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Frequently Asked Questions
Must HSSP courses be taken in a specific order?
No, you may take your core courses and electives in any order that works for you. However, the core courses will generally provide you with foundational knowledge and skills that you can apply during your electives and “hands-on” learning experience. HSSP 110a must be taken during your senior year.
What is the “hands-on” learning experience?
All HSSP majors need to complete an internship in a health-care or policy organization or an original health-related research project that is laboratory- or field-based.
An internship can be completed by enrolling in HSSP 89a or ENVS 89a. If you choose to enroll in HSSP 89a, you should identify an internship site and then contact the HSSP internship instructor, Cynthia Tschampl, at ext. 6-2852 or firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
In order to receive credit for your HSSP internship, you will be required to write a 20- to 25-page paper analyzing your experience and exploring the scientific, social and policy issues related to the organization with which you worked. The internship can be completed during a regular semester or during the summer. If you complete your internship over the summer, you will need to enroll in HSSP 89a.
A health-related research project may be completed by enrolling in HSSP 98a/b or 99d, the latter generally being reserved for honors research. Students are recommended to take HSSP 100a during their junior year if they are considering HSSP 98a/b or 99d because those courses involve primary data collection or analysis. If you choose to write an honors thesis for another major, this paper may be accepted as your HSSP research project, but it will not be considered for honors in HSSP.
In order to receive honors in HSSP, you must enroll in HSSP 99d and write an HSSP senior thesis. The thesis must be defended before a committee of three: two HSSP faculty members (one is advisor) and one professor from outside of the HSSP program. To qualify for honors courses, students must have a 3.25 overall GPA or a 3.5 GPA in HSSP courses. Students wanting to do honors should contact their adviser or a faculty member during the second semester of their junior.
Does it matter which course I take to fulfill the biology core requirement?
For the bachelor of arts degree, BIO 15b, BIO 22b or BIO 42b will fulfill that core requirement. For the bachelor of science degree, students must take BIO 42b.
If I have already taken BIO 22, how can I fulfill the core HSSP requirement?
If you have already taken BIO 22, you are not permitted to go back and take BIO 15b; therefore, for the B.A. degree you would count BIO 22b as a core course and BIO 22a as a Focal Area A elective. The B.S. degree requires BIO 42a as its core biology course, so BIO 22a and BIO 22b would count as Focal Area A electives.
If I double major, can I “double count” courses for HSSP?
Yes. You should check with your adviser in the other major to find out if they have a different policy.
How many AP credits or courses taken elsewhere can I count toward the HSSP major?
Students may bring in up to two elective courses taken elsewhere (including abroad) for the HSSP major.
AP credits do not count toward an HSSP major. However, students who score 4 or 5 on their biology AP test may opt out of BIO 15b for the bachelor of arts degree only. Those B.A. students must then take a second Focal Area A elective.