Science, Medicine and Society Minor

College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program
Director: Dr. Peter Distelzweig (PHIL)
Department Web Site:

The “Science, Medicine, and Society” (SMDS) minor provides students with interdisciplinary, critical and constructive perspective on medicine, science, health and disease today. Through course offerings in the humanities and (mainly) social and behavioral sciences the minor explores contemporary and historical perspectives on: (1) the concepts of health and disease; and (2) the cultural, social, institutional, and geophysical context of science, medicine, and health care. It will help students better analyze, evaluate, and positively influence these important forces shaping society today.

Core courses

All students must take:

  • PHIL 241 History and Philosophy of Medicine
    or PHIL 385 Philosophy of Science* with approval of program director
  • PHIL 354 Biomedical Ethics

Plus one of the following 400-level Theology courses:

  • THEO 420 Theology and the Biomedical Revolution
  • THEO 437 Christian Faith and the Health Care Professions
  • THEO 472 Theology and Public Health
  • With approval of the program director:
    • THEO 434 Science and Christian Theology
    • THEO 449 Theology and Engineering
    • Another 400-level Theology course

Electives, choose three.

Group 1 - Humanities and Communication, choose up-to one course:

  • COJO 372 Environmental Communication
  • PHIL 385 Philosophy of Science*
  • Other courses as pre-approved by the program director

*PHIL 385 may not count towards both Science, Medicine and Society core AND elective requirements.

Group 2 - Social, Behavioral and Natural Sciences, choose up-to three courses:

  • BIOL 106 Women, Medicine and Biology
  • BIOL 361/GEOL 461 Medical Geology
  • ECON 324 Health Economics
  • GEOG 350 Geography of Global Health
  • HLTH 120 Foundations of Health Promotion
  • HLTH 310 Global Health
  • PSYC 121 Social Psychology
    or PSYC 151 Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC 207 Alcohol, Other Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 301 Psychopathology
  • PSYC 365 Health Psychology
  • Other courses as pre-approved by the program director.

Total required credits: 24 (six courses)