Public Health & Social Policy Track

Public Health & Social Policy Track

With the Boston Dispensary - established in 1796 as the first permanent medical facility in New England—began a tradition of medical excellence in Boston. Today, the city has a wealth of pioneering hospitals, institutes, and universities, and the health care industry is one of the largest and fastest growing segments of Boston's economy.

On the Public Health & Social Policy track, you'll gain valuable knowledge in health education and policy while pursuing an internship at a local non-profit, social service agency, mentoring organization, or health provider.

Summer 1: The Academic Phase

You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in public health and social policy.

Choose Two:

  • CAS AN 210 Medical Anthropology

    Examines the influence of culture on health care beliefs, practices, and institutions. Special topics include cross-cultural approaches to birth, aging, and death; drug use and abuse; health care in developing countries; and socialist models of health-care service. (Required for Medical Anthropology minors.) 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Laporte CAS B06A
  • CAS EC 387 Introduction to Health Economics

    Concepts of health economics applicable to both developed and developing countries. Topics include effect of health on the economy, effect of health care on health, hospital behavior, health work-force supply, and demand for health care. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS EC 201.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, W, R 1:30 PM-4:00 PM Persson CAS 208
  • CAS PS 234 Psychology of Learning

    Survey of theory and techniques in learning and their applications in different settings. Topics include problem solving, memory, reward and punishment, and reinforcement schedules as studied in animals, normal classrooms, and remedial settings. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS PS 101.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Dunne PSY B51
  • CAS PS 241 Developmental Psychology

    Students may elect either CAS PS 241 or PS 243, but not both. Critical review of research and theories pertaining to intellectual and social development of infants and children. Role of early experiences and biological factors in later formation of personality, and intellectual and motivational behaviors; includes theories of Erikson, Piaget, and Freud. Term paper may be required. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS PS 101.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Blake PSY B55
  • CAS PS 333 Drugs and Behavior

    Comprehensive survey of drug influences on behavior; introduces a neuroscience approach to behavior. Several classes of drugs are discussed, including abused and addictive substances and psychoactive and therapeutic agents. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS PS 101, and CAS PS 231 or CAS NE 101, and junior or senior standing; or consent of instructor.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Caine HAR 208
  • CAS PS 371 Abnormal Psychology

    Attention to the wide range of ways in which personality may become disordered, and emphasis on normal behavior development as highlighted by psychopathology. Evidence and theories concerning problems of treatment are also considered. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS PS 101.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Pincus EPC 209
  • CAS SO 100 Principles in Sociology

    An introduction to the major theories and basic principles of sociological analysis. Explores culture, media, socialization, race and ethnicity, globalization, capitalism, gender and sexuality, inequality and poverty, power in American society, and health and medicine from a sociological perspective. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Stone SOC B57
  • CAS SO 215 Sociology of Health Care

    Social, cultural, and intercultural factors in health and illness. Training and socialization of medical professionals, roots of medical power and authority, organization and operation of health care facilities. U.S. health care system and its main problems. Comparison of health care systems in the U.S. and in other countries. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Guseva SOC 241
  • CAS SO 240 Sexuality and Social Life

    Introduction to sociological perspectives on gender and sexuality. Historical comparative analysis of sexuality, with a focus on the social, cultural, political, and economic institutions and processes that shape sexuality in the contemporary social world. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Connell CAS B06B
  • CAS SO 244 Urban Sociology

    An analysis of cities and urban phenomena in preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial societies with an emphasis on European and U.S. urbanization. A comparison of social scientific theories used to explain urban dynamics, processes, and policies. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Brown-saraci SOC 241
  • SAR HP 353 Organization & Delivery of Health Care in the U.S.

    The focus of this interdisciplinary course is on increasing students' understanding of the health care system, the social, environmental, and behavioral factors that affect health care, and on increasing the student's ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. Students will actively engage in individual work, group discussion and teamwork through written, oral, and web site assignments. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Pesanelli SAR 104
  • SAR HS 251 Human Nutrition Science

    An introduction to nutrition with a focus on the relationship between diet and health. Basic scientific information is presented in preparation for discussion of applied issues such as weight management and prevention of chronic disease. Emphasis is placed on translation of current dietary recommendations to actual food choices. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS BI 105 or CAS BI 108.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 5:30 PM-9:00 PM Pufahl SAR 104
  • SAR HS 345 Introduction to Global Environmental Public Health

    Environmental health is associated with recognizing, assessing, understanding and controlling the impacts of people in their environment and the impacts of the environment on the public health. The complexity of the problems requires multidisciplinary approaches. This course provides an introduction to the principles, methods, and issues related to global environmental health. The course examines health issues, scientific understanding of causes, and possible future approaches to control of the major environmental health problems internationally. Topics include how the body reacts to environmental pollutants; physical, chemical, and biological agents of environmental contamination; vectors for dissemination (air, water, soil); solid and hazardous waste; susceptible populations; bio-markers and risk analysis; the scientific basis for policy decisions; risk communication; and emerging global environmental health problems. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Quissell SAR 104

Summer 2: The Internship Phase

For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.

Public Health & Social Policy Internship Opportunities

Internship placement sites in past years have included health care organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and social service providers and policy institutes.

Internship Placement

  • Internship placement for 35 hours a week
  • Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience, as well as employer and industry norms (Please note: Opportunities with direct client contact are limited and may be a relatively small portion of the internship experience.)
  • All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
  • Visit our Placement Process page for additional information

Summer Study Internship Course

The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Friday mornings throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic track and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.

Meet a Public Health & Social Policy Student

Student: Kimberly Simmons

Courses: Sociology of Health Care; Counseling and Motivational Interviewing

Internship Site: Healthworks Community Fitness

On the Job: I interned at a non-profit organization which supports women and children in low-income neighborhoods with fitness and health education. For many members, reaching fitness goals translates to reaching other life goals. I was involved in various tasks at the site, from learning the software used to track members’ information to writing memos regarding a new partnership with Boston Children's Hospital. Every day at the organization was different, and I enjoyed being able to observe the management of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit firsthand.

Perspectives: This summer I gained an expanded understanding and better grasp on the versatile field of public health. While I will undoubtedly continue to refine my career goals and interests, this program has allowed me to gain knowledge, experience, and connections within the field that will definitely benefit my professional development.