The Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) Program offers four options for fulfilling the Hands-On Experience (HOE) Requirement. Please note that the following text is a clarification of the prior requirements and not a substantive change to how HSSP majors may fulfill the HOE requirement.
Internship and Research Options
As part of the major, each student is required to complete one of the following three options:
Option 1: HSSP 89a (Internship Seminar)
This course for declared HSSP majors combines: 1) A weekly, classroom-based discussion, and 2) A supervised internship in a health (care) organization whose work involves science (e.g., natural sciences and medicine), society (e.g., the social sciences and public health), and/or policy (e.g., law, politics, economics, and organizations). The internship placement must be arranged in consultation with the Internship Instructor and can include work in either the public or private sectors.
Internships must be approved by the HSSP InternshipInstructor before the internship begins. Internships may be completed during the summer (i.e., prior to the classroom-based discussion) or during the academic semester (concurrent with the discussion). Internships completed during the summer must span at least 8 weeks and 110 hours. Internships completed during the semester must span at least 10 weeks and 100 hours. Both unpaid and paid internships may be used to fulfill the internship requirement.
In order to receive credit for a paid internship, the student must notify the internship instructor that the internship is paid and get prior approval from the internship instructor. If an internship is approved as an unpaid internship and a student then receives funding for this internship, the student needs to inform the Internship Instructor. However, the internship will remain approved, unless the student is informed otherwise.
Note: With prior written approval from the HSSP internship instructor, a student may substitute a health-related internship taken in conjunction with one of the following:
- LGLS161b, Advocacy for Policy Change (Prof. Melissa Stimell | firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ENVS89a, Environmental Internship (Prof. Laura Goldin | email@example.com; students also interested in interning with Healthy Waltham should first speak with Prof. Goldin – i.e., do not contact Healthy Waltham)
- PAX89a (for Sorensen Fellows only), Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies (Prof. Leigh Swigart |firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Justice Brandeis Semester, depends on the program. These are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Please click here for a fuller description of each of these options.
Students must fulfill the following requirements to secure an approved internship and enrollment in HSSP89a:
Students should plan ahead and be aware of this schedule so that they do not jeopardize the approval of their internship. Failure to plan may result in more time and resources devoted to their completion of the HSSP major.
Option 2: HSSP 98a/b (Independent Research)
Under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty or faculty sponsor approved by HSSP's chair, students will conduct an intensive laboratory or field-based project that culminates in a 20- to 25-page research paper relating the research to science, society and policy. This requires a one-semester commitment.
The project requires collection of primary data or use of existing data set (with permission from advising professor) for analysis. Literature reviews and library-based projects are not appropriate for HSSP 98.
Students should have prior training in the appropriate research methods that will be used during the project. In addition, students are responsible for finding an appropriate faculty supervisor by the end of the semester preceding enrollment in HSSP 98. If the faculty supervisor is not a member of the HSSP faculty, approval of the project by the chair of HSSP is required before students can register for HSSP 98.
Option 3: HSSP 98a/b (Study Abroad)
Field work performed during a study-abroad program may satisfy the HOE requirement. Students interested in this option must speak with the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison and Internship Instructor in the semester prior to the study abroad program. The program will be reviewed to ensure it meets criteria for a hands-on experience in a health-related field. Upon completion of the study abroad experience, students must submit a 20-25 page paper to the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison. This paper will be reviewed to ensure programmatic requirements are met. If met, the Hands-On Experience requirement will be fulfilled.
Option 4: HSSP 99d (Field-based Senior Research)
With the approval of the HSSP chair and under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty, each student will conduct an original health-related research project field and data based and write a thesis. Students who select this option will register for HSSP 99d in both of their two final semesters, one of which will count toward the major requirements. This option can be used for students who wish to seek HSSP Honors (see honors requirements). Students who complete their internship requirement through the other options may still be eligible to undertake senior honors thesis research. Please see HSSP Senior Thesis Guidelines for more details.