Skip to main content

International Health, Development, and Social Justice Minor

This minor is intended for students who wish to understand the challenges associated with health care as an ethical issue in the international context.  In doing so, it focuses on the convergence of three large fields of inquiry, raising questions about their intersection.  Social justice is concerned with equity, with questions of fairness as they inform (or should inform) access to resources necessary for the survival and well-being of people around the globe.  

These questions may at first glance seem simple, but they require a basic understanding of several complex areas of inquiry.  To provide the necessary content, this minor presents an introduction to political economy, to cross-cultural approaches to health and wellness, and to theories of economic development as they relate to health care. 

What are international moral obligations arising from public and private development?  How does attention to gender influence the questions we raise and the institutions we construct?   This minor is intended to prepare students for careers and leadership roles in the arenas of international health, medical ethics, overpopulation, economic development, human welfare, and principles of social justice.

As with all minors, students should take care to include four courses outside their major, four courses at the upper-division level, and four courses that are not being used to satisfy any other subject requirement. In addition, to satisfy this minor, students must choose courses from at least two different departments


Choose one course from each of the following six lists.


Lower Division Requirement
Choose one course (4 units). 

Students who enroll in this minor should have some experience engaging ethical questions or consideration of the context in which these issues arise.  This can be accomplished by completing one of the following courses.

ANTH 101, Body, Mind and Healing (4)
ANTH 105g, Culture, Medicine and Politics (4)
ANTH 125g, Social Issues in Human Sexuality and Reproduction (4)
ANTH 205, Introduction to Global Studies and Overseas Research (4)
BISC 102Lxg, Humans and Their Environment (4)
BISC 103Lx, General Biology for the Envi­ron­ment and Life (4)
BISC 150Lxg, The Nature of Human Health and Disease (4)
ECON 205, Principles of Macroeconomics (4)
GEOL 108Lg, Crises of a Planet (4)
IR 101xg, International Relations (4)
IR 213, The Global Economy (4) (Prerequisite: IR 210)
PHIL 137gm, Social Ethics for Earthlings and Others (4)
PHIL 166g, Contemporary Moral and Social Issues (4) 
     [formerly PHIL 140]
SOCI 225g, Sociology of Health and the Body: Social Perspectives (4)
SOCI 242g, Sociology, Demography, and Health (4) (New Class)
SWMS 225, Gender, Sex, and Science: A Gender Studies Approach (4)


Introduction to Political Economy
Choose one course (4 units).

The courses in this and the following categories provide an understanding of the forces that shape global development.

ECON 238xg, Political Economy and Social Issues (4)
ECON 340, Economics of Less Developed Countries (4) (Prerequisite: ECON 203 or 205)
ECON 350, The World Economy (4) (Prerequisite: ECON 203 or 205)
POSC 435, Politics and the Economy (4)


Theories of Development
Choose one course (4 units).

IR 325, North-South Relations in the Global Economy (4)
IR 344, Developing Countries in World Politics (4)
IR 454, The International Political Economy of Development (4)
POSC 255g, Cultures, Civilizations and Ethnicities in World Politics (4)
POSC 450, Political Development (4)
POSC 456, Women in International Development (4)
SOCI 314, Analyzing Social Statistics (4)
SOCI 362,  Global and Transnational Sociology (4)
SOCI 470,  Development and Social Change in the Third World (4)


Cross-cultural Perspectives on Health and Wellness
Choose one course (4 units).

These courses explore cultural attitudes and differences about health and wellness that affect decisions about health care.

ANTH 301, The Performance of Healing (4)
ANTH 305, Childhood, Birth and Reproduction (4)
ANTH 405, Evolutionary Medicine (4)
SWMS 336, Health, Gender and Ethnicity (4)
IR 339, Public Health and International Relations (4)
PSYC 367, Health Psychology (4) (Prerequisite:PSYC 100)
PSYC 462m, Culture and Mental Health (4) (Recommended prep: PSYC 100)
REL 460, Senior Seminar: Medical Ethics (4)
SOCI 385, Population, Society, and Aging (4)
SOCI 475,  Medical Sociology (4)


Perspectives on Social Justice
Choose one course (4 units).

These courses familiarize students with the application of legal and ethical questions to social phenomena and the allocation of resources.

ANTH 300, Evolution, Ecology, and Culture (4)
IR 316, Gender and Global Issues (4)
IR 401, The United Nations and World Order (4)
PHIL 431, Law, Society, and Politics (4)
PHIL 437, Social and Political Philosophy (4)
REL 366, Religion and Social Change (4) 
SOCI 360m, Social Inequality: Class, Status, and Power (4)
SWMS 384m, Gender, Social Inequality, and Social Justice (4)


Capstone Requirement
Choose one course  (4 units).

These three capstone courses examine efforts to introduce issues of social justice to the distribution of health care and other resources essential for human survival and well-being.

MDA 320, Global Ethics: Poverty, Health and the Human Condition (4)
SOCI 408, Volunteers, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Everyday Politics (4)
SOCI 450, NGO/Non-profit Field Studies Practicum (4)