Requirements of the HSOC Major (14 cu)

I. Core Courses (4 cu)

  • Required Core Course (1 cu):  HSOC 10 or HSOC 145 (Students must be taking or have taken this course in order to declare the HSOC major.  There are no exceptions to this rule.)
  • Quantitative Requirement (1 cu):  SOCI/HSOC 100 or SOCI/HSOC 111
  • Core Discipline - Historical: HSOC 002 or 112 or 150
  • Core Discipline - Social Science: ANTH/HSOC 238 or SOCI 175/HSOC 175

II. HSOC Electives (3 cu)
     These are courses from the department and found on the page "What counts as an HSOC Elective."  Only courses on this list fulfill this requirement.

III. Concentration Courses (6 cu)
     Students select one concentration to focus their interests within the HSOC major.  They use pre-approved courses and petitioned courses of their own selection to fulfill the 6 cu requirement.

  • Bioethics and Health
  • Disease and Society
  • Environment and Health
  • Gender and Health
  • Global Health
  • Health Care, Markets and Finance
  • Health Policy
  • History of Medicine
  • Public Health

IV. Capstone Research Seminar (1 cu)  
     Every student must take a 400-level HSOC or STSC capstone seminar, as part of which they write a 20+ page original research paper. 
     This requirement must be fulfilled during a student's last three terms.    
     While 400-level courses may be taken at any time, such a course only fulfills the capstone requirement when taken after the middle of junior year.

What Counts for the Major:

  • Core Courses: There is no exception to the rule that in order to declare the HSOC major, a student must have taken or be currently enrolled in HSOC 10 or HSOC 145, and there are no substitutes for courses fulfilling thequantitative and core discipline requirements.
  • HSOC Electives are courses on the list of "HSOC Electives" and listed as HSOC or STSC. No other courses can fulfill this 3 c.u. requirement and courses cannot be petitioned. Courses that do not count for this requirement: (1) Courses listed as HSOC or STSC that are not on the list (2) Courses from study abroad (3) Courses from other departments
  • Concentration courses: There is a list of pre-approved courses for each concentration; these are NOT required courses, but these do count automatically if taken. Any other courses must be petitioned for the concentration (only, not for core requirements) Please read the list of concentration courses carefully.
  • Seniors may not petition courses after the add period ends during their last semester of senior year.
  • Non-College courses: Students may have up to three non-College courses in their concentrations.
  • Transfer courses count if approved through XCat
  • Study Abroad courses count if approved through XCat.  Up to two courses may count but only in the concentration (not to substitute for core courses or department electives).  EXCEPTIONS: From the IHP program, up to three courses may be counted in the major as a whole, and some of those may be core courses.
  • There is no double-counting of courses between different parts of the major.  Students need 14 separate c.u. to complete the major.
  • AP courses do not count toward the HSOC major
  • GRADES: The minimum grade required for credit in the HSOC major is a C-.  Courses with less than a C- or taken pass/fail do not count toward the HSOC major [this is College policy].
  • Double-counting courses: You cannot double-count within the HSOC major.  You may double-count ONE course between the major and the sectors.

Rules about your HSOC worksheet:

  • You cannot update or change your own official worksheet.
  • The worksheet requires regular manual override by Dr. Barnes or Dr. Greene to update it because the software doesn't place courses accurately onto your HSOC worksheet, and it doesn't remove courses for which you registered but then dropped.  If courses are in the wrong place, it is a software problem.
  • The HSOC WEBSITE is always more accurate in terms of requirements than the worksheet on PennInTouch.
  • Red Xs are normal and common occurrences because of how the software works.  Overrides do not always hold.  [Calmly] Contact Dr. Greene about any Red Xs.
  • Red circle with a line through it: indicates a problem with an incomplete or with a grade. 

 How to Declare the HSOC major