Society management

Frequently Asked Questions – Medicine, Health and Society Medicine, Health and Society

I am considering declaring a major/minor in MHS, but I want to speak to a counselor first. Who can I talk to?

You can contact Council Director Courtney Peterson at She will be happy to schedule a Zoom session with you.

How and when to declare a major/minor in medicine, health and society?

Students can declare a major or minor in MHS, after their first year, using the major declaration form. Please complete the form and email it to An advisor will be assigned to you and the advisor’s signature will be provided. You will then be asked to email the signed form to your school’s academic services office for processing. For more information, click here.

First-year students should work with their pre-counselors and choose courses that meet AXLE requirements and count for MHS credit. MHS offers a Freshman Seminar (MHS 1111) and a Commons Seminar (MHS 1001) each year.

Once you have declared an MHS major, you will be assigned an MHS advisor who can help you plan your class schedule. MHS hosts Enrollment Advice Nights each fall and spring. Students can attend a counseling evening or meet individually with their MHS counselor to discuss course registration. To ensure that the Registrar’s Office processes your declaration of major prior to registration, be sure to declare your major before the last day to withdraw from classes that semester.

How do I change my MHS concentration?

You will need to meet with your advisor to change your focus. Your advisor will review your degree audit to ensure the change keeps you on track for graduation. Next, your advisor will email the Registrar of Arts and Sciences.

I see that there are free places in an MHS course that I want to take. Why am I still on the waiting list?

Many MHS classes have reservations. Classes may be open only to MHS majors/minors or there may be reservations for cohorts of students at each grade level.

Can I request that a course not listed in MHS-approved courses count for MHS credit?

Juniors and seniors can request that an unapproved course count for MHS credit using the course waiver request form Students can have a maximum of two variances during their undergraduate careers.

My diploma audit looked good last semester, but now there are errors. What can I do?

YES sometimes reassigns classes for students. In order to correct errors, please complete the note form located at This will be sent to your advisor for approval. Once approved, your advisor will send the information to Arts and Sciences Variances. Please allow the University a few days to process the changes.

I am enrolled in a disciplinary course/I took a disciplinary course, but it does not appear in my diploma audit.

If you have already completed your elective and concentration requirements before enrolling in a discipline course, this may not be reflected in your degree audit. It may be the same when you have taken a disciplinary course. YES frequently replaces newer courses with older ones. In order to correct errors, please complete the note form located at This will be sent to your advisor for approval. Once approved, your advisor will send the information to Arts and Sciences Variances. Please allow the University a few days to process the changes.

Can students do independent studies and internships in MHS?

Yes. Students can earn MHS credits for independent study, internships, and service-learning projects. MHS 3850 (independent study) is a reading and/or research program to be selected in consultation with an advisor. Internships and service learning combine practical training with academic research. Under the supervision of faculty, students gain experience in a wide range of public and private health-related organizations. Students interested in independent study, service learning, or internship should discuss the project with their MHS advisor during the enrollment period. Forms and project descriptions are due before the first day of class. Please visit the following page for more information:

Can I pass/fail an MHS class?

The University states that you cannot take any pass/fail course that counts towards your major/minor or AXLE. Even if you don’t use the class to meet your main requirements, you can’t pass/fail it.

I want to take a course during the summer at an institution in my home town. Is it allowed? How do I get MHS credit for this?

All external courses must first be approved by the University’s External Education Unit. You can read more about this process here Once approved for credit at Vanderbilt, you can use the course waiver request form ask the course to count for MHS credit. If the course is approved as MHS 2050 (MHS No Equivalent), it will automatically count as an elective.

What are the particularities of the MHS undergraduate program?

The flexibility of the MHS program allows interested students to meet graduation requirements, complete the prerequisites for applying to a vocational school, and still have time to spend a semester abroad. MHS study abroad programs are available in Copenhagen, Aix-en-Provence and Cape Town. However, because MHS is an interdisciplinary major, students can generally earn credit for the MHS major through most Vanderbilt study abroad programs.

Through the MHS honors program, qualified majors conduct individual research projects in collaboration with faculty members. This research leads to the writing and presentation of a dissertation. Students who successfully complete the program will receive honors or the highest honors in medicine, health and society. The program should significantly help those who intend to attend graduate or vocational school. Students enroll in the honors program in the spring semester of their junior year.

Medicine, Health, and Society offers students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years of study through Vanderbilt’s 4+1 BA/MA program. The MHS Master in Social Foundations of Health emphasizes health disparities, interdisciplinary faculty/student collaboration, critical thinking, research skills, and the social contexts of health through a thematic and methodological curriculum large. The program is for students who want to gain research experience, enhance their interdisciplinary training, and generally strengthen their applications before entering medical or vocational school. Students begin graduate-level courses in the second semester of their senior year.

What type of career do students with a degree in medicine, health and society enter?

MHS graduates go on to do a lot. Some seek an advanced degree in a professional or academic field. MHS prepares students for professional training in medicine, nursing, law, management, and public health, and for graduate studies in various disciplines, such as anthropology, economics, history, literature, philosophy/ ethics or sociology. Although the breakdown changes from year to year, about half of our students go to medical or nursing school and a quarter go to school of public health, law school or another college. graduate studies. Others pursue careers in hospital administration, health care consulting, nonprofits, research, and government.

Vanderbilt offers many health-related professional resources. The Career Center advises students interested in non-clinical healthcare careers. Students pursuing a career in medicine should start with the Health Professions Advisory Board (HPAO) and make sure to get on the HPAO mailing list. Other healthcare profession resources at Vanderbilt include: Vanderbilt Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Society (AED) and Vanderbilt Pre-Nursing Society.

Internships and services are good hands-on ways to learn about different health-related careers. Students interested in MHS-related services should begin with Vanderbilt’s Office of Active Citizenship (OACS) list of health, wellness, and medical services opportunities. Students can also learn about service and internship opportunities through the MHS Student Mailing List.

How can I learn about MHS events, program updates and new opportunities?

All MHS majors and minors are added to the MHS student mailing list. The department sends out a weekly newsletter with updates and opportunities for students. Students who have not declared an MHS major or minor can check the website, Facebook, and Twitter for news and updates.

When can I expect my advisor to respond to my email?

Please allow 48 hours for teachers to respond to emails. During peak periods (start of semester, registration, during finals), please allow 72 hours for professors to respond.