Social Dimensions of Health & Health Care Certificate

Social Dimensions of Health & Health Care

Undergraduate Certificate

Program Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

14 Credits

About the Program

The Sociology Department has a strong emphasis in multiple social dimensions of health and health care, highlighting the impact of ones position in the social structure on risk of exposure to various disease vectors and risks of disaster impacts, access to health care and the likelihood of treatment, and health outcomes. Stereotypes, stigma, and social construction of body image and “worthiness” of people and diseases for medial, financial, and political intervention play a central role in this process. Mitigating and aggravating factors such as race, sex, disability, culture, values, religion, wealth, age, and other social dimensions will be considered in relation to risk and vulnerability to disease, injury, and disasters.

For sociology majors, minors, and other students wishing to concentrate in these areas, we offer an undergraduate certificate of specialization. The certificate is valuable to a wide variety of employers and educational institutions, including disaster response centers, organizations, and non-governmental organizations, aging/gerontological services, social work, graduate and professional schools, mental health organizations, nursing and medical schools, and social services. Participation in the certification program also provides students with opportunities for networking and mentoring.

Dr. Michèle Companion ( is the coordinator of the Undergraduate Certificate in Social Dimensions of Health and Health Care.

Focus of Study

This certificate is beneficial for enhancing career options with disaster response agencies, mental health organizations, and community action and social service organizations. It is also beneficial for students who are applying to graduate and professional schools, social work programs, and governmental organizations.

Specific skills covered include:

  • Critical thinking - problem solving, practical analysis, and theoretical application
  • Critical writing
  • Team-based research, including communication and oral presentation skills
  • Research methodologies that apply to these broader settings

Program Requirements

General Requirements:

  • All students must earn a minimum grade of B+ (3.3) in each course applied to the certificate.
  • All courses must be offered through the Sociology program. Independent studies may not be used to earn this certificate.
  • Additional Sociology special topics courses may be offered that can be counted toward the certificate. These courses must be approved by the certificate coordinator.
  • This certificate requires at least four courses/12 credit hours.
  • To complete the program, students are required to submit a transcript and a five-page, typewritten self-statement which evaluates the changes in the student’s perceptions of the social dimensions of health and health care as a result of program participation, and implications for future scholarly and professional work.

Program Coursework

Course Requirements:

Complete at least one of the following two courses: (Both courses may be taken)

  • SOC 3350 - Sociology of Health and Illness
  • SOC 4660 - Sociology of Medicine

Complete two to three of the following:

  • SOC 3340 - Food, Health, and Inequality
  • SOC 3360 - Sociology of Drugs and Addiction
  • SOC 3380 - Social Dimensions of Disasters
  • SOC 4040 - Gender and Sexuality
  • SOC 4120 - Body, Power and Culture
  • SOC 4230 - Foundations of Disability Studies
  • SOC 4240 - Sociology of Dis/Ability
  • SOC 4620 - Sociology of Aging
  • SOC 4650 - Sociology of Mental Illness
  • SOC 4670 - Sociology of Death and Dying

Additional special topics courses may be offered in a given semester that can be counted toward the certificate. These courses must be approved in advance by the Certificate Coordinator.

For details on program coursework, please visit the Academic Catalog.

Admission Details

Once admitted to UCCS, students choosing to pursue a certificate must submit a Certificate Declaration Form.

After completing the program requirements, the student must submit the Certificate Completion Form with all supporting documents uploaded where indicated on the form. Students planning to pursue multiple certificates will need to submit separate declaration and completion forms for each certificate.

To learn more about admission requirements and the application process, please visit the UCCS Admissions page.

Additional resources for Admissions: