Health Care–Social Issues

OFFICE: Interdisciplinary Programs, Literature Building, Second Floor, Room 3238, Warren College

Health care–social issues is an interdisciplinary minor designed to enhance students’ competence in analyzing complex social and ethical implications and ramifications of health care issues, policies, and delivery systems. Students gain an understanding of how the economy, culture, technology, sociological and psychological processes influence modern health care. Although it is administered by Warren College, it is available to all UCSD students with a general interest in health care as well as to students considering health care careers. This minor offers UCSD students the opportunity to examine health care-related issues from the perspectives of a wide range of disciplines that include anthropology, contemporary issues, economics, ethnic studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban studies, and science and technology. By bringing together course work from these academic departments, this interdisciplinary curriculum offers a breadth of intellectual experience that enhances students’ undergraduate education and their preparation for professional and postgraduate education in health care professions.

Students should consult an academic adviser in their college provost’s office to determine how the health care–social issues minor can best meet their college’s graduation requirements. Declarations must first be reviewed and approved by the coordinator of Interdisciplinary Programs and then by the student’s college academic advising office.

Students are strongly urged to supplement the health care–social issues minor with a health-related internship. The Academic Internship Program offers internship placements in clinical settings and with medical research teams that provide valuable experience, career clarification, and an opportunity to apply theories learned in course work. Juniors and seniors with at least a 2.5 overall grade-point average (some placements require a 3.0 GPA) are eligible and can earn from four to sixteen units of academic credit for the internship experience.

Further information on related programs and activities is available at the Interdisciplinary Programs Office, Literature Building, Second Floor, Room 3238, Warren College, or call (858) 534-1704. Web site:

Health Care–Social Issues Minor Requirements

The minor consists of seven courses (three required and four electives). At least five courses must be taken at the upper-division level. Upper-division courses must not overlap with courses in the student’s major and must be distributed in two or more disciplines. For full descriptions of the following courses, please see departmental listings.

The health care–social issues minor is applicable as a Warren College program of concentration in the social sciences.

Required Courses

Sociology/L 40—Sociology of Health Care Issues
Philosophy 163—Bio-Medical Ethics

One course in Urban Studies and Planning chosen from the following:

143—The U.S. Health Care System
144—Environmental and Preventive Health Issues
145—Aging: Social and Health Policy Issues
147—Case Studies in Health Care Programs: The Poor and Undeserved

(Additional urban studies and planning courses may be taken to fulfill elective requirements in the minor.)

Elective Course Options



2—Human Origins

Biological Sciences

101—Topics in Biomedical Anthropology
141—The Evolution of Human Diet


100—Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology (approval required)
128—The Anthropology of Medicine

Contemporary Issues

22—Human Sexuality
40—The AIDS Epidemic
136—The Anthropology of Medicine


138A-B—Economics of Health

Ethnic Studies

142—Medicine, Race, and the Global Politics of Inequality


147—Philosophy of Biology
148—Philosophy and the Environment
151—Philosophy of Neuroscience
162—Contemporary Moral Issues
164—Technology and Human Values
165—Professional Ethics


2—General Psychology: Biological Foundations
60—Introduction to Statistics
104—Introduction to Social Psychology
124—Introduction to Clinical Psychology
132—Hormones and Behavior
134—Eating Disorders
153—Clinical Psychology
154—Behavior Modification
155—Social Psychology and Medicine
163—Abnormal Psychology
168—Psychological Disorders of Childhood
169—Brain Damage and Mental Function
172—Psychology of Human Sexuality
179—Drugs, Addiction, and Mental Disorders
181—Drugs and Behavior
188—Impulse Control Disorders

Science, Technology, and Public Affairs

181—Elements of International Medicine



60—The Practice of Social Research

Cluster B

120S—Special Topics in Culture, Language, and Social Interaction (prior approval of topic required)

Cluster C

134A—The Making of Modern Medicine
134B—Medicine in the Twentieth Century
135—Medical Sociology
136A—Sociology of Mental Illness: Historical Approach
136B—Sociology of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society
137—Knowledge and Practice in Biomedicine
138—Genetics and Society
159—Special Topics in Social Organizations and Institutions (prior approval of topic required)

Urban Studies and Planning

143—The U.S. Health Care System
144—Environmental and Preventive Health Issues
145—Aging: Social and Health Policy Issues
147—Case Studies in Health Care Programs: The Poor and Undeserved

Recommended Internship Experience

Health care-related internship (AIP 197): to be arranged at least one quarter in advance through the Academic Internship Program, Literature Building, Second Floor, Warren College. Clinical and research placements are available. For each four units of credit, ten hours per week for one quarter plus a ten-page research paper are required Health Care–Social Issues