Sociomedical Sciences

The thirty-credit MS in Sociomedical Sciences degree trains students to apply social science theories, concepts, and methods to public health practice and policy making. The program offers coursework in anthropology, ethics, history, psychology, and sociology, along with a wide range of public health topics and methods. Students can customize a program that reflects a particular disciplinary focus or can craft a more interdisciplinary course of study.

Course of Study

The course of study consists of thirty credits and a master’s thesis, and is designed to be completed in either full-time (two semesters) or part-time (three or more semesters). This program is appropriate for undergraduate students seeking preparation for doctoral study in the social sciences, and those who are interested in public health training but do not wish to pursue an MPH; mid-career professionals with health-related interests in fields such as nursing, medicine, health policy, bioethics, journalism, and law; and postdoctoral students seeking to enhance their training by gaining additional analytic tools for public health policy making.

Course Requirements

CourseCredits
P6400 Epidemiology3
SMS Master's Thesis (P8707 and P8708)3
Theory courses (choose 2 from the following list):
P8704 Medical Sociology
P8755 Medical Anthropology
P8767 Health Psychology
P8745 Social and Economic Determinants of Health
P6728 Health Promotion: Theory, Research, and Practice
P8747 Ethics of Public Health
P8773 Social History of American Public Health
6
Methods courses (choose 2 from the following list):
P8705 Evaluation of Health Programs
P8777 Survey Research Methods
P8785 Qualitative Research Methods
P8796 Quantitative Research Design
P8786 Ethnographic Methods
P8771 Community-Based Participatory Research
P8902 Mixed Methods Research
6
Public Health Selective (choose 2 from the following list):
P8703 Health Advocacy
P8746 Coercion and Persuasion in Public Health
P8757 Global Politics of Aging
P8701 Social Dimensions of Aging
P6775 Health Communication
P8741 Structural Approaches in Global Health

6

 

General Elective
Six credits of student's choice (may include courses outside Mailman)

6
Total Credits30


Sample Program Plans

1. Two-semester plan

First semester: 16 credits

  • Epidemiology
  • Social and Economic Determinants of Health (Theory 1)
  • Health Advocacy (PH Selectve 1)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Methods 1)
  • General Elective
  • SMS Thesis Proposal

Second semester: 14 credits and master’s essay

  • Ethics of Public Health (Theory 2)
  • Coercion and Persuasion in Public Health (PH Selectve 2)
  • Mixed Methods Research (Methods 2)
  • General Elective
  • SMS Thesis Proposal

2. Three-semester plan

First semester: 9 credits

  • Epidemiology
  • Social History of American Public Health (Theory 1)
  • Health Advocacy (PH Selectve 1)

Second semester: 12 credits

  • Medical Sociology (Theory 2)
  • Community-Based Participatory Research (Methods 1)
  • Structural Approaches in Global Health (PH Selectve 2)
  • General Elective

Third semester: 9 credits

  • Quantitative Research Design (Methods 2)
  • General Elective
  • Master’s Proposal & Thesis

More information on Admission Process and Requirements.