Student in lab

Medicine, Body, and the Mind

Biocultural Approaches to CBD with Core Studies in Natural Science (premed/health)

This is an example, or sample, of a possible CBD concentration. Students in natural science are interested in premedical studies, medical anthropology, or alternative and complementary medicine (CAM). Because Western medicine has historically separated the mind/brain from the body in its treatment of symptoms, students seem drawn to understanding the ways that other systems of health care blend the mind/body and look for holistic approaches to disease and healing. Combining this kind of perspective with neurobiology and psychology makes good sense, and has the potential to open up new ways of understanding medicine as a biocultural phenomenon. This concentration focuses on the body as mediating between the physical/biological and the cultural/psychological. How do various cultures perceive bodies and diseased bodies and what underlying logic supports health care and healing?

This kind of concentration provides a productive way for students who see themselves wanting to go on to medical school to do something very innovative with their electives. For the medical anthropology student, it provides a more "natural science" grounding.

To design a Division I in premed or health a student should consult faculty in the School of Natural Science in order to select courses that provide the best foundation. Some students find that certification in the Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science is useful.

The CBD concentration includes the following courses or independent studies.

Intellectual breadth

Biological sciences

  • Human physiology
  • Neuroendrocrinology
  • Alternative and complementary medicine

Social and cultural sciences

  • Globalizing culture
  • Medical anthropology
  • Psychology

Cognitive sciences

  • Neuropathology
  • Psychopathology
  • Emotions and the brain

Core studies

Premedical requirements (biology, calculus, physics, chemistry)
Anthropology (medical and cultural)
Neurobiology and pathology
Psychology and emotions

Integrative studies

CBD course: Emotions and the Brain
CBD course: Culture, Mind, and Brain


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With The Culture, Brain, and Development Program (CBD)
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CBD (Program in Culture, Brain, and Development)
Mail Code CS
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002