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Sociomedical Sciences (SMS)

The Department of Sociomedical Sciences sets public health challenges in broad social, historical, and political contexts. We emphasize social structure in relation to culture and history, with a focus on research that empowers communities and informs public policy. 

Message from the Chair

Sociomedical Sciences Chair Kathleen Sikkema, PhD"The social sciences are essential to develop strategies and identify research and educational priorities to address health inequities and assess impact in the field of public health," says Kathleen Sikkema, PhD. Read the full message here

Why SMS?

Learn how the past informs the department's current and future impactful research as we reflect on 50 years of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia.

Centers & Programs

Brownstones in HarlemOur research is expansive on both the local and global scale, spanning initiatives from community health promotion to public health ethics. 


SMS students share their practicum experiences at a student informational panel session.

Our talented students draw on their diverse backgrounds when developing the expertise needed to excel in the rapidly evolving social health field.



Meet our esteemed faculty, who represent a wide range of expertise throughout the public health field.


The Citizens' Public Health Literacy project and qualitative MENTOR study work together to strengthen community ties in order to combat disparate COVID-19 impact. Read the full article here