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.

"Being slightly behind on my academic credits, but also hoping to land a great internship, I was stressed about how I was going to put a great summer together. Luckily I found this program, and I was able to accomplish both goals. Now I’m heading into my next year of school with a fulfilling and productive summer behind me, knowing so much more about who I am and what my life goals are. "
Ryan Panny, Boston College
Intern, Summer of Opportunity

Summer 1: The Academic Phase
(May 19 - June 26, 2015)

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. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Ostrach CAS
  • 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 2:30 PM-5:00 PM Poterack CAS
  • 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 6:00 PM-8:30 PM Richman CAS
  • 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
  • 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 Nayak PSY
  • CAS PS 333 Drugs and Behavior

    Comprehensive survey of drug influences on behavior; introduces a neuroscience approach to behavior. Several classes of drugs 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 PHO
  • 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 PSY
  • CAS SO 205 American Families

    Nature of the American family and its ethnic and class variants. Social changes affecting courtship, mate selection, sexual behavior, reproduction, marital stability, and divorce through the life cycle. Social policies affecting family life. Interrelations of family with economy, state, religion, and other institutions. 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 Connell SOC
  • 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 M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Edwards AAS
  • 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
  • MET CJ 209 Crime and Delinquency

    Crime is a complex social phenomena that harms individuals and society at large. This course provides a foundation for understanding criminal behavior. It emphasizes critical analysis of theories of crime causation from a variety of perspectives and their implications for public policy. The course applies theories to a range of crime types and problems, from violence to economic-based crimes. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Gustafson CAS
  • MET CJ 510 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

    Topics for Summer 2015: Summer 1: A1 Race, Crime, & Justice; Summer 2: B1 Special Populations in Corrections. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Iwama FLR
  • 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 M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Dale PSY
  • 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
  • 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, W 4:30 PM-8:00 PM Burgess SAR
    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 SOC
  • SAR HS 450 Non-Infectious Diseases

    Prereq: juniors and seniors only. Examines the five most prevalent non-communicable diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, upper respiratory diseases, mental disorders), which account for nearly 60% of all deaths in the world and 80% in the developing world. Despite the enormous global burden of non-infectious (or non-communicable) diseases, adequate programs for prevention and treatment do not exist and challenges faced are complex. This course uses a life course perspective to focus on the preventable risk factors (diet, exercise, tobacco, alcohol, lifestyle), growing burden of disease, and current issues and challenges in control. 4 cr.

    Prereq: Juniors and Seniors only.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Brown SOC

Summer 2: The Internship Phase
(July 6 - August 14, 2015)

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
(May 22 - August 14, 2015)

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: Ellie Prather

Courses: Medical Anthropolgy; Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective

Internship Site: Medically Induced Trauma Support Services (MITSS)

On the Job: I interviewed patients and looked for and analyzed trends in responses to patient surveys. I researched best practices for online peer support groups and put together a plan based on my findings, which will be available online. I enjoyed being on the inside of such an important and inspiring organization. This experience has helped me understand how much I want to work in healthcare, and how much advocacy matters to me.

Perspectives: The courses I took were incredible, and my teachers were some of the most intelligent professors I have ever had. Their ability to teach such valuable information in just six weeks was inspiring. Through the people I met and those who mentored and taught me, I truly feel I have furthered my education and gained valuable hands-on experience. I am now certain that I want to find a career that allows me to advocate for others and help make change. I am excited to take what I have learned and implement the experience into my academics and future career.

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