Medical Humanities (B.A.)

Director: Jefferson Gatrall

The Medical Humanities major offers a broad and flexible curriculum, drawing on the humanities, social sciences, the arts, biomedical sciences, and the caregiving disciplines. Majors take core courses in Bioethics, Medical Anthropology, and Literature and Illness and fulfill further requirements through a choice of offerings in psychology, history, sociology, religious studies, child advocacy, and biology. Majors also pursue personal academic and career goals through coursework in 4 tracks of electives. In their final year, all Medical Humanities majors work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to create a capstone experiential learning project, one that may involve placement in healthcare institutions or health­-related organizations in New Jersey and New York City.
The Medical Humanities major gives students a competitive edge in the healthcare industries, the fastest growing sector in the economy today. Medical Humanities majors acquire a knowledge base in diverse healthcare fields as well as the transferable job skills that employees value highly: writing, oral communication, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making. Medical Humanities graduates find employment opportunities in hospitals, insurance carriers, universities, pharmaceutical companies, nursing facilities, physicians’ offices, retirement communities, and outpatient centers. They also continue their studies at the postgraduate level, from medical and law school to a range of interdisciplinary PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences.

Unless otherwise noted, 120 credits of coursework is required for a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA.

Program Requirements Overview

General Education Requirements29
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements40
Free Electives48-42
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
MEDH 101Introduction to the Medical Humanities3
ANTH 180Health and Healing in Cross Cultural Perspective3
MEDH 204Philosophical Issues in Biomedical Ethics3
or PHIL 204 Philosophical Issues in Biomedical Ethics
MEDH 301Medicine, Literature and Illness3
MEDH 491Capstone Project in the Medical Humanities3
Human Biology Requirement
Complete 1 course from the following:4
Physical Anthropology
The Biology of Human Life
Principles of Biology: Introduction to the Cell
Social Sciences Requirement
Complete 1 course from the following:3
Child Abuse and Neglect
Introduction to Psychology
Sociology of the Family
Humanities Requirement
Complete 1 course from the following:3
History of Public Health in the United States
Special Topics in the Medical Humanities
Body and Soul
Language, Power, and Medicine: The Spectrum of Health
Complete 15 credits from the list below.15
Total Credits40


MEDH 391Special Topics in the Medical Humanities3-9
Caregiving, Aging Studies and Disability Studies
ANTH 105Introduction to Disability Studies, Rights, and Culture3
ANTH 205Disability in US Popular Culture3
ANTH 350Anthropology of Aging and the Aged3
ARTH 280Introduction to Art Therapy3
MUTH 100Introduction to Music Therapy2
RELG 218Death, Dying and Afterlife3
RELG 232Body and Soul3
PSYC 268Psychological Aspects of Aging3
Communication and Advocacy
CHAD 201Literacy in Child Advocacy and Policy3
CMST 160Introduction to Health Communication3
CMST 367Health Communication Theory3
FREN 121Intermediate French3
NURS 420Transprofessional Communication Collaboration3
NURS 450Nursing Scholarship3
SPAN 105Spanish for Health Practitioners I3
SPAN 106Spanish for Health Practitioners II3
SPAN 107Spanish for Health Practitioners III3
WRIT 351Language, Power, and Medicine: The Spectrum of Health3
Human Biological and Psychological Well-Being
ANTH 101Physical Anthropology4
BIOL 110The Biology of Human Life4
BIOL 111Emerging Diseases3
BIOL 112Principles of Biology: Introduction to the Cell4
BIOL 113Principles of Biology: Organisms and Diversity4
PSYC 227Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality3
PSYC 302Health Psychology3
PSYC 320Developmental Psychology I3
PSYC 332Psychological Foundations of Personality3
PSYC 354Clinical Psychology3
PSYC 402Systems of Psychotherapy3
Community and Public Health
ANTH 330The Anthropology of Food and Nutrition3
ANTH 423Community and Health3-4
ANTH 440Medical Anthropology3
CHAD 202Cultural Competencies in Child Welfare3
CHAD 210Child Abuse and Neglect3
HLTH 102Introduction to Public Health3
HLTH 204Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health3
SOCI 104Sociology of the Family3
SOCI 240Statistics for Social Research4
SOCI 309Sociology of Health and Illness3

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar course.1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts
Complete a 3 credit Fine and Performing Arts course.3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Complete a 3 credit Computer Science course.3
H. Mathematics
Complete a 3 credit Mathematics course.3
I. Natural Science Laboratory
Fulfilled in the major.
Physical Anthropology
The Biology of Human Life
Principles of Biology: Introduction to the Cell
J. Physical Education
Complete a 1 credit Physical Education course.1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives
Health and Healing in Cross Cultural Perspective (Fulfilled in the major.)
3. Social Science Perspectives
Fulfilled in the major.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Introduction to Psychology
Sociology of the Family
L. Interdisciplinary Studies
Introduction to the Medical Humanities (Fulfilled in the major.)
Total Credits29

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language. Requirement is automatically fulfilled by language major courses.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives. Requirement may also be fulfilled by major coursework. See list of courses.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

First Year
GNED 1991WRIT 1063
WRIT 1053GENERAL EDUCATION (D) Fine and Performing Arts3
CMST 1013CSIT 1003
PSYC 101, SOCI 104, or CHAD 2103Major Human Biology requirement4
PHIL 100, 102, or 1063ANTH 1803
MEDH 1013 
 16 16
Second Year
GENERAL EDUCATION (F1) Humanities – Great Works and Their Influences3World Language 23
GENERAL EDUCATION (H) Mathematics3World Cultures3
GENERAL EDUCATION (K1) Social Science – American and European History3MEDH 2043
GENERAL EDUCATION (K2) Social Science – Global Cultural Perspectives3Major Humanities requirement3
World Language 13Free Elective/Minor course3
 15 15
Third Year
MEDH 3013GENERAL EDUCATION (J) Physical Education1
Major Elective3Major Elective3
Major Elective3Free Elective/Minor course3
Free Elective/Minor course3Free Elective/Minor course3
Free Elective/Minor course3Free Elective/Minor course3
 15 13
Fourth Year
Major Elective3MEDH 4913
Free Elective/Minor course3Major Elective3
Free Elective/Minor course3Free Elective/Minor course3
Free Elective/Minor course3Free Elective/Minor course3
Free Elective/Minor course3Free Elective/Minor course3
 15 15
Total Credits 120