Nov 30, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Sociology of Health and Medicine Certificate

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Please click here  to see Sociology department information.

Enhancing the health and quality of life for individuals and communities are central goals to societies the world over. Medical sociology is a subfield devoted to the study of population health, health care systems and policy, and the social dimensions of illness and healing. Medical sociologists study the causes of health inequalities, social constructions of health and illness, origins of medical authority, doctor-patient relationships, community influences on health, and the social forces that affect policy. The Sociology Department’s Sociology of Health and Medicine Certificate provides training in the core research methodologies and theories of medical sociology, examining individual experience, institutional structures, laws and policies that affect health, and broader systems of inequality that lead to unequal rates of illness and access to care. This certificate provides depth of training in these areas and is ideal for students interested in graduate-level study and social research on health and medicine as well as those interested in careers in public health, health care services, and non-profit organizations.


Upon successful completion of the certificate, students will:

  • Articulate the central explanations for historical shifts in disease, including neighborhood effects and behaviors that may increase the risk of disease and mortality
  • Identify social factors that contribute to population health inequalities, including race, ethnicity, gender, class, immigration status, sexuality, or disability
  • Understand the social influences that shape medical authority, knowledge, and patient experiences with illness and treatment
  • Be able to use different methodologies to understand the social aspects of health and medicine
  • Know how to conduct original research, analyze policy, and evaluate community needs for organizations devoted to improving population health

Program Delivery

This is an on-campus or online program.

Declaring This Certificate

  • Eligibility: While housed in Sociology, the study of health and medical issues is in fact a multidisciplinary field that draws from diverse liberal arts fields, including Anthropology, Communications, Psychology, and History, among others. Thus, CU Denver undergraduate students in any discipline can enroll in the certificate program. This certificate is also available to non-degree-seeking students who already have earned a BA or BS degree, either at CU Denver or elsewhere.
  • Application procedures: Students are encouraged to apply for the Sociology of Health and Medicine Certificate at any point in their undergraduate studies. To apply, students should print and attach a completed the Sociology of Health and Medicine Certificate Application to an unofficial transcript. These documents should be submitted to the Sociology of Health and Medicine Certificate Administrator. Once the application is approved, students will be contacted about their acceptance into the program.

General Requirements

Click here  for information about Academic Policies.

Program Requirements

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours from the approved courses below.
  2. Students must earn a minimum grade of C- (1.7) in all certificate courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative certificate GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the certificate GPA. Students cannot complete certificate or ancillary course requirements as pass/fail.
  3. Students must complete all 15 credits applied to the certificate at CU Denver chosen from the approved courses below. (If students have completed a course required for the certificate elsewhere, they may add the needed credits in the form of additional elective credits drawn from the approved elective courses.)
  4. The certificate will be awarded when the student graduates with the bachelor’s degree.

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