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    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
   
 
  Oct 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 University Catalog

Medical Humanities - Major


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In this major students study the various fields of humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics, history, classics, the fine arts and religion) and their application to health care education and practice. Students choose to complete rigorous and highly flexible requirements in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) and develop a high level of competency in the humanities. These areas of study provide insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood, and our responsibility to each other, and offer a complementary perspective on healthcare. Attention to these subjects helps to develop and nurture skills of observation, analysis, empathy, and self-reflection—skills that are necessary for humane healthcare.

The new “Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills” section of the Medical College Admissions Test is designed to help medical schools assess how students think by asking them to analyze passages from a wide range of disciplines, including ethics, philosophy and cultural studies. This major focuses on helping future physicians and other health care professionals develop the ability to think critically and deeply, to know where to seek answers, and how to solve problems in the clinical environment. Such study imparts the skill, sensitivity and human awareness that will increasingly define the successful, empathetic health care professional of the 21st century.

All majors participate in a year-long, one-on-one capstone project with a faculty member. Those bound for medical school are advised by the department and by the pre-med advisor. The major is excellent preparation for advanced study in a variety of fields, and for careers in Health Law Practice, Health Education Wellness Programs, Pharmaceutical Sales, Health Care Administration, various positions in insurance companies and hospitals, and many others.

Learning Outcomes for Majors in Medical Humanities 

Students who successfully complete the curriculum of the humanities and science major will be able to:

  • Write at a high level of proficiency.
  • Read and interpret texts with insight.
  • Describe how the humanities and the sciences comment on and relate to each other.
  • Have a basic knowledge of at least one language other than English.
  • Apply the methods of literary and historical study as well as those of the bench scientist.
  • Enter well-prepared into graduate or professional school or employment.

Medical Humanities Degree Requirements


To qualify for the bachelor of science in medical humanities, a minimum of 121 credit hours of approved courses is required, of which 49 hours must be in approved courses in the humanities. In addition, 25 credits of science are required, beyond the general education requirements, to give a total of 32 credits in science. Students must maintain a “C” average (2.0). Coursework is to be distributed as indicated below.

In order to earn a degree from Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Core Requirements (7 credits)


Distribution Requirements (15 credits)


(choose 5 of 7 subject areas)

  • Classics Credits: 3
  • English Credits: 3
  • Fine Arts Credits: 3
  • Foreign Language (must be 2nd semester) Credits: 3
  • History Credits: 3
  • Philosophy Credits: 3
  • Religious Studies Credits: 3

Major Concentration (55 credits)


Science Program Electives, Credits: 25


Courses with the following prefixes fulfill the science program electives: BS, CH, PY, BI, FS, GL; others as approved by the department chair)

Humanities Program Electives, Credits: 30 credits


Courses with the following prefixes fulfill the relevant distribution requirement and the program elective requirement: AC, AR, EN, ET, HI, HU, LA, PL, RS, SP; others as approved by the department chair

Sample Medical Humanities Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Years 2017 and beyond (graduating classes of 2021 and beyond) - with general education. 

First Year


Fall Semester


  • Foreign Language Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 14


Spring Semester


  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
  • Science Program Elective I Credits: 4

Credits/Semester: 14


Spring Semester


  • General Education Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
  • Major Distribution Course 2 (English) Credits: 3
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 17


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 1 Credits: 3
  • Major Distribution Course 3 (Fine Arts) Credits: 3
  • Science Program Elective II Credits: 4

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Elective (outside major) Credits: 3
  • Major Distribution Course 4 (History) Credits: 3
  • Major Distribution Course 5 (Philosophy) Credits: 3
  • Science Program Elective III Credits: 4

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Humanities Program Elective 2 Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 3 Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 4 Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 5 Credits: 3
  • Science Program Elective IV Credits: 4

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • General Education Elective (outside major) Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 6 Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 7 Credits: 3
  • Humanities Program Elective 8 Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Credits: 121


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