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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, counseling or mentoring organization, or health provider.

"I had such a rewarding experience in this program! The classes were enjoyable and related to my field, and my internship was exactly what I was hoping to do. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my summer! "
HALEY JORDAN, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
INTERN, GENESIS COUNSELING

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. The courses below were offered in Summer Term 2016 and can serve as a guide to what is typically offered. Courses for Summer Term 2017 will be posted on January 15, 2017.

  • 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. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Ready CAS 227
  • CAS PH 251 Medical Ethics

    Explores moral philosophical issues that arise in connection with medicine and emerging biotechnologies. Examines topics such as the right to healthcare, research ethics, euthanasia, abortion, concepts of death and disease, and assisted reproductive technologies. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, R 5:00 PM-7:30 PM Powell CAS 324
  • 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 153
  • 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 T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Wells PSY 210
  • 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; or consent of instructor.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Caine HAR 224
  • CAS PS 371 Abnormal Psychology

    Prereq: (CAS PS 101). 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 or CAS PS 105.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Pincus CAS B36
  • CAS SO 207 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

    Social definition of race and ethnicity. The adjustment of different ethnic groups and their impact upon U.S. social life. How prejudice and discrimination create class identities and how caste relations have affected patterns of integration during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 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 Stone SOC 241
  • 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 1:00 PM-4:30 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 225
  • CAS SO 352 American Masculinities

    Prereq: one 100- or 200-level course in either sociology or women's, gender, & sexuality studies. Considers the biological and social organization of masculinities; the ways culture reproduces/articulates masculinities, particularly with regard to race and class; how masculine identities are expressed; male privilege; alternative masculinities; and what is at stake in negotiating contemporary masculinities. 4 cr.

    Prereq: one 100- or 200-level course in either sociology or women's, gender, & sexuality.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Gottfried EPC 206
  • MET CJ 344 Drugs and Society

    Introduction to the sociology of a wide range of legal and illicit drugs. Examines social definitions of drugs and conditions of their use. Considers deviant drug use and effects of social control on definitions and use. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Cadigan SHA 201
  • MET CJ 510 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

    Topics for Summer 2016:

    Summer 1 2016 -- Special Topic: Criminal Justice Policy & Planning
    Introduces students to the concepts of criminal justice policy and planning. Provides an understanding of the major theories of planning and their applications to criminal justice settings. Teaches the techniques for analyzing problems and developing programs and policies resulting from problem analysis, along with program and policy monitoring and evaluation. Weekly learning modules emphasize the concept of "planned change" and evaluation. Prepares students to become effective managers, decision makers, planners, and policy makers in the field of criminal justice.

    Summer 2 2016 -- Special Topic: Mental Health & Justice Policy
    The intersection of mental health and criminal justice systems has become a major contemporary issue in our society. This course explores the history of mental health policy as situated within the criminal justice system. Both historical and contemporary impacts of justice policy are addressed with an understanding of how justice policy impacts treatment within criminal justice settings. Examines treatment and policy issues within the domains of policing, courts, corrections, and community reentry. Topics addressed include mental health law, the impact of mass incarceration on mental health, and contemporary prevention strategies. Explores ethical issues in the delivery of forensic mental health services. Students gain valuable understanding of these important areas through case studies, site visits, guest speakers, and other active learning assignments. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Mastrorilli CAS 426
  • MET PS 275 Counseling and Motivational Interviewing

    Prereq: (MET PS 101) or consent of instructor. Basic theories of counseling and motivational interviewing are compared and contrasted. Emphasis is placed on investigating the various contexts in which these theories and techniques are particularly applicable (e.g., sports psychology, weight loss, smoking cessation, crises management, etc.). 4 cr.

    Prereq: MET PS 101 or consent of instructor.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Dale CAS 229
  • 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 COM 217
  • SAR HS 325 Introduction to Global Health

    Provides students with an overview of the complex social, economic, political, environmental, and biological factors that structure the origins, consequences, and possible treatments of illness worldwide, as well as the promotion of health. Students learn about the major themes and concepts shaping the interdisciplinary field of global health, and gain an understanding of solutions to health challenges that have been successfully implemented in different parts of the world. Major topics include the linkages between global health and economic development, the global burden of disease, key actors in global health, and lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 11:00 AM-2:30 PM Brown CAS 233
  • SAR HS 342 Exercise Physiology

    Application of physiological principles under different exercise conditions. Integration of the body systems in performance of exercise, work, and sports; immediate and long range effects of these activities on the body. Laboratory includes the measurement of physiological parameters under exercise conditions. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS BI 211 or CAS BI 315; or consent of instructor.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Lecture M, R 4:30 PM-8:00 PM Burgess SAR 104
    SA1 Lab ARR - Burgess
  • SAR HS 345 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. It 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 M, W 4:30 PM-8:00 PM M-moattari CAS 323A

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 opportunities are available at health care organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, counseling services, 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.