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Students on the program will take the following three courses:

BISC 4bj: Food, Nutrition and Health
BISC 10aj: Diabetes
HSSP 120bj: Health Care Landscapes

The courses will be taught by Professor Elaine Lai and Rebkah Zincavage and will run concurrently for eight weeks throughout the summer. Students will earn 12 credits and the program counts towards one of the semesters that students need in order to graduate.

How the courses count:
  • BISC 4bj counts as an elective for BIOL majors ONLY IF taken PRIOR to BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.  Counts as an area A elective (or free elective) for HSSP BA students.
  • BISC 10aj counts as an area A elective (or free elective) for HSSP BA students and counts towards a category two elective for a Biology major if taken before BIOL 22.
  • HSSP 120bj counts as an area C elective for HSSP students and is cross listed with the Sociology department.
1. BISC 4bj: Food, Nutrition and Health

Focuses on a scientific understanding of nutrients and nutrition. Students will learn about the biology of the human body and how it works with emphasis on the digestive system to understand the details of how macronutrients and micronutrients are digested and absorbed in the human body. This course will provide students with tools and knowledge to better understand everything from how to choose food to how our diet influences our long-term health. Four credits.

View the syllabus.

2. BISC 10aj: Diabetes

Examines rigorously the science of why some develop diabetes, how changes in lifestyle can reduce the frequency of the occurrence of this illness, how the illness is treated, and the social, economic and health policy implications of the diabetes epidemic. This course is coupled with a food lab component, in order to further inform about the importance of food and nutrition (together with exercise) in the management and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Students will participate in menu planning, food selection, cooking as well as food sampling. Four credits.

3. HSSP 120bj: Health Care Landscapes

An experientially-based course designed to provide an overview of the current health care landscape and insight in to how our health care system addresses citizens’ health issues.  We will use Diabetes and the current obesity epidemic as our point of entry as we explore the contemporary health care landscape. In addition to site visits to Boston-area health care facilities, students will be introduced to a range of theoretical perspectives used to understand and analyze the organization of health care and consider how, from a macro perspective, we as a society address (or not) this growing health care issue. Through direct in-person learning activities students will reflect on the ways in which the provision, distribution, and organization of health care are structured as well as consider various alternatives.  Throughout we will  scrutinize how health care is mediated by socio-political factors such as race, class, age, geography, and citizenship status on multiple levels as well as the role of policy, health status and values in the organization of health care delivery. Four credits.