Health, illness, and disease can only be fully understood if one considers the complex interaction of biological, social, and cultural realities in societies past and present. The Joint AOC in Health, Culture, and Societies (HCS) fosters an understanding for the importance of these interwoven factors. It is designed to complement and/or deepen the learning experience in other AOCs for students who are interested in health-related careers, broadly defined. It is radically interdisciplinary (i.e., cross-divisional) and transdisciplinary (i.e., crossing the lines between academia, professional work outside of academia, and community engagement).
This program provides an opportunity for students to explore different aspects and conceptions of health in their broader socio-cultural contexts. The underlying organization and cross-divisional design, make this program appropriate for students who are interested in health from a humanistic (i.e., artistic, literary, historical, philosophical, or ethical), social scientific (i.e., anthropological, psychological, social, economic, or political), and natural scientific (i.e., biological, biochemical, physiological, or epidemiologic) perspective, regardless of AOC.
This Joint AOC will make students more competitive in traditional medical, nursing, and public health professions, as well as in allied health fields and specialized areas including, but not limited to, art and music therapy, biophysics, data science, health advocacy, and policy analysis. Moreover, this program allows students to become holistically educated citizens of health while providing flexibility, global vision, focus on equity, and practical skills.