Once you have completed 54 credits and are promoted to Year 3, you can declare your HESO Minor on the Student Service Centre.

Until recently, students were required to enrol in IHHS 200 (now SPPH 200) "Understanding the Sociocultural Determinants of the Health of Populations" during their second year as a requirement for the HESO Minor. However, as of September 2015 this course will no longer be required for entry into the HESO Minor. Please note that SPPH 200 is still on the list of HESO approved courses, and all students are strongly encouraged to take this course as an excellent foundation to the Minor.

Please check this website regularly for course requirement updates, and contact the Program Chair if you have further questions.

The HESO Minor includes at least 30 and no more than 42 credits of approved courses. At least 18 of these credits must be from courses numbered 300 or higher.

See the list of courses approved for the HESO Minor hereSPPH 200 "Understanding the Sociocultural Determinants of the Health of Populations" is no longer required for the Minor. However, it is strongly recommended as an elective, as it covers issues that are a basis for other courses on issues of health and society.

Students should regularly consult the list of approved courses, as course offerings change from year to year. Some courses, for example, are in the planning phases, while others are not offered in the current 2017-2018 academic year (e.g. SPPH 404 "First Nations Health: Historical and Contemporary Issues" and SPPH 408 "Topics in Aboriginal Health: Community-Based Learning Experience.")

Please be aware that some approved courses have prerequisites, e.g., SOCI 484 “Sociology of Health and Illness” requires completion of SOCI 100, 101, or 102 or special permission from the instructor to register for the course. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet necessary requirements and prerequisites.

Please check this website regularly for updates to the approved course list, and contact the Program Chair if you have further questions.

It depends. In the Faculty of Science, for example, information is provided in the Calendar about Minor Options. Science students may apply to pursue a HESO Minor, but must have the approval of the Faculty of Science Student Advising Office. Students in other Faculties should similarly contact their Student Advising Office to determine eligibility.

Yes, admissions criteria for medical schools increasingly emphasize education in social determinants of health.

Starting in 2015, the new Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®) will include sections on the social and behavioural sciences, testing knowledge concerning:

  • the ways in which psychological, social, and biological factors influence perceptions and reactions to the world;
  • behaviour, and behaviour change;
  • what people think about themselves and others;
  • the cultural and social differences that influence well-being; and
  • the relationships between social stratification, access to resources, and well-being
  • knowledge of concepts in psychology and sociology relevant to the behavioural and socio-cultural determinants of health and health outcomes
  • the critical analysis of information from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.

Among the areas from which content is drawn are ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, and population health. Therefore, the Health and Society Minor is potentially quite relevant to students planning a career in medicine. For more information on the MCAT, please see MCAT 2017.

Many UBC students take health-related courses while studying abroad either through a formal Go Global Exchange or an approved Letter of Permission. Some of these courses are appropriate for HESO transfer credit. Recommendations for transfer credit articulation are made after the Program Chair has reviewed course descriptions and relevant information. Please consult the Academic Advisor & Transfer Credit Coordinator in the Faculty of Arts Advising Office. The Faculty of Arts also maintains a Transfer Credit Database, which records all articulation results.

No more than six upper-level credits from the concurrent major or nine upper-level credits from the concurrent honours specialization may be credited toward the HESO Minor.  Please see the Faculty of Arts Credit Requirements webpage.  Read about Double Counting under the heading "Can One Course meet Two Requirements?"

Dr. Mark Lam
Department of Psychology, UBC
Email: mlam@psych.ubc.ca
Office Hours: by appointment

If you have further questions please contact the Arts Advising Office (arts.advisor@ubc.ca) or the Health and Society Program Chair (see the Faculty page for contact information).