Healthcare Classes

Lauren Higgins

Health Classes to Check Out at UVA

For people interested in the non-clinical (or even the clinical) side of health, sometimes it can seem that there aren’t classes catered to this interest. This would be a mistake. By hunting through Lou’s List there are a plethora of courses that can allow anyone in the upcoming semester to explore their interest in health through their formal coursework. Below is a sampling of these classes:


Public Health Sciences Department

PHS 3103: Intro to Epidemiology: Case Studies on Healthy Lifestyles & Disease Prevention

  • This undergraduate course provides an introduction to basic epidemiology concepts, including measures of frequency & association, study design, & methodological issues such as confounding. Students will use case studies & team projects, as well as literature reviews, to examine strategies for promoting healthy behavior & lifestyles & addressing such public health challenges as obesity & tobacco abuse. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission

PHS 3130: Introduction to Health Research Methods

  • Much of what we know about human health & health-related behavior is based on quant & qual research. This course involves students in the research process from start to finish, including formulating a research question; conducting a background literature review; choosing a study design; developing data collection tools; recruiting a study population; collecting data; assuring data quality; analyzing data; & interpreting & presenting results.

PHS 3620: Built Environment and Public Health: Local to Global

  • How do sidewalks, block parties, food deserts, and transit systems impact our health? This course maps the intersections between architecture, urban planning, and public health that shape the built environment, health and well being of our local and global communities. Lectures and learning applications will present the evidence and its limits on topics such as food security, age-friendly cities, obesity, social equity and vulnerable population.

PHS 3825: Global Public Health: Challenges and Innovations

  • Undoubtedly, we've made important advances in global health, but there's still a long way to go. What factors determine health? What threats do we face today? What issues should we be working to change? We will explore these questions & more through a variety of interactive lectures & small group activities centered on 4 major themes: History & Trends, Determinants of Health, Culture, & Communication.


Anthropology Department

ANTH 2280: Medical Anthropology

  • The course introduces medical anthropology and contextualizes bodies, suffering, healing, and health. It is organized thematically around a critical humanist approach, along with perspectives from political economy and social constructionism. The aim of the course is to provide a broad understanding of the relationship between culture, healing (including and especially the Western form of healing known as biomedicine), health and political power.


Philosophy Department

PHIL 2500: Philosophy of Health and Healthcare


Religious Studies Department

RELG 2650: Theological Bioethics

  • Analyzes various moral problems in medicine, health care, and global health from Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Jewish, and Islamic theological perspectives with reference to salient philosophical influences.


Sociology Department

SOC 3700: Health and Society

  • This course explores the social dimensions of health and illness, focusing especially on the social experience of illness, the social determinants of disease, and the role and meaning of medicine and public health in modern U.S. society. The class examines how we define health problems and their solutions, and it considers the ways in which race, gender, class, age, and sexuality matter for understanding health-related experiences and discourses.



EDIS 3012: Mindfulness in Health and Human Development

  • Mindfulness-based interventions promote physical and mental health and support cognitive and emotional developmental processes in individuals across the lifespan. Mindful awareness practices can support our ability to be fully present to the needs of others. This course introduces a variety of these practices and the research on their effects as a means of promoting well-being and building supportive relationships in professional settings.



GNUR 5390: Introduction to the US Healthcare System

  • This course is designed to provide an overview of (1) how health care is financed, organized, and delivered in the U.S., as well as (2) the major policy challenges created by the system's organization, or lack thereof. In drawing from a variety of perspectives-including political science, economics and history-the course surveys the key stakeholders: those who pay for, provide and receive care.

ELA 2610: Liberal Arts and Health Professions

  • Students explore how insights from various disciplines inform their understanding of healthcare. Guest lectures and informational interviews connect students with healthcare professionals to gain a better understanding of the various health professions and to assess their own career goals. Students develop skills in interdisciplinary research and problem solving, in oral and written communication, and the integration of diverse perspectives.


This list is fairly comprehensive, but may still be missing courses that cover healthcare topics. When picking classes to be cognizant of requirements depending on the program/college in which you are enrolled, but also don’t feel restricted from taking classes in other departments.