Health Studies

Director: Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell
Administrative Coordinator: TBA

Drawing upon Lewis & Clark’s strong culture of interdisciplinary learning, the Health Studies minor recognizes the growing interest students have in public health and the value of a liberal-arts approach to solving the world’s current and future public health challenges. The minor is multidisciplinary, bringing together coursework, internship experiences, and scholarly activity across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The minor provides the statistical and scientific foundation necessary for students interested in fields such as public health, healthcare administration, and healthcare policy alongside the narrative, psychological, and cultural contexts that supplement the coursework of those interested in medicine, physical therapy, and other clinical careers. Leveraging our renowned overseas and off-campus programs, students may apply up to 12 credits toward the minor from an approved overseas study program focused on public health. All students will have a health-related internship in Portland or overseas as part of their capstone experience.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester credits distributed as follows:

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • Four credits from each of the Core categories below:

Electives (12 credits)

  • Four credits from each of the Electives categories below; at least one elective must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Students may apply up to 12 credits from an approved Lewis & Clark College overseas program focused on public health.

12 semester credits must be exclusive to the minor.

Core Categories

Statistics (4 credits)
Calculus & Statistics for Modeling the Life Sciences
Statistical Concepts and Methods
Statistics I
Foundational Approaches to Health Studies (4 credits)
Public Health
Health Psychology
Internship Capstone (4 credits)
Health Studies Internship
Psychology Internship (with prior approval; in a health-related setting)

Elective Categories

Mechanisms of Wellness/Disease (4 credits)
Introduction to Neuroscience
Disease Ecology
Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry
Perspectives in Nutrition
Aquatic Chemistry
Medicinal Organic Chemistry
Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Neuroscience
Brain and Behavior
Drugs and Behavior
Psychological/Narrative Representations of Wellness/Disease (4 credits)
Introductory Topics in Literature (when health-focused)
Renaissance Medicine
Health Psychology
Contemporary Issues in Psychiatric Health: The Complex Patient in a Complex System
Advanced Applied Developmental Psychology
Social Construction of Madness
Health Narratives
Global/Cultural Approaches to Wellness/Disease (4 credits)
Global Health Economics
Medicine, Healing, and Culture
Anthropology of Suffering
Topics in Medical Anthropology (when health-focused)
Anthropology of the Body


Kellar Autumn. Professor of biology. Physiology, biomechanics, evolution of animal locomotion. PhD 1995 University of California at Berkeley. BA 1988 University of California at Santa Cruz.

Sepideh Azarshahri Bajracharya. Assistant professor with term of anthropology. Political culture of violence, communal politics, memory, narrative, urban ethnography, anthropology of space, South Asia. PhD 2008 Harvard University. BA 1999 Wesleyan University.

Barbara A. Balko. Associate professor of chemistry. Physical chemistry. PhD 1991 University of California at Berkeley. AB 1984 Bryn Mawr College.

Yung-Pin Chen. Professor of statistics. Statistics, sequential designs. Probability, stochastic processes. PhD 1994 Purdue University. BS 1984 National Chengchi University, Taiwan.

Julio C. de Paula. Professor of chemistry. Physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, nanotechnology. PhD 1987 Yale University. BA 1982 Rutgers University.

Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell. Professor of psychology. Clinical and community psychology, health psychology, psychology of gender, internships. PhD 2001, MPhil 1998, MS 1997 Yale University. MA 1995, BA 1995 Stanford University.

Daena J. Goldsmith. Associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, professor of rhetoric and media studies. Social media, health communication, gender. PhD 1990, MA 1988 University of Washington. BS 1986 Lewis & Clark College.

Casey M. Jones. Assistant professor of chemistry. Organic chemistry, surface chemistry. PhD, MA 2010 Princeton University. BA 2005 Reed College.

Aine Seitz McCarthy. Assistant professor of economics. Applied microeconomics, development economics, labor and demography, economics of education. PhD 2016 University of Minnesota. BA 2006 Colby College.

Margaret Rowan Metz. Associate professor of biology. Plant community ecology, tropical ecology, disease ecology. PhD 2007 University of California at Davis. AB 1998 Princeton University.

Thomas J. Schoeneman. Professor of psychology. Personality, abnormal psychology, internships. PhD 1979, MS 1974, BA 1973 State University of New York at Buffalo.

Jessica D. Starling. Associate professor of religious studies. East Asian religions, Buddhism. PhD 2012, MA 2006 University of Virginia. BA 2000 Guilford College.

Laura Thaut Vinson. Assistant professor of international affairs. African politics, ethnic/civil conflicts. PhD 2013, MA 2009 University of Minnesota. BA 2005 Whitworth University.

Todd Watson. Associate professor of psychology. Cognitive neuroscience, brain and behavior, statistics. PhD 2005 State University of New York at Stony Brook. MA 2000 Radford University. BS 1997 Pennsylvania State University.

Yueping Zhang. Associate professor of psychology, codirector of the Neuroscience Program. Behavioral neuroscience, brain and behavior, drugs and behavior, cross-cultural psychology. PhD 1996, MA 1992 University of New Hampshire. MD 1985 Shandong Medical University.

Rishona Zimring. Professor of English. Modern British literature, postcolonial literature. PhD 1993, BA 1985 Yale University.


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HEAL 151 Renaissance Medicine

Content: The medical approaches that gave rise to modern scientific practice originate in a long history of trial and error, faith and belief, study and experimentation. This course examines the confluence of politics, domesticity, and medicine in the Renaissance. We will look at topics from across Europe and consider how the plague affected the development of culture, how the Inquisition informed who might become a doctor, and how fears about witchcraft slowed the progress of science. With a focus on narrative accounts and dramatic representations of illness, this course is fundamentally concerned with understanding historical ways of knowing to promote both a sense of the depth of human understanding and a spirit of humility in the face of past science's many missteps. It aims to create a sense of our place in history as we engage with medicine throughout our lives.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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HEAL 210 Public Health

Content: The course provides a basic overview of current local, national, and global trends in both communicable and noncommunicable disease; the behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of population health, with a focus on causes of disparities in population health status; the organization of public health activities and their relation to other health-related activities (e.g., clinical care, emergency preparedness); analytical methods and the science of public health; the ethical challenges facing public health action; and emerging challenges for the field of public health. The course uses a mix of didactic material, case studies, and assignments to help students understand the role of public health and the wide array of public health career opportunities as well as public health's relation to human science fields.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, MATH 123, MATH 255, or PSY 200.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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HEAL 300 Health Studies Internship

Content: Applied field learning experience and exposure to health-oriented occupations and/or research settings. Becoming acquainted with important health-related institutions and their social impact. Theoretical, research-based, and practical frameworks for intervention.
Prerequisites: HEAL 210 or PSY 375. ECON 103, MATH 105, MATH 123, MATH 255, or PSY 200.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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HEAL 340 Epidemiology

Content: Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in different human populations and the application of methods to improve disease outcomes. As such, epidemiology is the basic science of public health. In this course, students will learn and apply basic concepts of epidemiology to multiple domains of public health. We will illustrate and practice using epidemiology to better understand, characterize, and promote health at a population level. The class will engage the students in active and collaborative learning through team activities, individual projects, case studies, group discussion, and individual projects.
Prerequisites: ECON 103, MATH 105, MATH 123, MATH 255, or PSY 200.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.