https://liberalarts.pacific.edu/liberalarts/academics/departments-and-programs/health-studies
Phone: 209.946.7713

Sarah Mathis, Program Director

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science

Majors Offered

Health Studies (BA, BS)

  • Social Services Concentration
  • Health Leadership Concentration
  • Health Policy Concentration

Health is not simply freedom from disease or pathology, but rather a state of equilibrium between an individual and the social, political, and economic environment. These multiple influences on health require people who are pursuing health-related careers to obtain a broad base of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences. The Health Studies program provides a diverse course of study that balances intellectual exploration in the humanities and social sciences with the development of marketable career skills.

The Bachelor in Health Studies Major with a Concentration in Social Services is designed for students who would like to pursue a career in improving health literacy and providing social services to individuals within their communities. Graduates will be well positioned to pursue careers in social work and social service organizations.

The Bachelor in Health Studies Major with a Concentration in Health Leadership is designed for students who want to put health policy and science into action at a local level, in order to create healthier communities and organizations. Graduates will understand the processes and trade-offs of translating health policy and science into practice in the local community as they pursue careers in businesses, local governments, and other organizations.

The Bachelor in Health Studies Major with a Concentration in Health Policy is designed for students with a particular interest in health policies, systems, and advocacy. Health policy refers to decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society. Graduates will be well positioned to understand the implications of decisions made at the level of health policy and systems on communities’ and individuals’ health, in order to pursue careers in strategic roles within governments, medical systems, and other organizations.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science options are available within the Health Studies major. The Bachelor of Arts option is for students who desire to focus on the social aspects of health. The Bachelor of Science option is for students who desire to focus on natural science or machine and computer programming languages.

Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Studies.

I. General Education Requirements

For more details, see General Education

Minimum 28 units and 9 courses that include:

A. CORE Seminars (2 courses)

CORE 001Problem Solving & Oral Comm3
CORE 002Writing and Critical Thinking4

Note: 1) CORE Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer credits taken after high school are exempt from both CORE seminars. Students participating in the First Year Honors Program should complete an honors section of CORE 001 regardless of the number of college transfer units completed. 

B. Breadth Requirement (7 courses, at least 3 units each)

At least one course from each of the following areas:
Artistic Process & Creation
Civic & Global Responsibility
Language & Narratives
Quantitative Reasoning
Scientific Inquiry
Social Inquiry
World Perspectives & Ethics

Note: 1) No more than 2 courses from a single discipline can be used to meet the Breadth Requirement.

C. Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

All students must complete Diversity and Inclusion coursework (at least 3 units)

Note: 1) Diversity and Inclusion courses can also be used to meet the breadth category requirements, or major or minor requirements.

D. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:
Writing
Quantitative Analysis (Math)

Note: 1) Failure to satisfy the fundamental skills requirements by the end of four semesters of full-time study at the University is grounds for academic disqualification.

II. College of the Pacific BA Requirement

Students must take one year of college instruction or equivalent training in a language other than English.

Note: 1) Transfer students with sophomore standing are exempt from this requirement.

III. Breadth Requirement

Students must complete 60 units outside the primary discipline of the first major, regardless of the department who offers the course(s) in that discipline. (This includes general education courses, transfer courses, CPCE/EXTN units, internships, etc.)
 

III. Major Requirements

Minimum 59 units that include:

HLTH 011What Does It Mean to be Healthy?1
COMM 045Communication & Health3
HESP 180Epidemiology4
HLTH 189Health Studies Internship2
Select one of the following:
Elementary Statistical Inference
Introduction to Statistics and Probability
Select one of the following:
Communication Research Methods
Empirical Methods
Social Science Research Methods
Political Science Research
Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I
Social Research Methods
Health Electives
Select five of the following, including at least three upper division courses **
Health Economics
Environment and Literature
Health and Wellness for Life
Nutrition for Health
Medical Terminology
Health and Exercise Science Law
Introduction to Health & Humanities
A History of Medicine
A History of Alcohol and Intoxicants
Introduction to Health Policy +
Illness and Healing in the Ancient World
Biomedical Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Food, Culture and Society
Environment and Society
Sociology of Health and Illness
Social Inequality
Natural Science Electives *
Select one of the following BIOL classes:
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Introduction to Biology *
Concentrations16
Social Services
SOCI 081Introduction to Social Services4
Select three of the following:
Self and Society
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Health Leadership ***
SOCI 081Introduction to Social Services4
BUSI 109Management and Organizational Behavior4
BUSI 175Leadership and Change4
Select one of the following:
Conflict Management
Creating Effective Work Teams
Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
Health Policy **
Select one of the following:
Economic Principles and Problems
Introductory Microeconomics
Introductory Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy
Select three of the following:
U.S. Government and Politics
Introduction to Health Policy **
Government in Action: Public Policy Analysis
Introduction to Public Administration

Bachelor of Science in Health Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Studies.

I. General Education Requirements

For more details, see General Education

Minimum 28 units and 9 courses that include:

A. CORE Seminars (2 courses)

CORE 001Problem Solving & Oral Comm3
CORE 002Writing and Critical Thinking4

Note: 1) CORE Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer credits taken after high school are exempt from both CORE seminars. Students participating in the First Year Honors Program should complete an honors section of CORE 001 regardless of the number of college transfer units completed. 

B. Breadth Requirement (7 courses, at least 3 units each)

At least one course from each of the following areas:
Artistic Process & Creation
Civic & Global Responsibility
Language & Narratives
Quantitative Reasoning
Scientific Inquiry
Social Inquiry
World Perspectives & Ethics

Note: 1) No more than 2 courses from a single discipline can be used to meet the Breadth Requirement.

C. Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

All students must complete Diversity and Inclusion coursework (at least 3 units)

Note: 1) Diversity and Inclusion courses can also be used to meet the breadth category requirements, or major or minor requirements.

D. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:
Writing
Quantitative Analysis (Math)

Note: 1) Failure to satisfy the fundamental skills requirements by the end of four semesters of full-time study at the University is grounds for academic disqualification.

II. Breadth Requirement

Students must complete 60 units outside the primary discipline of the first major, regardless of the department who offers the course(s) in that discipline. (This includes general education courses, transfer courses, CPCE/EXTN units, internships, etc.)
 

III. Major Requirements

Minimum 59 units that include:

HLTH 011What Does It Mean to be Healthy?1
COMM 045Communication & Health3
HESP 180Epidemiology4
HLTH 189Health Studies Internship2
Select one of the following:
Elementary Statistical Inference
Introduction to Statistics and Probability
Select one of the following:
Communication Research Methods
Empirical Methods
Social Science Research Methods
Political Science Research
Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I
Social Research Methods
Health Electives
Select three of the following, including at least two upper division courses **
Health Economics
Environment and Literature
Health and Wellness for Life
Nutrition for Health
Medical Terminology
Health and Exercise Science Law
Introduction to Health & Humanities
A History of Medicine
A History of Alcohol and Intoxicants
Introduction to Health Policy +
Illness and Healing in the Ancient World
Biomedical Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Food, Culture and Society
Environment and Society
Sociology of Health and Illness
Social Inequality
Natural Science Electives
Select three of the following, including at least one BIOL: *
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Introduction to Biology *
Elements of Chemistry
Data Structures
Introduction to Programming for Data Science
Data Analytics Programming
Concentrations16
Social Services
SOCI 081Introduction to Social Services4
Select three of the following:
Self and Society
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Health Leadership ***
SOCI 081Introduction to Social Services4
BUSI 109Management and Organizational Behavior4
BUSI 175Leadership and Change4
Select one of the following:
Conflict Management
Creating Effective Work Teams
Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
Health Policy **
Select one of the following:
Economic Principles and Problems
Introductory Microeconomics
Introductory Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy
Select three of the following:
U.S. Government and Politics
Introduction to Health Policy **
Government in Action: Public Policy Analysis
Introduction to Public Administration

Health Studies Courses

HLTH 011. What Does It Mean to be Healthy? 1 Unit.

This course discusses health from the perspective of the humanities and social sciences. Students will be introduced to the critical perspectives necessary to view health as a state of equilibrium between an individual and the social, political, and economic environment, rather than simply freedom from disease or pathology. The important roles of social services, health leadership and health policy and governance will be emphasized. Students also develop an academic plan while learning about University resources and opportunities to help ensure successful academic work.

HLTH 089. Health Studies Practicum. 2 Units.

This course provides an opportunity for students to observe an area of career interest within the health field. Students are encouraged to pursue opportunities relevant to planned career and/or graduate school goals, such as health policy and law, health leadership, and social services.

HLTH 093. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.

HLTH 189. Health Studies Internship. 2 Units.

This course facilitates the development of job/career experience through an internship in an area of career interest within the health field. Students are encouraged to pursue opportunities relevant to planned career and/or graduate school goals, such as health policy and law, health leadership, and social services.

Critical Thinking, Major Field Competence, Intercultural/Global Perspectives

  • Explain how functions and characteristics of laws, policies, systems, organizations, inter-personal relationships, and individual health behaviors affect the health of both individuals and communities
  • Identify and address power dynamics related to culture, ethics, race, gender, and place that create health disparities

Ethical Reasoning, Major Field Competence

  • Apply ethical frameworks associated with health and prevention

Information Literacy, Major Field Competence

  • Use sources of health data to inform critical thinking and action

Written/Oral Communication, Major Field Competence

  • Communicate effectively in a professional environment, using written and oral expression

Health Studies Faculty

Sarah M. Mathis, Program Director, 2008, BS, Principia College, 1997; MA, University of Notre Dame, 1999; PhD, Emory University, 2008.