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Health and Human Experience Minor

Student on a cliff overlooking a tropical climate; students writing on paper at a desk; students doing yoga on the quad

Health and Human Experience is an interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences minor that prepares you to understand cultural factors in health and delivery of care. This medical humanities minor can enrich your pre-health studies in natural sciences or work as a meaningful unit own its own, relevant to all who are interested in topics such as history of medicine, bioethics, and global health. The minor allows you to explore how personal values, feelings of belonging, beliefs, and social forces impact health. You will build analytical reasoning skills and empathy necessary to engage with individuals of varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. You will reflect deeply on issues of medical ethics, healthcare, and social justice. You will explore written and spoken ways to convey complex truths clearly and compassionately. You also will be invited to consider the environment and responses to nature as an integral part of the experience of health in history and in current times. Depending on the courses that you select, you will be introduced to concepts such as narrative medicine, culturally competent care, inclusion and equity in healthcare, and social determinants of health. The minor will offer opportunities for you to learn how to approach medical issues holistically and with humanity, recognizing that health is one of the foundational ways to understand what it means to be human.

  • You will be able to explain the diverse historical, cultural, ethical, social justice, and spiritual dimensions of health and medicine.
  • You will be able to analyze and evaluate complex texts relating to the social and cultural components of medicine.
  • You will be able to create solutions to ethical, empathetical, and practical challenges experienced by healthcare professionals.
  • You will be able to design communications related to a variety of audiences and purposes.

Minor Requirements

You will take one humanities or social sciences health foundations course, one ethics course, and three electives that introduce you to various exciting topics related to social and cultural aspects of health and healthcare. Your sixth minor component is an integrative experience that allows you to deepen and reflect on your unique interests in the area of health and humanities a the ways in which your particular vantage point shapes your personal and professional journey. An integrative experience could involve a seminar, internship, independent study, or research experience that allows you to apply your prior learning in Health and Human Experience minor in a synthetizing, creative, or experiential way.

See catalogue for all courses and clarifications

Elective Courses

Below are just a few of the fascinating electives that you may take for your health and human experience minor. You have many choices! See a full list of approved electives in the academic catalogue.

See catalogue for the full list of electives

  • CL 210: Medical Terminology (New in Spring 2023!)
  • CM 386: Health Communication
  • EC 490: Health Economics
  • FR 332: Trauma and Testimony
  • HS 442D: Health and Illness in Latin America
  • MU 304: Music and Medicine
  • PL 311: Bioethics
  • PY 261: Introduction to Health Psychology
  • SC 206: Health and Society
  • SP 300: Spanish for Professions: Healthcare (New in Spring 2023!)
  • TH 318: Bioethics and Social Justice
  • WR 301: Writing about Science

Contact Us

Minor director: Peggy O'Neill, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Writing 
Office: Humanities 236-G 
Telephone: 410-617-2404

Advisory Board

  • Joseph Farrell, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor, Philosophy
  • Kathleen Forni, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English
  • Maiju Lehmijoki Wetzel, Ph.D., Director of Pre-Health Programs and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Theology

Contact Us

Maiju Lehmijoki Wetzel, Ph.D., B.S.N., R.N.
Director of Pre-Health Programs
Phone: 410-617-2218
Office: Donnelly Science 147