UMR City for Health Immersion

This study away program at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) provides opportunities for students to immerse themselves in specialized study and experience in the health sciences in “America’s City for Health”. Rochester’s focus on health is evident in the work of the Mayo Clinic and many related research and entrepreneurial endeavors resulting in over 1.3 million patients from all 50 states and 140 countries visiting Rochester for health care last year. 

This City for Health Immersion experience must be arranged in advance with UMR’s Community Engagement Coordinator and the internship site. To pursue this study away experience, the health sciences students’ first step will be to secure an internship in Rochester [e.g. The Mayo Clinic Center For Innovation (creative writing internship); Limb Lab; Mayo Graduate School Special Research Student (SRS) program (Biomedical Research); etc.]. Their second step will be to contact UMR’s Community Engagement Coordinator who will work with the student, the UMR Director of Advising, and UMR faculty to craft a customized semester immersion experience. 


As a companion to their internship [CLI 3496 1-6 credits], UMR City for Health Immersion students will complete one or more of the following:

  • Directed Study (arranged with a UMR faculty member to support study of a special topic in the health sciences-CLI 3393, 1-3 credits]
  • Directed Research (arranged with a UMR faculty member to support undergraduate research in the health sciences-CLI 3394, 1-6 credits)
  • A combination of classes selected from among the following

BIOL 4312: Advanced Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics (4 cr)

Molecular biology of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Structure of genes and chromosomes. Mechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, translation. Regulation of gene expression. Processes fundamental to cells. Assembly/function of membranes/organelles. Cell division, cell form/movement, intercellular communication, transport, secretion pathways. Emphasis on molecular basis of cell functions. Lab.

BIOL 4342: Neuroscience (3 cr)

Investigation into principles of brain function from neurons to behaviors within the context of current technological advances in studies of the brain and nervous system.

BIOL 4364: Immunology (3 cr)

The general properties of the human immunology system including: the participating tissues and cells, the general mechanism of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the development and deployment of "self" vs "non-self" and practical applications of immunology.

CHEM 4331: Chemical Biology/Bioorganic Chemistry (3 cr)

Topics include: Chemical control of signal transduction; Polyketide biosynthesis; Non-natural amino acid insertion into proteins (in vivo nonsense suppression);
Non-ribosomal peptides; Organic chemistry of polymerase chain reaction; Protein backbone modification - secondary structure stabilization; Chemical biology of fluorescent proteins. DNA binding antibiotics; DNA backbone modification; RNAi; Cell surface engineering through oligosaccharide biosynthesis

PHIL 3437: History and Philosophy of Science (3 cr)

This course will examine several historical and contemporary philosophical problems that arise within the context of scientific practice. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and historical origin of these problems and learn to critically evaluate possible solutions to these problems. Some of the problems that we will consider include: the role of values in science, the rationality and objectivity of science, the nature of scientific explanation, laws of nature, the role of models in science, the social responsibilities of scientists, and scientific realism.

PHIL 3441: Ethics of Medicine and the Sciences (3 cr)

This course enables students to engage in far more detailed and rigorous analysis of ethical problems relevant to the health sciences than is possible in introductory level courses. We will analyze problems drawn from law, medicine, healthcare, emerging technologies, and the sciences, using relevant ethical theory and the tools of philosophical argument.

PUBH 3531: Health Policy in a Global Context (3 cr)

In this course, students will begin to explore the ways in which policy shapes: the lives and health of individuals, and population health. By comparing the varying health issues faced by populations around the world, as well as the ways different countries seek to meet the health needs of their citizens, students will begin to place health policy in the United States within a global context. Specific topics may include: environmental and social determinants of health; globalization and its impact on health outcomes; health care providers, health care payers, and health care reform; and the effect of public policy on population health, as well as individuals' mental and physical health.

PUBH 3561: Environmental Health and Environmental Justice (3 cr)

This course explores how environments, both natural and built, can negatively impact human health outcomes. Students will examine major environmental health issues, exposures/causes, as well as possible approaches or interventions for reducing associated disease burdens in developing and developed countries. The course also provides an introduction to the concept of environmental justice or notion that all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status, should bear an equal burden of environmental hazards.

*A limited number of City for Health Immersion experiences will be offered.
*Preferred term of study will be spring semester, due to housing availability.
*Course-selection will be impacted by pre-requisites.