The Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science (CHS) is a certificate program that allows students an opportunity to explore human health, disease, and healing from an interdisciplinary perspective. CHS recognizes that the study of any aspect of health requires theoretical frameworks and research strategies that integrate physical, political, psychological, and socio-cultural elements of human experience – and students in this rigorous program thus design a plan of study that links the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Completing a CHS certificate provides students a solid liberal arts background and equips them with a range of tools to think cross-culturally about health issues. Students will learn, for example, to:
- Recognize historical patterns of intervention and disease transmission;
- Be media literate and assess various forms of technological advancement for health;
- Navigate healthcare systems and be an advocate for themselves and others;
- Recognize important contributions from multiple disciplines in the realm of health promotion, disease eradication, and global health.
It is increasingly clear that the best health practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts need to understand how behavior influences disease distribution, how biomedical categories change across time and culture, and how political and socioeconomic factors are integral to both intervention protocols and the manifestation of disease. They also must understand how to interpret and communicate research results to audiences of policy makers and to the general public.
The interdisciplinary CHS training is aimed at developing the above skills. CHS students take courses in a range of fields, are exposed to a variety of scholars and practitioners across the five colleges and beyond, and conduct an independent capstone project to bring these experiences together. For those who plan to pursue advanced degrees, graduate programs and medical schools are giving greater attention to interdisciplinary training, recognizing that tomorrow's health experts will need to know how to link their understandings of history, culture, and behavior with clinical and epidemiologic models of health and disease. Faculty and students alike are enriched by the connections and interdisciplinary collaborations that the Culture, Health, and Science program fosters – locally and internationally. Get on board!