Degree Requirements – Care, Health & Society


  • 1st Year English or equivalent
  • MATH 107, 109C, 112 or higher
  • 2nd semester second language proficiency

General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Arts
  • 3 units Diversity


Required, minimum of 18 units (or double-major)

Core I

  • Complete both courses (6 units)
What makes people want to help others? What are the different ways that workers are socialized to care for clients? How do bureaucracies and technologies structure the delivery of care? How do helping professionals understand the meaning of their work and the conditions of those they serve? What are the different career options for individuals interested in caring for others? This survey course provides students an opportunity to explore these and other issues and to learn from representatives of the various helping professions.
This course prepares students who are pursuing a career in the helping professions to work as members of interdisciplinary teams.

Core II

  • 6 units total
  • Complete one CHS 200/300/400 level course (3 units)
  • Complete one CHS 300/400 level course (3 units)
To better prepare students for the MCAT, health-related majors (e.g., Care, Health & Society), and health-related professions, this course introduces students to the sociological study of society and health. During the semester, students will explore fundamental sociological theories, perspectives, and concepts. Specific topics include doing sociological research, culture, socialization, social interaction and social structure, groups and organizations, deviance, social class and social stratification, race and ethnicity, sex and gender. Students will also connect sociological theories, perspectives, and concepts to health-related outcomes like mental health, physical health, lifestyle, genetics, and mortality risk.
This course will introduce students to the subject of pastoral and spiritual care. It will explore spirituality and religion, within interfaith contexts, for the sake of healing and human flourishing. In a format that combines lecture with in-class exercises, students will gain both conceptual knowledge and practical skills.
This course explores how the process of aging through a sociological lens. We will examine a variety of gerontological theories, with a focus toward life course and critical perspectives. This course will require students to think critically about social forces that shape the aging experience and individual health outcomes. Students are expected to complete the readings prior to class in the week they are assigned and be prepared to engage in class discussion.
This course introduces the intersection of health and social justice issues. We will examine social determinants of health, population-based health disparities, and visions of health equity. After examining health disparities and their determinants, we will explore specific issues related to addressing health-related needs in multiple disparate and often considered "vulnerable" populations. We will also explore a range of research methods and approaches to health service provision that are responsive to the particular needs and situations of vulnerable groups.
Organization of health care in the U.S.; its impact on patients and society; health care practitioners; medical industries; policy debates.
How societies interpret the reality of human suffering; the organization and politics of care; the status and experiences of individuals whose work involves caring for others.
This course examines ethical dilemmas common to paid care professionals.
The course examines the mythology and practice of medicine in Greek and Roman times from Asclepius to Hippocrates and Galen, medical instruments and procedures, the religious manifestation of healing in Greek and Roman sanctuaries, the votive dedications by patients and cured, midwifery and child care, public hygiene and diseases. The topics cover a large spectrum of the medical practice and public health in the ancient societies of Classical antiquity, as well as how ancient worldviews, including religion and religious practice, shaped health and medicine in Greek and Roman civilization.
This course introduces students to the challenges faced by low-income populations when utilizing -- and failing to utilize -- the American healthcare system. Each class session will present an actual case study drawn from the community of Tucson. Students will have the opportunity to learn the details of the case, explore the past and present real-life world of the patient, examine the specific barriers to treatment, investigate the resources -- or lack thereof -- available, and then create a proposed healthcare solution specific for that patient. Ongoing topics will include the lived experiences of low-income populations and the co-morbid effects of drug use, alcohol abuse, mental illness, physical trauma, nutritional deficits, sexually transmitted disease, and societal stigmatization.
This course examines the relationships between human health and the environment from a sociological viewpoint. Using an interdisciplinary sociological perspective, we will explore the increasing number of illnesses linked to environmental contamination and disasters. Since this is a course in the social sciences, only a basic understanding of the biological and chemical nature of environmental pollution will be needed. Our focus will be on the socioeconomic production of environmental health risks and how science and public policy are contested by various stakeholders.
This course introduces students to the sociological study of health disparities. The purpose of the course is to examine the link between social position and health patterns in the US population. Specific topics include, for example, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, aging, family, and religious involvement.
What is mental illness? Who is likely to become mentally ill? Poor mental health and mental illness are often viewed as biological or genetic flaws. Sociologists, however, argue that mental illness is socially constructed, and that population mental health is profoundly shaped by social conditions. In this course, we will explore sociological understandings of mental health and illness.
Reproductive health and well-being involve a responsible, safe and satisfying sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to control one's reproductive capabilities. This implies access to safe, effective, and affordable methods of fertility regulation and appropriate health care services that enable women to safely experience pregnancy and childbirth. In this course, we examine the social context of various reproductive health issues, including pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, reproductive rights, and traditional and alternative ways of creating families. We will also address the social and political implications of reproductive health practices like abortion, social freezing, surrogate motherhood, and determinants of poor reproductive health outcomes, including violence towards women, sexually transmitted diseases, and social, environmental, and behavioral hazards.
The study of the hospital's capacity to recontextualize legal mandates, instill larger social values, and ration care can provide a sense of how healing is choreographed in its most complex environment. In this course we will investigate the hospital as a strategic entrance point for understanding the social organization of contemporary medicine. We will pay special attention to the ways in which the hospital's agents are authoritative in their choreography, that is, how its professionals and administrators get people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, especially those things that are inconvenient or uncomfortable. In our exploration of the causes and consequences of authority in the hospital, we will examine such topics as: how institutions produce insanity, how doctors seek to generate compliance, and how medical students manage the uncertainty implicit in interpreting science and performing professionally
This course is an overview of the sociological research related to drug use. We will study the historical significance and social construction of drug use, users, abuse, and addiction. We will cover sociological perspectives on drug use, correlates of drug use, drug lifestyles, and the societal response to drug use. Students are responsible for assigned readings and should ask questions to clarify material in the book. In addition, some of the material required to complete course requirements will be discussed in class and may not be in the book. At the end of the semester students will have a better understanding of drug use from a sociological perspective. This will be accomplished by exposing students to both classic and contemporary sociological research on drug use.
This class will look at the devastating effects that healthcare fraud has on the financial resources of the United States. We will review cases of healthcare fraud that involved more than just money - the ultimate price - human lives. As of 2015, the government has collected and returned over $29.4 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund. This does not take into account repayment to the Medicaid fund or other commercial payers. In 2017, the USA has budgeted 28% of the federal budget for healthcare. This amount is highest of all the other categories including defense (21%) and pensions (Social Security 25%.) We will review healthcare fraudulent schemes and methods to detect these schemes. Who are the perpetrators? Who are the victims? Methods of investigation will be explored to look at how to prevent fraud with current laws, task forces and compliance efforts. Whistleblowers will be discussed regarding their efforts to stop healthcare fraud and the risks they took to come forward. The class will also examine the many free resources available to the public on the topic of healthcare fraud. Students will have a chance to investigate possible career paths related to fighting healthcare fraud.
This course introduces students to health issues facing Indigenous populations. The course itself is divided into four units. Unit 1 is a general review of the definition, conceptualization, and everyday experience of Indigeneity. It provides an overview of colonization with an emphasis on its ongoing impact on health care and health research with Indigenous populations. Unit 2 discusses what health might mean from an Indigenous perspective. Unit 3 presents ethical considerations that may be especially important when working with Indigenous populations. Finally, Unit 4 offers a hopeful look toward the future of Indigenous health as Indigenous people continue to move forward in claiming their health and empowering their communities. For your final paper you will conduct a content analysis (this is your original Sociological research!) of media clippings from two recent Indigenous-led efforts that can have a positive impact on Indigenous health, broadly defined.
The emotional, physical and spiritual demands of the caring and health professions are significant. Students are introduced to the importance of wellness and self-care practices as they consider careers in the helping professions. This course will explore the impact of cultivating compassion vs. empathy in working with clients/patients, as well as offer students an opportunity to cultivate a wellness/self-care practice in their own lives. The course culminates in a research paper on the student's selected wellness/self-care practice.
In this course, we will learn how to use social science to create change in our society, right here in the heart of Tucson. Using human-centric design thinking, we will learn about the fields of applied sociology and community development and apply our in-class learning to development real-world solutions to some of Tucson's most persistent social problems. We will review both the academic and practitioner literature on the processes involved in designing social innovations and use experiential learning to bring about positive social change in our own community.

Analytical Skills

  • Complete 2 courses (6 units)
  • SBS 200 is required
An introductory course in the fundamentals of modern statistics with applications and examples in the social and behavioral sciences. Topics include: methods for describing and summarizing data, probability, random sampling, estimating population parameters, significance tests, contingency tables, simple linear regression, and correlation.
  • Choose either CHS 476 or CHS 480
This course introduces students to the quantitative analysis of health disparity data. Specific topics include data processing, data description, bivariate analysis, and multivariate analyses. The course emphasizes reading, conducting, and interpreting quantitative research.
Qualitative, non-­-statistical social science research can form the basis of important discoveries about individuals, organizations and societies. Qualitative methods help to better understand `how' and `why' we do things in a certain way rather than `how often', `how many' or `how much'. The field of health, illness and care generates complex research questions about behaviors, perceptions and practices, which sometimes cannot be fully and appropriately addressed by quantitative methods alone. Therefore this course introduces students to the theoretical and practical principles and approaches of qualitative research methods and provides an overview of the most commonly used qualitative research techniques. During the semester students will reflect on formulating research questions in their field of interest and selecting appropriate research designs. Students will identify research topics, develop research questions, and learn how to generate, analyze and write up qualitative data. Furthermore, students will practice their skills in the critical appraisal of qualitative research studies. Students will have the possibility to acquire methodological skills of qualitative research by conducting their own research project.


  • Complete 1 course (3 units)
Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

Career Track

  • Complete 15 units
  • Please see your academic advisor for personal degree planning.


Additional electives if needed to reach total of 120 units/42 upper-division units