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Frequently Asked Questions
Must HSSP courses be taken in a specific order?
HSSP 100b is generally considered a Junior year course and HSSP 110a must be taken during the spring semester of your Senior year. Your other HSSP courses may be taken in any order that works for your schedule. However, you should keep in mind that all HSSP core courses provide students with foundational knowledge and skills that can be applied in their “hands-on” learning experience course and electives; and therefore are best taken early in one's academic career.
What is the “hands-on” learning experience?
The "hands-on" learning experience refers to a health-based Internship or Research Project and its accompanying HSSP course, and is a core requirement for all majors.
The Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) Program offers four options for fulfilling this Hands-On Experience (HOE) Requirement:
- HSSP 89a (Internship Seminar)
- HSSP 98a/b (Independent Research)
- HSSP 98a/b (Study Abroad)
- HSSP 99d (Field-based Senior Research)
For more details on each of these Options, please go to our Experiential Learning page.
How do I earn 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 pursue honors should contact the HSSP Undergraduate Advising Head, their HSSP adviser or a faculty member during the second semester of their Junior year.
Does it matter which course I take to fulfill the biology core requirement?
Yes. For the HSSP bachelor of arts or minor degree, BIO 14a, 15b, 16a or BIO 42b will fulfill that core science requirement. For the HSSP bachelor of science degree, students must take BIO 42b. The HSSP Core Science Requirement course must be taken at Brandeis University.
If I double major, can I “double count” courses for HSSP?
There is no "double counting" within the HSSP requirements*; but, yes, HSSP allows "double counting" of courses in order to fulfill requirements for other degrees**. Students should check with the other degree's adviser about their other degree's department/program policy before seeking to "double count" any course.
(* a course CANNOT fulfill, say, the Core Science Requirement AND a Focal Are A requirement)
(** HSSP 100b Core Requirement MAY also fulfill a Biology elective requirement)
How many courses taken elsewhere can be counted toward the HSSP major; and AP credits fulfill any HSSP degree requirements?
Students may bring in up to two elective courses taken elsewhere (including HSSP pre-approved StudyAbroad courses) for the HSSP major.
For students entering Brandeis in Fall 2013 or later, AP credits (including AP BIO) do not fulfill any requirements for HSSP degrees.