Focal Area A Notes

Together, the introductory biology sequence (BIO 14a - Genetics & Genomics and its lab - BIO 18b; BIO 15b - Cell & Organisms and its lab - BIO 18a; and BIO 16a - Evolution & Biodiversity) provide a solid foundation in biology. BIO 14a is the prerequisite for BIO 18b. BIO 15b is the prerequisite for BIO 18a.  

Many HSSP BS students choose to take BIO 14a and BIO 15b in their 1st year; the BIO 18b lab and BIO 18a lab in their 2nd year; and then BIO 16a in their 3rd year. BIO 14a, BIO 15b, and BIO 16a can be taken in any order - one is not a prerequisite for any other.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit cannot be counted for any HSSP BS requirement, if you test out of an introductory science course, take a more advanced course.

The HSSP MPP Advancement Program

Planning on pursuing a Master of Public Policy (MPP)? Interested in learning more about our HSSP MPP Advancement Program? Begin by reading the HSSP MPP Advancement Program Application Requirements!

Want to declare

in HSSP?

Begin by reading our FAQ sheet! (Google Doc)

Bachelor of Science Degree

All BS majors must complete the following Core Requirements and Electives:

A.  Core Requirements

  1. Core “Science” Course:  BIOL 42a - Physiology

  2. Core “Society” Course: SOC 191a - Health, Community & Society or   ​SOC 189a - ​Sociology of the Body & Health   

  3. Core “Policy” Course: HS 104b - American Health Care  or LGLS 114a - American Health Care: Law & Policy

  4. HSSP 100b - Intro to Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Population Health   Open to HSSP Juniors & Seniors, usually offered in both fall and spring semesters; generally taken in Junior year.   Alternatively, one of the DIS Study Abroad epidemiology courses - Epidemiology: Danish Case Studies or Epidemiology: Swedish Case Studies - can substitute for HSSP 100b.

  1. HSSP 110a - Integrative Seminar on Health:   A capstone course for seniors that combines academic coursework and fieldwork experiences around a central problem or facet of health or healthcare - open only to HSSP Students in their Senior year.  You may request to take HSSP 110a in the final semester of your Junior Year, if you:

  • are graduating a semester early (i.e., December instead of May) and you have ready officially changed your graduation date, or
  • are a declared double major in Education and HSSP, or a major in HSSP and a minor in Education: Education major/minors must all teach in the Spring semester of their Senior Year.
  1. Hands-On Experience (HOE)   Majors must successfully complete 1 of the following 5 options:
    1. An internship paired with an Internship Seminar:  HSSP 89a- HSSP Internship, ENVS 89a - Environmental Studies Internship, LGLS 161b - Advocacy for Policy Change, PAX 89a - Internship in Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Studies,  PSYC 161a & PSYC 161b - ​clinical Psychology Practicum I & II;       (Note:  must complete both PSYC 161a & PSYC 161b​, or WMGS 89a - When Violence Hits Home)
    2. HSSP 98a/b - Independent Research;
    4. A qualifying health-related Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS); or
    5. A qualifying health-related Study Abroad Program.

HOE:  All majors must communicate their HOE choice, in writing, to the HSSP Internship Instructor.  Students who choose to complete their HOE through Internship or JBS must also meet with the HSSP Internship Instructor in the fall of their Sophomore or Junior year for written pre-approval before accepting/registering for that option.  Students who choose to complete their HOE through Study Abroad must meet with the Study Abroad Liaison for pre-approval.

B.  Electives

     The HSSP BS degree demands the following science and lab courses in addition to the 6 required courses.

If you entered Brandeis:

  1. before the Fall of 2015 you must complete 68 credits, including:  5 HSSP electives (3 electives from Focal Area A + 1 elective from both Focal Area B & C) + 24 credits of “Additional Basic Science Courses”.

  2. in/after the Fall of 2015 you must complete 70 credits, including:  the prescribed introductory biology sequence (BIOL 14a + BIOL 18a, BIOL 15b + BIOL 18b, and BIOL 16a); 3 HSSP electives (1 elective from each Focal Area); plus 16 credits of “Additional Basic Science Courses”.

For more information on what courses count toward HSSP credit, see the Quick Guide.