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Any solution to today's most pressing health challenges will be rooted in a rich, multidisciplinary knowledge base that extends from a 19th century understanding of the consequences of poor nutrition and inadequate sanitation to a rapidly evolving 21st century mastery of the structure of the genome. Within this broad context, the foundations of good health remain grounded in a complex interplay of social and economic influences; and the increasingly effective treatment of serious illness is linked to dramatic advances in molecular biology. Stated simply, the promotion of sound health is tied to how people live; and the treatment of complex disease is tied to sophisticated biomedical research and individual access to state-of-the-art medical care.
Launched in 2003, 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.