The minor requires a minimum of 18 hours of course work, distributed as follows:

Note: No more than 9 hours may be in the same department; no more than 9 hours may be in courses designated MHS.

1. Core Courses — Students must complete two core courses (6 hours).

Core Courses

ANTH 240. Medical Anthropology. Biocultural aspects of human adaptations to health, disease, and nutrition. Non-Western medical and psychiatric systems. Effects of cultures on the interpretation, diagnosis, and treatment of illness. Case studies from Africa, Oceania, Latin America, and the contemporary United States. [3] (SBS)


ANTH 250.  Anthropology of Healing. Ritual, symbols, belief, and emotion in health, illness, and therapeutic processes.  Practices and politics of healing in non-Western and Western societies, including shamanism, faith healing, ecstatic religious experience, and alternative medicine.  Mind-body interactions, relations between patients and healers, and implications for improving medical care.  [3] (P)

BSCI 105. Human Biology. Recent advances in genetics, reproduction, and biotechnology. Social, legal, and ethical implications. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Not intended for students majoring in Biological Sciences. Students who take 110a–110b may not receive credit for 105. [4] (MNS)

ECON 268. Economics of Health. An examination of some of the economic aspects of the production, distribution, and organization of health care services, such as measuring output, structure of markets, demand for services, supply of services, pricing of services, cost of care, financing mechanisms, and their impact on the relevant markets. Prerequisite: 231. [3] (SBS)

HIST 280. Modern Medicine. (Formerly 204). Scientific, social, and cultural factors influencing the rise of modern medicine. Europe and the U.S., 1750 to the present. Serves as repeat credit for students who completed 204 prior to Fall 2008. [3] (P)


HIST 282. Chinese Medicine. (Formerly 248). The historical divergences between medicine in China and the West. Readings in Chinese medical classics, including the Inner Cannon of the Yellow Emperor and early herbal manuals. Chinese medicine’s encounter with Western medicine in the twentieth century; the creation of “Traditional Chinese Medicine” in the PRC and the emergence of Chinese medicine as “alternative medicine” in the U.S. Serves as repeat credit for students who completed 248 prior to Fall 2008. [3] (P)


MHS 230. Early Medicine and Culture. Health, healing, disease, and the body from antiquity to the Enlightenment. [3] (P)

MHS 201. Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society. A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. [3] (P)

MHS 202. Perspectives on Global Public Health. Global issues in public health. Focus on ecological approaches. [3] (P)


MHS 203. U.S. Public Health Ethics and Policy. Critical perspectives on ethical and policy issues in U.S. public health. [3] (P)

MHS 205, 205W. Literature and Medicine. Narrative analysis, and other humanistic, interpretative practices of relevance to medicine and health. [3] (HCA)


SPAN 274. Literature and Medicine. Modern intersections of literature and medicine in Latin America. From the social hygiene literature of the nineteenth century to the auto-biographical disease narrative of the late twentieth century. Prerequisite 203. [3] (P)

MHS 248. Medical Humanities. Research seminar. Medical Humanities takes as its subject the sum total of creative leaps between everyday life and the medical encounter. These creative leaps can be explored as constellations: art, history, music, poetry & literature, anthropology, and philosophy, to name a few. This course will explore art, music, philosophy and literature (including poetry and drama) from three perspectives, or constellations: The interface between the named disciplines and medicine, the practice of Humanities-using physicians and health care professionals, and the application of the Humanities for treatment purposes (art & music therapy as an example). Limited to juniors and seniors. [3] (HCA)

PHIL 108. Introduction to Medical Ethics. Moral issues in the practice of medicine, biomedical research, policies and regulations related to health care. [3] (P)


PHIL 270. Ethics and Medicine. Selected ethical issues raised by clinical practice, medical theories, and biomedical research and technology. No credit for students who have completed 115F, section 3. Prerequisite: 105. [3] (P)

PSY 268. Health Psychology. The neurophysiological, endocrine, and immune systems; factors underlying health habits and lifestyles; methods to enhance health behaviors and prevent illness; stress management. Reciprocal interactions among behavior, thoughts, and physiology with resulting effects on physical and psychological health and illness. Prerequisite: 101. [3] (SBS)


(P) PSY 2560. Health Psychology. In this undergraduate course, we will explore the relationship between psychology and health. We will use a framework that incorporates biological, psychological, and social factors to elucidate how these aspects of the person and environment contribute to a person’s health and how they may be harnessed in the attempt to improve health. We will cover several conditions that threaten health, such as smoking, drinking, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, and see how psychologists are helping with the prevention and treatment of these conditions. Students will learn what they can do as future professionals and as individuals to improve the health of others and themselves. [3]

SOC 237. Society and Medicine. Cultural and social factors in the perception, definition, diagnosis, treatment, and distribution of disease. Doctor- patient relations; role of nurses and other health professions. Social consequences of hospitals, medical technology, medical specialization, and health insurance. [3] (SBS)


SOC 268. Race, Gender, and Health. Effect of racial and ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, and age or generation on the experiences of health, illness, medical institutions, and work in the health professions. [3] (SBS)

2. Electives — Four additional courses, chosen from the MHS approved course list except for those listed under “Basic Biomedical Sciences Option.”  (12 hours)

Students may take, as an example, both Anthropology 240 and Anthropology 250, but, one course will be counted toward the core; the other(s) will count toward electives.