Why study Medical Humanities?

Medical humanities lie at the intersection of human experience, medical and health care practices, scientific technology, and political, educational, and social institutions. It refers to the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary application of the humanities, creative arts, education, and social sciences concerning medicine and health care. It provides insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood and our responsibility to each other. It also helps us understand how health and well-being take place within cultural and social contexts and how culture interacts with the individual experience of illness in the way medicine and health care are practiced.

Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that they are aware that you are pursuing the certificate and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your certificate.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

Students who pursue a certificate in Medical Humanities should desire to build on their strengths in reading, writing and critical thinking, as course work in this field will help them understand the developments, ideas, and even challenges and limitations of medicine and health care systems in social and cultural context. The certificate is specifically designed for students who approach medicine from the interdisciplinary perspectives of humanities, education, creative arts and social sciences. The certificate in Medical Humanities is ideal for students interested in cultural and social understandings of health, the body and medical care. The certificate encourages students to engage with views of health and medicine as lived experience and as cultural and historical product and process as well as a body of scientific and technical knowledge.

For this 15-credit certificate, students take a Literature and Medicine course and choose electives from various departments, among them Anthropology; History; Classics; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Communication; and Special Education; as well as various tracks in English.

A certificate in medical humanities is a useful credential for students interested in medicine, health, human experience, culture and society. Historic developments, cultural beliefs and practices, medical education and theory, legal and social structures, medical institutions, and personal attitudes and approaches all affect well-being of individuals and communities. Amidst advancements and institutional and global restructuring in our contemporary world, it is clear that health challenges for individuals and communities transcend the deep scientific knowledge domains of traditional academic disciplines designed for the purpose of health care, and that the need for professionals who can synthesize the ethical, social, cultural and experiential aspects of health and well-being continues to grow. In our world, where advances in science and technology often outpace our ability to understand and cope with new concepts and situations, the need for deep grounding in medical humanities is particularly acute for new professionals. The certificate is valuable for students preparing for careers in health professions and for all students interested in examining an important part of human experience from multiple perspectives.

Contact the program director, whose name and information appear at the top of this screen.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

The Medical Humanities program brings distinguished authors and speakers from many disciplines to campus. Students are also invited to attend events and hear speakers within the disciplines that participate in the certificate program.

Make sure that you have declared the certificate program online. Next, make sure that the certificate program director is aware of when you are finishing the program. If you are pursuing another bachelor's degree, your certificate will be reviewed at the time that you submit your separate degree application.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Michele Reutter
248 Arts & Sciences Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-0843

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Program Code: 15CRT-MEDH-C2