Health Studies

Program Overview

Human health and healthcare is an integral and essential part of everyone's life. We will all become part of the conversation, as healthcare requires an ever-larger share of society's resources. The minor in health studies is a new 15-credit interdisciplinary minor that will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the complex issues related to the current and future environment of contemporary healthcare.

This minor is appropriate for:

  • Any University student who seeks to learn more about healthcare and healthcare delivery as current/future consumers;
  • Pre-health students who will become future health professionals and must have a broad and more integrative background for the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the field; and
  • Students of any major who can become more educated about healthcare and, thus, become more competitive and better prepared to enter one of the countless professional fields that connect to the environment of contemporary healthcare.

The objective of the minor in health studies is to enable students to:

  1. Develop a broad understanding of the impact of health and healthcare delivery issues, personally, professionally and within our society.
  2. Appreciate the breadth of issues impacting health and healthcare in the world from the perspectives of the science & technology, social sciences, and traditions, delivery & ethics.
  3. Take an interdisciplinary approach to thinking critically about health and healthcare.
  4. Apply an interdisciplinary approach to investigating a specific healthcare issue.


For course descriptions, visit our online catalog.

Minor Requirements

Students complete at least 5 courses (15 credits), including a capstone experience.

  • HS 101: Introduction to Health Studies (to be taught in spring 2016)
  • One course from EACH of the THREE elective lists below (at least one must be an upper-level course)
  • HS 399: Health Studies Capstone Course

Elective Lists:

Elective List 1: Science and Technology of Healthcare

  • BI 18: Human Biology
  • BI 73: Contemporary Nutrition
  • BI 87: Microbes and Your Health
  • BI 107/108: Anatomy & Physiology
  • BI 170/171: General Biology
  • BI 251: Human Nutrition
  • BI 310: Community Nutrition
  • BI 317: Introduction to Epidemiology & Applied Biostatistics
  • CH 33: Chemistry of Nutrition
  • CH 84: General Chemistry for Health Sciences
  • CH 112: General Chemistry II
  • PY 236: Human Neuropsychology
  • BEN 331: Biomedical Signal Processing
  • BEN 300: Biomedical Instrumentation
  • BEN 332: Biomedical Imaging

Elective List 2: Social Science of Healthcare

  • EC 140: Health Economics
  • PY 118: Psychology of Death & Dying
  • PY 131: Abnormal Psychology
  • PY 274: Drugs & Behavior
  • PY 322: Health Psychology Senior Seminar
  • SO 184: Population: Birth, Death & Migration
  • SO 192: Social Work: An Introduction
  • SO 193: Social Work: the History of Social Welfare and Social Work
  • AY 110: Biological Anthropology
  • AY 115: Biomedical Anthropology
  • CO 248: Health Communication
  • CO 242: Alcohol, Addiction, and Culture
  • CO 341: End of Life Communication
  • CO 347: Communication in Healthcare Organizations
  • CO 343: Ethics & Marketing Communication: Medical Drugs & Devices

Elective List 3: Traditions, Delivery & Ethics of Healthcare

  • HI 202: Health and Healing I America 1650-1980: History of Western Medicine
  • NS 112: Health Care Delivery
  • NS 330: Public Health Nursing (For School of Nursing students ONLY)
  • AE 285: Healthcare Ethics
  • AE 289: Global Health Care Policy
  • AE 397: Seminar in Bioethics I: Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice
  • AE 398: Seminar in Bioethics II: Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research and Resource Allocation
  • EN 163: Autobiography: Literature of Illness and Healing
  • ENW 207: Themes in Creative Writing: Writing Addiction and Recovery
  • PH 205: Ancient Medicine & Philosophy
  • PH 215: Philosophy of Science
  • PH 250: Ethical Theory
  • RS 252: Contemporary Moral Problems
  • SP 208: Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals
  • SP 231N: Career-Oriented Spanish-Nursing/Health Studies

** Students may double-count courses with core, major, or other minor requirements. 

** Some electives have their own prerequisites from the department in which it is offered. Please refer to the course catalog for prerequisites. HS 101 is NOT a prerequisite for any elective course, but is a pre-requisite for HS 399.


The elective courses in the health studies program are offered in collaboration with other departments, and count toward degree programs in other departments and programs. Descriptions of these courses are found in the online undergraduate course catalog for those departments.


At Fairfield, our dedicated faculty play a critical role in our student’s personal and moral development as healthcare providers. Meet the faculty and staff at The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing.

Health Professions Program

Students interested in a career in the health professions become part of a careful mentoring and advising process beginning in the first year (or whenever they decide to pursue a health professions career). Each semester, in addition to regular program meetings with all other pre-health students, students will meet one-on-one with the program advisor. Those strategy sessions will help you determine how to best to plan and carry out all of the components of building your application packet for graduate programs.

Student Profiles

 ‌Name: Morgan Walton '17      
Undergrad Degree: Psychology Major, Educational Studies Minor & Health Studies Minor
Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut
Extracurricular Activities: Chair Member for Relay for Life, Glee Club, Headstart, Hunger Clean Up, Running Club

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield University for many different reasons. One of the major reasons was because it was a university that focused strongly on a liberal arts education. All my life I have been a very passionate person about many different subjects, and coming into college I was undecided about what I wanted to study and pursue as a career. Fairfield was the school that gave me the opportunity to explore all of these subjects and interests of mine. I was able to take a variety of core classes and have the opportunity to learn more about the subjects I was interested in. This was a major benefit that made me a more well-rounded student overall. I was also looking for a school that had smaller class sizes and the development of one-on-one relationships with my professors. I didn’t just want to be a number. Another reason why I chose to attend Fairfield was because of the location. It wasn’t too far away from home, the surrounding area had a lot to offer including the beach, restaurants, shops, and having the train station nearby made it easy to travel into the city! The campus was also another major thing that captured my attention. When I came for my first tour of Fairfield, I fell in love with the campus. To me Fairfield felt and looked like a college campus, which was something I was really looking for as a student. It immediately felt like home, and the place that I knew I could strive and succeed at.     

How did you select your major and minors?

When I first came to Fairfield, I was undecided about my major. I had a hard time picking only one subject that I wanted to focus on, and I was still unsure about what I really wanted to do as a career. However, this year I finally found my passion! I want to become a child life specialist. A child life specialist is someone who encourages development of children facing challenging experiences such as cancer, provides emotional support for their families, and provides information and guidance along the way. Once I figured this out I declared Psychology as my major. I am also double minoring in Educational Studies and Health Studies (the first student at Fairfield University to declare this minor!) I have always had a passion for teaching and I love working with children. I have also always been interested in pursuing a career in a Health related field, so once the Health Studies minor finally got approved I was extremely excited about that. My major and minors seemed like the perfect combination for what my career goal is in the future.  

Describe the ways that the university’s Jesuit mission and identity had a positive influence in your academic and personal experience while at Fairfield.

The Jesuit mission and identity of Fairfield University believes that learning shall be done through experience and reflection. It provides us with a liberal education in which we are able to create, imagine, and appreciate. Fairfield believes that learning is a life long process and that each of our individual education is the foundation for professional development. Fairfield provides its students with opportunities to go out into the community through both service and academic activities. You can bring your learning to life and out into the real world. By taking part in these opportunities, I have learned a lot about myself and about the community around me. Going out into the community is such a rewarding experience. You may not realize it, but you are truly making a difference and helping others, and to me that is the best experience of all. I feel very grateful and privileged to be a student at such a wonderful university.

2016 Health Studies Capstone Projects

The 2016 Capstone project group for Health Studies minors

Inaugural HS 399: Health Studies Minor 2016 Capstone class after their presentations at the Sigma Xi Poster Session

Pictured - Back Row: Ryan “Boomer" Saunders, Dominic Schioppo, Dr. Brian Walker, Nicole Capra, Lauren Falkanger, Victoria Lofaro, Alexander Fulco, Daniel Quinn, and Matthew Engel; Front Row: Jaime Hinkel, Jenna Massaro, Veronica Suglo, and Daley Baldwin

Electronic Medical Records

Daley D. Baldwin '16 and Matthew R. Engel '16

Direct-to-Professional Pharmaceutical Advertising and its Effect on Health Care in the United States

Nicole Capra '16

Fairfield University Health Portal

Ryan Saunders '16 and Alexander Fulco '16

Disparities in Access to Nutritional Food in Food Pantries and their Impacts on Diet-Related Health Outcomes

Jaime Hinkel '16

The Effect of Alternative Therapies on Decreasing Psychosocial Aspects in Women Undergoing IVF

Jenna Massaro '16

Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising and its Impact on Health Care

Lauren Falkanger '16

Characterization of Cancerous Lung Tissue via Fluorescent Biomarkers

Daniel Quinn '16 and Dominic Schioppo '16

Today in Global Health

Veronica Suglo '16

Dietary Energy Density is Associated with Gestational Diabetes Status in U.S. Women

Victoria P. Lofaro '16

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