Undergraduate Major

History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health  is an interdisciplinary program of study that explores the development of science, technology, medicine, and public health and their interactions with each other and with society. Its course offerings range broadly in topics and geographical scope, including the Scientific Revolution, the relationships of medicine and the media in modern America, the development of the physical, earth, and life sciences, the interplay of science, technology, and the state, and public health and epidemics in global perspective. Students in the major combine courses in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health with courses from other relevant disciplines in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

The program offers students considering a career in medicine, public health, or other fields of health care a way to combine the requirements of their professional training with a broad liberal arts education. It also provides excellent preparation for many other careers, including law, business, journalism, museum work, public policy, and government, in which a contextualized understanding of science, technology, and medicine is advantageous.

For additional information about the major, including curricular requirements, the teaching faculty, and courses offered, see the online Yale College Programs of Study at
 Official Yale College program and course information is found in Yale College Programs of Study, available on line at http://www.yale.edu/yalecollege/publications/ycps/.

The Major's Director of Undergraduate Studies

The principal faculty contact for prospective HSHM majors is the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). The DUS for 2014-2015 is Dr. Ivano Dal Prete, whose office is HGS 300B in the Hall of Graduate Studies. He can be reached by e-mail (ivano.dalprete@yale.edu). Students interested in obtaining information about the HSHM major or who wish to register for it should contact Dr. Dal Prete. Dr. Dal Prete is the advisor for all sophomores in the major.


Individual Faculty Advisors

At the beginning of the academic year, juniors and seniors majoring in HSHM will be assigned to individual faculty advisors. They should seek the advice of their advisor in choosing their courses and constructing their course of study. Students are to have their course cards signed by these advisors at the beginning of each term. Undergraduate advisors for juniors and seniors are ordinarily drawn from the HSHM's core faculty and affiliates. Click here for a list of the faculty and their specialties.

Senior Project

By the end of reading period in the spring term of the junior year, students choose whether they will work toward a yearlong or a one-term senior project. Yearlong senior projects are completed in HSHM 490, 491; one-term projects are completed in HSHM 492. Students who choose a one-term project must take an additional seminar in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health during the final term of the senior year. Distinction in the Major is awarded only to students who complete a yearlong senior project.

For both the one-term and yearlong senior projects, students select a project adviser, propose a tentative topic and title, and submit a proposal to the senior project director. The final product of the senior requirement may be a written essay or an alternative project such as a film, exhibition, catalog, atlas, or historical data reconstruction. In the case of an alternative project, the student must identify a second reader in addition to the adviser before the project is approved by the senior project director. Either the adviser or the second reader must be a member of the faculty in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. A written component to the senior project must illustrate sources and the intellectual significance of the project. For more details about requirements and deadlines, majors should consult the HSHM Senior Project Handbook; copies are available from the senior project director and on the program's web site (hshm.yale.edu).

   The History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health's senior project director for 2013-2014 is Professor William Summers. His email address is william.summers@yale.edu. The HSHM Registrar is Ms. Barbara McKay (barbara.mckay@yale.edu) Her office is in 207 HGS and her phone number is: 432-1365. Students may consult her or the DUS about their records in the major, progress toward the completion of requirements for graduation, or other similar matters.

Undergraduate Contacts

Paul Freedman
Program Chair
Hall of Graduate Studies, Room HGS 300D, 320 York Street
Office Phone:  (203) 432-1399

Ivano Dal Prete
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Hall of Graduate Studies, room HGS 300B

William Summers
Senior Project Director

Barbara McKay
Undergraduate Registrar
Hall of Graduate Studies, Room 207
320 York Street
Office Phone: (203) 432-1365

Requirements of the Major

The major in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health requires twelve term courses, including the two-term senior requirement. Students select a pathway of seven courses that guides them through an area of specialization. The seven pathway courses must included two courses in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health; one seminar numbered 100 or above in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health or in History; one science course; and three electives chosen from relevant courses in any department.

The five standard pathways in the major are medicine and public health; global health; science, technology, and power; gender and sexuality; and arts and media. Students may also design customized pathways in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. No later than the beginning of the junior year, students in the major must select a standard pathway or indicate that they wish to design their own.

Beyond the seven pathway courses, students must complete three additional electives in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. One of the electives must be a seminar, and one must be chosen from a pathway other than the one selected for the major. All courses for the major are chosen in collaboration with the student's adviser.