not included in course overlaps.

Transfer Credit

Students are permitted (with the approval of their public health faculty advisor) to use up to two transfer courses towards their public health program.

Students may choose to may, or to minor, or to complete a cluster within the Public Health-Related programs, but they cannot do more than one.