Health Studies

The minor in health studies will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the complex issues related to the current and future environment of contemporary health care. This minor is appropriate for:

  1. Any university student who seeks to learn more about health care and health care delivery as a current/future consumer.
  2. Pre-health students who will become future health professionals and must have a broad and more integrative background for the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the field.
  3. Non pre-health students who can become more educated about healthcare and, thus, become more competitive and better prepared to enter one of the countless professional fields that connect to the environment of contemporary health care.
  4. Empowered health consumers and advocates for family and friends in future health care interactions.

This minor is not open to students majoring in nursing or public health as their curricula are already steeped in content on healthcare and healthcare delivery.

HLST 1101 Introduction to Health Studies    3 Credits

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the evolution of healthcare in America. The course will apply a social science lens to the assessment of various healthcare co-cultures, including: providers, patients, and insurers. The impact of technology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices on patient longevity, wellness, and disease management will be explored. In addition, the dialectical tensions created by acute care/disease-focused vs. quality-of-life/wellness-centric healthcare delivery models will be examined. The evolving economic burdens of: an aging population, uninsured Americans, expanding technology, provider specialization, and fewer healthcare gatekeepers on the US healthcare system will also be assessed. This course is open to health studies minors and public health majors only. Nursing majors may not take this course. Previously HS 0101.

HLST 3201 Health Communication for Healthcare Professionals    3 Credits

Attributes: HSSS Health Studies: Social Science

This course will examine the processes and complexities of health communication with an applied focus. The primary purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the methods and symbols used to communicate information about health. The course will evaluate and explore the multidimensional processes used to create, maintain, and transform complex scientific realities into everyday healthcare information for providers, patients, families, etc. Open only to: Nursing majors, as well as Public Health and Social Work majors/minor, and Health Studies minors or with professor approval. Previously HS 0200.

HLST 3310 Global Health: A Social Justice Perspective    3 Credits

Attributes: HSTE Health Studies: Traditions, Delivery, and Ethics

This course will provide a basic, multidisciplinary understanding of the context for and leading problems in global health with an added emphasis on social justice dimensions and leadership. Both faculty and external experts will speak. Topics will include: globalization, surveillance and response in global health, health inequity, health metrics, the governance of global health systems; global health finance and economics; the workforce for global health; public-private partnerships; global supply chains; humanitarian conflict; HIV; TB; malaria; neglected tropical diseases; emerging infections; vaccines; global health security; non-communicable diseases; maternal and child health, injury and violence; environmental health; and global health law.

HLST 3900 Special Topics (Shell)    3 Credits

This course will focus on a topic relevant to a specific area within the broad field of health-related content. This is intended as an initial one-time offering, after which, should the course be determined as desired to be offered on a regular basis, will be given a permanent number in the Health Studies program (or other department as deemed appropriate). As the content of a special topics course will vary with time and related to current important content, students may take the class more than once during their tenure at Fairfield University.

HLST 4999 Health Studies Capstone    3 Credits

Prerequisites: HLST 1101, completion of or concurrent enrollment in three health studies electives, senior standing.

This capstone allows the student to integrate and reflect on the wealth of information learned in HLST 1101 and the three elective courses in the minor. Students will undertake an independent research project in some area of Health Studies, and through discussions with the professor and other students, dissect and analyze their theme from a broad range of perspectives. The project will culminate with both a written paper, and an oral or poster presentation at the annual Health Studies symposium in the spring. Previously HS 0399.



Steering Committee

Aksan (Economics)
Church (Biology)
Davidson (Religious Studies)
Drazan (Engineering)
Kelley (College of Arts and Sciences)
McClure (Psychology)
O’Shea (Nursing)
Phelan (Biology)
Walker (Biology)