+ Curriculum – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \


Health professions is an interdisciplinary minor for students preparing for professional or graduate training in a health care specialty. The minor is particularly suited for students majoring in a natural science (such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics) who wish to take a suite of interdisciplinary courses that will provide them with perspectives from the social sciences and humanities on health care and related topics. In addition, students can take some courses for the minor that will provide them with useful skills or experiences for practicing medicine in a professional setting.

Faculty members of the Health Professions Minor Steering Committee oversee the minor program, advise students, and approve declaration and audit forms for individual students. The Health Professions Advisory Committee Chair acts as the program coordinator and approves all minor declarations and audits.

Goals of the minor:

  • Enable the participants to study important issues of health care in the United States and abroad.
  • Allow the participants to gain auxiliary skills vital to health professionals in the 21st century.
  • Allow the participants to improve communication skills and to consider ethical foundations essential for health professionals.

Faculty Advisers:

Jamie Bodenlos, Psychology
Gregory Frost-Arnold, Philosophy
Jessica Hayes-Conroy, Women’s Studies
Derek Linton, History
Justin Miller, Chemistry and HP Committee Chair
Renee Monson, Sociology


If you’d like to view a full listing of the course options for the Health Professions minor, or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Online Course Catalogue


Students minoring in health professions must complete:

  • Six total courses/experiences, all of which must be unique to the minor.
  • No more than two 100-level courses.
  • At least one Foundations Course.
  • A Concentration of at least three courses. The courses within the Concentration of choice must come from at least two different disciplines. View the Online Course Catalogue to see the list of courses.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of the social sciences and humanities on health care and related topics.

Below, you’ll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes.

PHIL 156 Biomedical Ethics

Class Examine ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine, in the delivery of health care, and in biomedical research. Ethical issues arise in all areas of human activity, but they arise in medicine with special urgency. Discover the reasons for this urgency while delving into several other issues, such as informed consent and genetic intervention.

SOC 224 Social Deviance

Class Explore the social etiology of deviant behavior, the functions of deviance, and societal reactions to deviance. Take an interdisciplinary approach to the internalization of norms, guilt, shame, punishment, and conformity as they relate to deviance.

HIST 325 Medicine and Public Health in Modern Europe

Class Learn about the “medicalization” of Europe—the conquest of infectious disease and consequently increasing life spans, as well as the impact of medicalization on European culture and mentality by examining literary and artistic representations of disease and medicine.