Medical Humanities Minor Requirements

The Medical Humanities minor approaches health, disease and medical care as culturally embedded human experiences that vary across time and place. It draws on existing courses from across Arts and Sciences and includes a Beyond Boundaries inter-school course for first-years called “The Art of Medicine.” This undergraduate minor is associated with the center-sponsored Medical Humanities Reading Group for faculty and graduate students.

Declare a Medical Humanities Minor

The Medical Humanities minor may be declared in WebSTAC as early as the spring semester of a student’s freshman year.

Declare the minor

Minor Requirements

Units required: 18

The Medical Humanities minor may be declared in WebSTAC as early as the spring semester of a student’s freshman year.

Gateway courses

At least one class (3 units) is required. (It is helpful but not required for minors to take the gateway course before other minor coursework.) There are currently four gateway options:

  • The Art of Medicine [freshmen only]
  • First-Year Seminar: Stories of Medicine* [freshmen only]
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Health and Disease in World History

Core courses

Core courses make up most of the Medical Humanities minor. At least 9 units must be taken at the 300 level or above. Core courses also must be taken from at least two out of seven different disciplinary categories: Classics & Art History (CAH); History (HIS), Medicine, Race, and Ethnicity (MRE); Languages/Literature/Culture (LLC); Performing Arts & Music (PAM); Philosophy & Religious Studies (PHR); and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS). Core courses may also require additional prerequisites within their home departments or programs. Medical Humanities courses offered in the past three years include the following:

  • Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine (CAH)
  • Ancient Madness (CAH)
  • Art and the Mind-Brain (PHR)
  • The Black Death and the Plague in Europe [Historical Methods: European History] (HIS)
  • The Body in Pain [Topics in English and American Literature] (LLC)
  • Chinese for Medical Purposes [Chinese language prerequisites] (LLC)
  • Contemporary Women’s Health (WGS)
  • Current Topics in the History of Medicine: The History of Madness (HIS)
  • Disability Studies Before “Disability” [Topics in French Literature] (LLC)
  • Disease, Madness and Death Italian-Style (LLC)
  • Freshman Seminar: Global Health in the Francophone World (LLC/MRE)
  • From Hysteria to Hysterectomy: Women's Health Care in America (WGS)
  • Galen’s On Prognosis: A Social History of Medicine in Second-Century Rome [Greek language prerequisites] (CAH)
  • Gender, Religion, Medicine, & Science (WGS)
  • Historical Racial Violence: Legacies & Reckonings (MRE)
  • History of the Body [Advanced Seminar] (HIS)
  • History of Women’s Health Care in America (WGS)
  • Humors, Pox, and Plague: Medieval and Early Modern Medicine (HIS)
  • Literature and Medicine (LLC)
  • Mad: Mental Illness, Power and Resistance in Africa and the Caribbean [Advanced Seminar] (HIS/MRE)
  • Making Sex and Gender: Understanding the History of the Body (HIS)
  • Medical Narratives, Narrative Medicine [French language prerequisites] (LLC)
  • Medical French [French language prerequisites] (LLC)
  • Medical Spanish [Spanish language prerequisites] (LLC)
  • Medicine, Healing and Experimentation in the Contours of Black History (HIS/MRE)
  • Medicine, Disease, and Empire [Advanced Seminar] (HIS/MRE)
  • Nature, Technology, and Medicine in Korea (LLC)
  • Philosophy of Medicine (PHR)
  • PNP Seminar: Mental Health and Mental Illness: Philosophical Questions (PHR)
  • The Racial and Sexual Politics of Public Health (MRE, WGS)
  • Religion and Healing (PHR)
  • Topics II: In-Perspective: Contagions [French language prerequisites] (LLC)
  • Trans* Studies (WGS)
  • What Is Medical Humanities? (can count for any disciplinary category)
  • Women and Crime in the Evolution of American History (HIS/MRE)
  • Writing and Medicine (LLC)

Affiliate Courses

Students may apply up to 3 units (usually one class) of course work in a social-science or natural-science discipline that complements Medical Humanities. These courses include the following:

  • Anthropological Perspectives on the Fetus
  • Adventures in Nosology: The Nature and Meaning of Disease
  • Culture, Illness, and Healing in Asia**
  • Cultures of Health in Latin America
  • The Female Life-Cycle in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Gender, Culture and Madness
  • Health, Healing and Ethics: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
  • Inequality by Design: Understanding Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities in the United States
  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Living, Dying and Death: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Understanding the End of Life
  • Sick Society: Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities in the United States
  • Sociological Approaches to American Health Care

This list will be updated frequently. Please contact Wendy Love Anderson with any questions about minor requirements.

* - The special version of this seminar taught in SP21 as "A World Without Time: Literature and Epidemic Disease" is also a MedHum gateway course.

** - “Culture, Illness, and Healing in Asia” (L48 Anthro 4033) was considered a Medical Humanities core course up through SP18. Beginning in FL20 and going forward, it will be a Medical Humanities affiliate course, like other Anthropology-based courses. SP19 enrollees may opt to count it as either core or affiliate.