Sociomedical Sciences Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I do with B.A. in Sociomedical Sciences degree after I graduate?

  • Visit the Program Graduates page to see what some of our alumni have been up to since they graduated.

  • The Sociomedical Sciences major prepares students to pursue careers and/or advanced training in numerous clinical and non-clinical health professions, by focusing on the causes, spread, prevention, and treatment of disease and illness.

  • The major is a gateway into in-demand entry-level positions in the allied health fields, including but not limited to positions as community health workers, patient navigators, health care administrators, health education specialists, program managers, case workers, health policy analysts, and researchers. The SMSc major reflects employment forecasts in the United States, in which half of job categories predicted to maintain steady growth in the next decade are health care providers (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019).

  • The Sociomedical Sciences major is also a gateway into other post-baccalaureate education and graduate-level training in the allied health fields, including—but not limited to-- allopathic medical school, osteopathic medical school, physician assistant school, chiropractic school, dental school, post- baccalaureate nursing programs, as well as graduate programs in public health, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

    • The social sciences, humanities, and specialized health sciences have a much higher rate of matriculation among applicants to medical school than does the biology major that used to dominate successful applications (Association of American Medical Colleges 2019).

    • Pre-medical students can fulfill approximately 45% of their medical school prerequisites with courses that count towards the SMSc major.

    • Pre-physician assistant students can fulfill approximately 80% of their PA school prerequisites with courses that count towards the SMSc major.

    • Pre-physical therapy students can fulfill approximately 66% of their physical therapy program prerequisites with courses that count towards the SMSc major.

    • Pre-nursing students can fulfill approximately 75% of their post-bacc. nursing program prerequisites with courses that count towards the SMSc major.

  • Some members of the Class of 2021 and 2022 are pursuing MPH’s and MS's at schools such as Columbia University, New York University, Boston University and the City University of New York, while others are in clinical graduate programs for physicians assistants, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and optometry.  The remaining students are entering careers in public health or medical research, and volunteering with programs such as Americorps.

2. What kind of courses will I take?

  • For this major, students take required courses in Anthropology, Biology and Sociology, and then can choose electives from these programs and other programs such as Black Studies, Business, English, Geography, History, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science/International Relations, and Women’s and Gender Studies.
  • Required courses include General or Human Biology; Human Growth and Development; Medical Anthropology; Nutrition, Disease and Health; Sociology of Medicine; Statistics; and a research-based Sociomedical Sciences Capstone course.
  • Popular electives include Global Health Issues; Biology and Global Health in Ghana; Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women’s Health; Ethnomedicine in Latin America and the Caribbean; Medicine and Morality; Health Psychology; Illness, Self and Society; and Language and Healing. 
  • The degree reflects national trends in interdisciplinary training in health and medicine using the lenses of the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

3. What research or internship opportunities are available?

  • Every SMSc student is required to take a capstone course in their senior year during which they learn valuable research methods, and design and conduct a study on a topic of their choosing. Students will present their research findings at Geneseo’s annual student research conference – G.R.E.A.T Day.
  • Students will have the opportunity to earn credit when they intern for an organization whose working focus is related to health or medicine. In the past, students minoring in sociomedical sciences have interned at the Livingston County Department of Health, Highland Hospital, University of Rochester Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Livingston County Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, Mt. Hope Family Center, World Vision Australia, and the Empire Justice Center, to name a few.

4. Are there any related study abroad programs to major?

  • Students will have the opportunity to earn course credit by participating in short-term (3-4 week summer or winter intersession) courses abroad, or to fulfill major requirements while abroad for an entire semester.
  • Study abroad destinations include Australia, Belize, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, the Netherlands, India, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, as well as many others.

For more information on the Sociomedical Sciences major or minor, email the program coordinator Dr. Jennifer Guzmán (