HSOC does not run its own abroad programs, but directs students to the many fine programs availabe through Penn Abroad
Please contact that office for information on specific programs and the process of applying to study abroad.

Getting started

HSOC majors interested in studying abroad should carefully plan how and when to fulfill their core major requirements and department electives at Penn before and after being abroad. 

  • As many core courses as possible should be completed before going abroad.

What programs are good for HSOC-ers?

  • Decide if you are interested in going to a particular place or are looking for a particular program
  • Study abroad doesn't have to focus on HSOC, but some programs are better than others in terms of HSOC-relevant programs

How many courses from study abroad can count toward the HSOC Major?

  • Courses from study abroad may only count toward the concentration (unless they are IHP courses).
  • Up to two courses relevant to the major may be accepted for credit in the concentration (unless they are IHP courses - see below)
  • Courses from study abroad cannot count as department electives.

How do courses from abroad get onto the transcript?

  • Courses taken abroad must be submitted to XCat for approval by the department
  • Courses taken abroad will appear on the transcript after submission to XCat, approval by the department, approval by the College, and receipt of the courses and grades from the study abroad site

The International Honors Program “Health and Community” Program (IHP) is particularly good for HSOC majors.  

  • Here is what one HSOC major said about her IHP experience:

    "My junior year at Penn, I had the opportunity to study abroad through the International Honors Program’s (IHP’s) Health and Community program. Health and Community brought me together with 33 other college students who were interested in studying approaches to health and health care around the world. Students in the group were majoring in everything from public health to comparative literature to bioengineering—so although we had similar interests, everyone contributed different ideas and perspectives. IHP is unique in its comparative approach. We spent two weeks in Washington, D.C. and approximately a month in South Africa, Vietnam, and Brazil; (other Health and Community trips go to different locations). Two professors traveled with us for the entire semester, each teaching two courses related to public health. Classes were supplemented by guest speakers and site visits. In addition, home-stays in South Africa, Vietnam, and Brazil enabled us to immerse ourselves into local culture and get to know our hosts on a much deeper level than we otherwise would.
        For me, IHP’s Health and Community program was the ideal supplement to the Health and Societies curriculum. I saw firsthand many of the concepts I had studied in the classroom and was introduced to new topics that largely steered the remainder of my undergraduate career as a Health and Societies major. For more information about studying abroad with IHP, go to www.ihp.edu."

            --Masha Jones '11, Health and Societies (Public Health Concentration)

How many courses from IHP can count toward the HSOC Major?

  • Because IHP has proved to be "HSOC abroad" we may accept up to 3 courses from this program into the major
  • IHP courses cannot be used as department electives, but, if approved, you may substitute 1 course for a core requirement in the major (i.e. Quantitative Methods, or Medical Anthropology, etc.)
  • If there is not space for three courses from IHP in the core or concentration, then approved courses will count as free electives for the General Requirement