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Program in Medical Humanities

The program in Medical Humanities offers students an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of healthcare in today’s societies. Drawing on courses in such areas as Anthropology, Biology, Economics, History, Philosophy, and Psychology, the program encourages students to examine the nature of medicine and the important issues of healthcare in today’s world from a variety of disciplinary and cultural perspectives. It culminates in an independent capstone project designed to integrate learning from diverse areas of study.

The program in Medical Humanities is not a major. Courses applied toward requirements for Medical Humanities may be counted also toward requirements they satisfy in other programs, majors, or minors. Successful completion of the program will be noted on the transcript and on the program for commencement exercises.

Program Coordinators
Charles D. Kay, Professor of Philosophy
A.B., Princeton University, M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Robert E. Moss, Professor of Biology
B.S., University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Harvard University

Fifteen hours (five three-hour courses) as follows:
1. One general requirement:

  • Philosophy 210—BioMedical Ethics

2. One related science course:

  • Biology 360—Current Topics in Biology
  • Biology 491—Human Disease 
  • Biology 493—Case Studies in Public Health
  • Biology 495—Case Studies in BioMedicine
  • Psychology 220—Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychology 270—Heath Psychology
  • Psychology 370—Behavioral Medicine

3. Two courses from the following:

  • Economics 340—Economics of Medical Care
  • History 387—History of Medicine
  • English 347 / Humanities 240—Medicine and Literature
  • Philosophy 340—Philosophy of Medicine
  • Religion 425—The Problem of Evil
  • Sociology 312—Medical Anthropology
  • Special or advanced topics courses in other departments as approved by the Coordinators.

4. Senior Capstone Project

  • MHUM 448 Capstone Project: Medical Humanities
    Designed by the student, the Capstone Project combines an understanding of Medical Humanities with interdisciplinary study in two disciplines of the student’s choice. Often the project will take the form of a traditional research paper ( 20-30 pages), but works of fiction or drama, field studies, multi-media presentations, or other formats are acceptable, subject to the coordinators’ approval. Projects other than research papers must be accompanied by a bibliography of sources and a 5-10 page statement explaining goals, results, and research methods. Students will defend their final project before a committee of three faculty members, consisting normally of two teaching courses in the Medical Humanities program and one outside reader; these defenses will be open to the Wofford community.