College of Arts & Sciences

Health, Society & Populations


of projected job growth

from healthcare and social assistance


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The Health, Society, and Populations (HSP) B.A. degree provides graduates with a broad liberal-arts education, in addition to a concentration on social science based approaches to understanding health outcomes and inequalities. HSP students will obtain the fundamental knowledge required to understand the relationships that exist between the global economy, societal problems and needs, and the distribution of health and illness. HSP majors will develop the critical thinking, communication, and independent study skills necessary for them to pursue careers in health and human services that are currently in high demand as a result of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Grow Your Future

An HSP degree will prepare students for career opportunities in city, state and federal government, nonprofit organizations, and in the public and private health sectors. Employment web sites such as post entry-level positions that would be appropriate for HSP graduates. The majority of these positions specify a Bachelor’s in public health, social science, or another health-related degree.

HSP majors will also be prepared to enter graduate school both in the social sciences (e.g., medical anthropology, medical geography, or medical sociology) as well as professional health fields (e.g., public health). Additional coursework may be required for admission to some professional health fields (e.g., medicine). 

Career opportunities in Health, Society, and Populations

  • Health advocacy
  • Case management
  • Health counseling
  • Health marketing and communication
  • Program development and evaluations
  • Project management
  • Research Analysis
  • Graduate school in a Health Related Field

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

The Health, Society, and Populations program focuses on understanding health outcomes and their unequal distribution as a product of multiple interacting influences. These include health care, behaviors, environmental conditions, genetic and biological factors, and social and cultural characteristics of groups and individuals.

Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30

Major Requirements 

Statistics Requirements

  • Choose from one of the following courses: STA 296, SOC 303, GEO 309 [3 hours]

Math Requirements

  • Choose from one of the following courses: MA 109, MA 111, MA 113, MA 123, MA 137 [3-4 hours]

Writing Requirements 

  • WRD 205 - Writing and Rhetoric [3 hours]


  • Choose one BIO course and one from any of the remaining science electives: ANA 109, ANA 110, ANA 209, BIO 102, BIO 103, BIO 148, BIO 208, CHE 104, CHE 108, PGY 206 [6 hours]

Social Science Approaches to Health

  • HSP/SOC 255 - Medicine, Health, and Society [3 hours]
  • Two of the following courses: ANT 429, GEO 475G, PSY 223, SOC 355 [6 hours]

Topics in Society and Health

  • Four courses from the the Science Approaches to Health category (please refer to the UKY Bulletin for a full list of approved courses) [12 hours]

Health Professions

  • Choose two courses from the approved list (please refer to the UKY Bulletin for a full list of approved courses) [6 hours]


  • HSP 499 - Health, Society and Populations Capstone [3 hours]

Total Hours - 45-46

B.A. Major Requirements B.A. Four Year Plan

Imagine Your Future

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Health educators and community health workers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private businesses, and colleges. They generally work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Dietitians and Nutritionists
  • Epidemiologists
  • High School Teachers
  • Middle School Teachers
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • School and Career Counselors
  • Social and Human Service Assistants
  • Social Workers
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists

A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at 

Enhancing Your Time at UK

While there are endless ways to create an unforgettable journey as a Wildcat, we can only think of one that gives you the chance to step outside the classroom and into exploring new parts of the world around you: participating in an Education Abroad opportunity! Whether it’s in a study, research, service, or internship program, taking your UK experience international with EA is the most hands-on way for you to expand your global perspective while making yourself a more well-rounded, marketable candidate to future employers no matter your field. As you take these first steps towards investing in your future, EA encourages you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the many suggested opportunities UK Education Abroad & Exchanges has to complement your major! #ukyabroad


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