How to Declare (or change) Your HSSP Major or Minor

Meeting with the HSSP Undergraduate Advising Head

Professor Curi is the HSSP Undergraduate Advising Head and the HSSP Study Abroad Liaison.

In addition to the FAQs about HSSP, here you will find answers to many common questions as well as a link to the HSSP Declaration Form (Google Doc).

On this HSSP Declaration Form, you will find instructions on:

When do I need to meet with our HSSP UAH?
  • To declare an HSSP major or minor? Yes, all students seeking to declare a major (BA or BS) or minor in HSSP must complete the HSSP Declaration Form and meet with Prof. Curi.

  • To change to a different HSSP degree? Yes, to change to a different HSSP degree (i.e., from a BS to a BA or from a minor to a major) you must complete the HSSP Declaration Form and meet with Prof. Curi.

  • To request Senior Reduced Status or Extended Credit? Yes, you may request either Senior Reduced Status and Extended Credit approval once determining that you meet all requirements.

    • For Senior Reduced Status, you must meet with, be approved by, and receive a Senior Reduced Status Form from Andrew Marx in the Registrar's Office, then arrange to meet with Prof. Curi.

    • For Extended Credit, complete the Extended Credit Petition, then arrange to meet with Prof. Curi.

  • To drop my major/minor? No. You do not need to meet with Prof. Curi to drop your HSSP major or minor. Instead, you may send an email request with your Sage ID # to Kathryn Howell, HSSP Program administrator, at

Plan Ahead

Appointments often fill up several weeks in advance during busy parts of the semester.

How can I best prepare for my declaration meeting with Prof. Curi?

Review the HSSP Major and or Minor requirements as well as the FAQs about the HSSP Program and the Schedule of Classes. Many required courses are not offered every semester: e.g., SOC 191a - Health, Community & Society is only offered in the Fall.

You may also want to brainstorm with one of our HSSP UDRs. They are great sources of inside information and may be able to offer you more insight into which particular electives to choose.

If you don’t know which exact course you intend to take in a particular semester, but you intend to take a course that fulfills a specific requirement, you may enter the requirement instead: e.g., listing “Focal Area B” and “Fall 2015” instead of a specific course that fulfills that HSSP requirement.

Any specific course(s) listed to fulfill any Focal Area requirement(s) may be substituted with any qualified course(s) that fulfills the same HSSP requirement(s): e.g., you might list HSSP 106a - Managing Medicine on your declaration form; but may end up taking HSSP 128a - Disability Policy instead to fulfill your Focal Area C requirement.

Out of respect, please be on-time for your appointment. Email Prof. Curi at if you are running late as you may need to reschedule your appointment.

If your plan is in order, Prof. Curi will approve your plan and notify the Registrar (exception, students petitioning for Senior Reduced Status or Extended Credit are responsible for returning the appropriate form to the Registrar). If you are declaring your major or minor, Prof. Curi will assign you to an HSSP advisor with whom you should contact to discuss your degree plans.

Will I need any additional approvals to declare my HSSP major/minor?

No, you need no additional approvals to declare an HSSP major/minor; however, depending on your course of study you may need the following additional approvals to complete your HSSP degree:

  • Hands-on Experience (HOE): All majors must complete 1 of the 5 HOE options described at HSSP HOE Options. All majors must communicate their HOE choice, in writing, to our HSSP Internship Instructor and receive written pre-approval from our HSSP Internship Advisor (or for Study Abroad, our SAL).

If you have questions about these options, review the HSSP HOE website, then contact Dr. Mayada Saadoun, the HSSP Internship Instructor. Your HOE internships must be “health-related”, for examples of health-related internships look at what past HSSPers have done via at The Hiatt Center's Brandeis Internship Exchange.

  • Study Abroad: If you are considering the Study Abroad option for your HOE, contact our SAL well before making your final study abroad course decisions. With written prior approval, you may receive credit up to 2 courses (8 credit hours) towards your HSSP major/minor. For more details, see Office of Study Abroad.  

Note:  If you Study Abroad and complete your HOE while abroad, your HOE would count as one of the two courses that can, with “written pre-approval”, be taken outside of Brandeis and count toward HSSP major requirements.  Any additional courses taken during Study Abroad may count toward graduation credit but not for HSSP major requirements).  Again, to chose a Study Abroad program as your HOE option, you must meet with and receive written pre-approval from our SAL.

  • Courses 1) from outside of Brandeis or 2) taken at Brandeis during the Summer:

  1. Majors may transfer up to two courses (8 credits) and minors may transfer one course (4 credits) taken from outside of Brandeis with written pre-approval from UAH or SAL upon completion of the course(s), you must submit a Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement to request these credits to count for your HSSP requirements.  

  2. To request these credits to count for your HSSP requirements, you must submit a Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement for any Brandeis Summer School course and an HSSP HOE Substitution Form for a health-related Summer JBS.           

Note: With few exceptions, transferred courses may only fulfill HSSP Electives and/or the Additional Basic Science Course requirements.  For example, students can petition for HSSP credit for a human physiology course, in place of BIOL 42 - Physiology, that is taken elsewhere (US or abroad); such petitions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Can I double count a course for my HSSP major or minor?

You can’t double count within the HSSP program (i.e., you cannot use one course to meet two different HSSP degree requirements): e.g., LGLS 114a - American Health Care: Law & Policy can only fulfill either the Core “Policy” Course requirement or a Focal Area C requirement; not both. However, a course may fulfill an HSSP requirement while also fulfilling a requirement towards a degree in another department or program:  e.g., LGLS 114a  - American Health Care: Law & Policy could fulfill both a degree requirement in your HSSP major/minor and towards your Legal Studies minor.

Once my plan of study is approved, what should I do?

Keep a copy of your completed HSSP Declaration Form for your records. If you are a newly declared majors/minors, then you should also make plans to connect with your HSSP advisor. And, join other HSSP alums, students, staff, and faculty on HSSP's Facebook page and/or on HSSP's LinkedIn page.

Updated Aug. 2, 2018