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Undergraduate Program

The major in Medicine, Health, and Society investigates the cultural, economic, demographic and biological factors that impact health. Drawing on courses in the medical sciences, humanities, and social sciences, this innovative interdisciplinary field of study transcends the traditional biomedical approach to understanding health and illness. MHS students learn to think critically about complex social issues that impact health, healthcare, and health policy.

The curriculum is designed to train students to meet emerging challenges in our healthcare system as well as changes in medical education. MHS is dedicated to training the next generation of national and international health leaders—from doctors and nurses to economists and policy makers.


Declaring a Major/Minor with MHS

Students may declare a major or minor in MHS, after completing their first year, using the Declaration of Major form. Please fill out the form and email it to You will be assigned an adviser and the adviser signature will be provided. You will then be instructed to turn the signed form into your school's Academic Services office for processing.

You must also declare your concentration. You can always change your concentration, with your adviser’s approval, later down the line.

Please choose from one of the following MHS concentrations:

  • Global health: emphasizes social and political determinants of global health disparities, history of global public health concepts and practices, relationship between culture and health, various health systems.
  • Health policies and economies: emphasizes the economic, legal, and political dimensions of health.
  • Health behaviors and health sciences: emphasizes biological and social foundations of health.
  • Inequality, intersectionality, and health justice: emphasizes how diverse structures of inequality intersect and shape health disparities; and considers the role of social justice movements in reducing inequities.
  • Medicine, humanities and the arts: emphasizes critical inquiry of our most basic ideas about health and medicine.
  • Critical Health Studies: Students choosing this concentration must propose a set of four courses (12 credit hours) that form a coherent program of study related to critical health studies and receive approval from the director of undergraduate studies.

Approved courses for each of the concentrations are listed in the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Academic Catalog under MHS in the College of Arts and Science Programs of Study.