Certificate in Health and Medical Humanities

Only available to currently enrolled Drexel students.

About the Program

The certificate program in Health and Medical Humanities is designed for students majoring in any of the biological sciences and health professions including biomedical engineering, nursing, and public health as well as non-health-related majors such as those found in the humanities and the social sciences with the aim of promoting dialogue and mutual appreciation for various approaches to health-related issues.

The wide range of applicable courses within designated disciplines fosters an interdisciplinary context for investigating the many challenges within medicine and caregiving. This format, in turn, encourages students to explore illness, disability, dying, and healing as human experiences and to evaluate some of the limitations of an exclusively scientific perspective on medical practice and research.

The program director will help students choose courses best suited for their personal and professional interests. Note that most courses applicable to the program also fulfill humanities electives for other majors and that courses may change as departments offer more options. Students will receive periodic updates notifying them of additional course offerings.


Those students who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate in Health and Medical Humanities. This certificate highlights the student’s proficiency in an interdisciplinary approach to health-related issues not easily attainable through isolated courses. The series of courses that make up the certificate program are also helpful in preparing for the humanities sections of the MCAT.

Program Requirements

Required Courses
ENGL 370Topics in Literature and Medicine3.0
ENGL 470Capstone Seminar in Health and Medical Humanities3.0
PHIL 355Philosophy of Medicine3.0
Select one of the following ethics courses:3.0
Biomedical Ethics and Law
Health-Care Ethics I
Advanced Health-Care Ethics
Health Technology and Ethical Responsibility
Ethics in Health Care Research
Public Health Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Select two courses from the following:6.0
Literature & Science
Medicine Before Germs
Technology in Historical Perspective
Evolution of Health Care in the United States
Health Care across Cultures
Health and Vulnerable Populations
Women and the Health Professions
Health-Care Law
Health, Illness, and the Arts
Health and Illness in Film
Public Health 101
Overview of Issues in Global Health
Introduction to Health & Human Rights
Health Inequality
Philosophy of Sex & Love
Philosophy of Science
Culture and Personality
Death and Dying
Health Psychology
Women's Health Psychology
Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
Sex and Society
Sociology of Health and Illness
Sociology of Aging
Sociology of Global Health
Social Networks and Health
Story Medicine
Life is Beautiful
Total Credits18.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the program director:

Stacey Ake, PhD (Biology), PhD (Philosophy)
Department of English and Philosophy

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