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What Can I Do With This Major?

Alum Experience

Noah Haber wrote his honors thesis in HSSP modeling and analyzing rise of the pharmaceutical research and development industry in India following major patent law changes in 2005. This work was inspired by his summer internship working in HIV clinics in slum areas in New Delhi, India.

Noah is currently a full-time Research Assistant at Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions in the Health Economics Research and Quality of Life Evaluation Services (HERQuLES) group. He currently designs and builds health economic models which simulate both the economic and health related effects of pharmaceuticals in various populations. He has worked in a number of disease areas, including pain management, diabetes, hypertension, and depression.

Alum Experience

Loretta Stein graduated from Brandeis in 2006 with a double major in HSSP and Anthropology and a minor in Latin American Studies.  Her senior thesis was entitled “Determinants of Disease:  An Analysis of Health and Healthcare in the Dominican Republic” based on her study abroad experience in the Dominican Republic.  The following year she earned a Masters of Science in Global Health Science from Oxford University.  Her dissertation was entitled “Evaluating the Quality of Informed Consent in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Cord Blood Research in Coastal Kenya” based on original research conducted in Kilifi, Kenya.  She is currently a second year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.

Loretta can be contacted at loretta.stein@tufts.ed.


Alum Experience

Eliza Gregory graduated from Brandeis University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Health: Science, Society and Policy.  During her time in the program, Eliza served as the Undergraduate Departmental Representative, and for her senior internship, she worked in the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital developing the new Emergency Management program.  After graduating, Eliza began work in August 2005 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) as a Project Manager in the Emergency Management Program within the Department of Health Care Quality.  Eliza was promoted to Manager in February 2008 and has helped to expand the EM Program by recruiting and hiring a direct-report Project Manager.  Eliza graduated from Simmons College in May 2009, with a Master in Healthcare Administration.

The field of Emergency Management follows a continuous cycle of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.  Emergency Management is applicable across all industries, and after events such as Hurricane Katrina, hospital-based Emergency Management became a national priority for the federal government and for regulatory and accreditation agencies.  Examples of hospital-based Emergency Management initiatives include Hazardous Materials (HazMat) and Decontamination Operations, Evacuation, Mass Casualty Incident and
Inpatient Surge, Pandemic, et al.  Examples of activities for these initiatives include preparing the written hospital plans and policies, implementing these plans through staff training, purchasing relevant equipment, performing drills to exercise the plans, and responding to real events.

Health: Science, Society and Policy

1. Overview
2. First Destination Data
3. HSSP Alumni Career Paths
4. Hands-On (HOE) Experience Requirement
5. Internships
6. What to do with a degree in HSSP
7. Resources
8. Graduate School Information

1. Overview 

Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that draws from three of the major strengths of Brandeis: the life sciences, the social sciences of health and the health policy of the Heller School. There are few programs like HSSP in the country; the emphasis is studying multiple perspectives on health and health care. The many disciplines of HSSP contribute to our current understanding of human health and disease. This program will help students understand the biological underpinnings of health, illness and disability, as well as their social, political, legal and economic dimensions. International cases and examples are integrated into the study of these issues in the United States. Students may choose to earn a degree in HSSP as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). Students may also choose a HSSP Minor. 

By undertaking this broad, interdisciplinary study of health, students prepare themselves for a variety of educational and professional opportunities. Graduates of HSSP will go on to careers in the fields of medicine, dentistry, public health, clinical therapy, social work, genetic counseling, biomedical research, law, social policy, and public service, among many others.

For more on HSSP, see the HSSP website and read the FAQs about HSSP.   

2. First Destination Data

The Hiatt Center is pleased to provide a list of organizations, titles and fields of alumni who majored in various disciplines. Click here to download a sortable spreadsheet listing the first destination graduate programs and employment opportunities that HSSP alumni from the classes of 2008-2012 secured within six months of graduation.
The list is indicative of the diverse wealth of transferable skills HSSP students cultivate.

3. HSSP Alumni Career Paths

Year Title Company Industry
2012 Consulting Associate Hayes Management Consulting Consulting
2012 Research Assistant Health Advances Hospital & Health Care
2012 Business Development Consultant GigaOM Computer Science
2012 Consultant World Health Organization Health Care
2011 Portfolio Accountant State Street Corporation Finance and Banking
2011 Department Administrator Brandeis University Higher Education
2010 Paralegal BCK Law Law
2010 Associate Analyst Abt Associates Research
2010 Applications Specialist MEDITECH Healthcare
2010 Adult Education Manager Wheelock College Higher Education
2010 Junior Project Manager Guidepoint Global Hospital & Health Care
2009 Project Manager Harvard Medical School Higher Education
2008 Lab Assistant Caris Life Sciences Biotechnology
2008 Clinical Research Coordinator Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Research/ Health Care
2008 Senior Associate Avalere Health Public Policy

Lead Teacher

The Manhattan Children's Center Education & Teaching
2007 Associate Attorney Fried Frank Law

4. Hands-on Experience (HOE) Requirement  

All HSSP majors must complete one of the five following HOE options:

1.      A health-related Internship and an Internship Seminar:  

  • HSSP 89a - HSSP Internship,

  • ENVS 89a - Environmental Studies Internship,

  • LGLS 161b - Advocacy for Policy Change,

  • PAX 89a - Internship in Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Studies, or

  • WMGS 89a - When Violence Hits Home;

2.      HSSP 98a/b - Independent Research;

3.      HSSP 99d - Field-based Senior Thesis;

4.      A health-related Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS); or

5.      A health-related Study Abroad.

5. Internships 

In addition to your coursework, internships during the academic year and/or during the summer can be extremely beneficial as you develop academic and professional skills.  The Brandeis Internship Exchange is an easy and convenient online tool for you to find and share real internship opportunities.  Just log on with your UNet ID and use the advanced search to identify internships by major.

6. What to Do with a Degree in Health: Science, Society and Policy (.pdf)

7. Resources

8. Graduate School Information 

The Hiatt Center provides a range of resources on considering Graduate and Law School.

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Skills, Abilities & Knowledge

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Your program of study at Brandeis University provides both field-specific knowledge and a broad range of transferable skills, abilities and knowledge that are sought after by all employers in all fields and enhance your experience and success in the world of work. To identify additional skills and abilities you have developed through coursework, activities and work, take TypeFocus.


  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


  • Oral and Written Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken and written words.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern that is hidden in other distracting material.


  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

1 Excerpted from O*Net OnLine, US Department of Labor by the National Center for O*Net Development

Sample of Possible Occupations

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