Minor in Medical Humanities and Health Studies

Program Description

The Medical Humanities and Health Studies (MHHS) minor examines medicine, health, and illness from a range of humanities and social science perspectives. All the liberal arts disciplines contribute to our understanding of the human experience of illness, suffering, mortality, and the role of the healer. The MHHS minor invites students in pre-health programs, liberal arts, business, and STEM fields to complement their majors with this interdisciplinary and humanistic area of study.

Health care is an urgent concern worldwide. Today, health care professionals must confront controversial policies governing access and affordability, ethical challenges posed by new technologies and treatment opportunities, and global health needs rooted in resource disparities. The interdisciplinary liberal arts perspective of the MHHS minor equips students with broad-ranging skills necessary to compete in today’s increasingly complex health care field.

Health care is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy. Today, effective health systems involve not only physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, but also personnel trained in the biomedical and social sciences, public health, engineering, business, law, management, public relations, and the humanities. The MHHS minor provides students with a strong foundation for a variety of fulfilling career paths.

Admission & Program Requirements

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the Medical Humanities and Health Studies minor a student must:

  • have been admitted to a major subject at Wright State University
  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

Program Requirements

Minor 24 hours
Core Courses   6
  • COM 3250 Health Communication
PHL 3000 Critical Thinking 3
Electives 15
  • Medical Humanities Electives
  • Health Studies Electives


  • Students are required to take one course in each of two core areas: (a) Ethics and (b) Health Communication. The two core disciplines examine topics--Ethics and Health Communication--that are fundamental to medical humanities.
  • Either PHL 3110 or PHL 3780 fulfills the Ethics requirement. Additional Ethics courses may be taken as MHS electives.
  • COM 3250 fulfills the Health Communication requirement. Additional Health Communication courses may be taken as MHHS electives.
  • Although it is desirable for students to take the MHHS core early in their coursework, these courses are not prerequisites for further work in the program.
  • All COLA majors must take PHL 3000 Critical Thinking as a COLA requirement. Students who are not COLA majors must take PHL 3000 to complete the MHHS minor, but this course is not a prerequisite for further coursework
  • MHHS students are required to take 15 elective hours, including one Medical Humanities elective and one Health Studies elective. The remaining 9 hours of elective credit may be drawn from either area.
  • Twelve hours of course work taken to fulfill major requirements or General Education requirements may double count as MHHS core or elective hours.



The following is a partial list of MHHS electives drawn from existing COLA course offerings in a variety of departments. A selection of these courses will be offered each semester.

Medical Humanities Electives

  • ENG 3010 Literature & Medicine
  • HST 3100 History of Medicine
  • HST 4870 History of Science to Newton
  • HST 4870 History of Science post-Newton
  • HST 4870 Science, Medicine, and Occult Traditions
  • HST 4870 History of Psychology
  • PHL 3120 History of Ethics
  • PHL 3110 Ethics
  • PHL 3780 Bioethics
  • PHL 3990 Research Ethics
  • PHL 3990/CLS 3500 Ancient Science
  • PHL 4710 Philosophy of Physical Science
  • PLS 4390 Bioethics and the Law
  • REL 3900 Religion & Medicine
  • REL 3400 Asian Medicine
  • WGS 4800 Reproductive Justice: 19th & 20th Centuries

Health Studies Electives

  • ATH 3200 Medical Anthropology
  • ATH 3320 Human Biological Adaptation
  • COM 4710 Race, Gender, and Health
  • COM 4710 Health Campaigns
  • COM 4710 Health Narratives in the Media
  • COM 4710 Gender and Health in the Media
  • COM 4710 Qualitative Methodology in Health Communication
  • COM 4710 Contemporary Issues in Media and Health Communication
  • COM 4710 Interpersonal Communication for Health Professionals
  • PLS 4160 Sex and the Law
  • PLS 4480 Gender Violence and American Politics
  • PLS 4490 Gender Violence and International Politics
  • PLS 3750 Human Rights in US
  • PLS 4520 International Human Rights
  • SOC 3810 Medical Sociology
  • SOC 3800 Demography
  • SOC 4810 Healthcare of Vulnerable Populations
  • SOC 4800 HIV and Aging
  • SOC 3990 Aging in Place
  • SW 4620 Social Gerontology
  • SW 3890 Aging and End of Life Issues
  • WGS 3050 Sexuality, Gender & Health

Current Course Offerings

Current Course Offerings

In Spring 2018 the following courses are designated as MHHS courses:

Core Courses

  • PHL 3110      Ethics
  • COM 3250    Health Communication
  • PHL 3000      Critical Thinking

Medical Humanities

  • PHL 4110     Ethics Seminar

Health Studies

  • PLS 4160     Sex & the Law
  • SOC 3810    Medical Sociology
  • SW 3890      Adult Development & Aging


Contact Us

Program Contacts

Program Coordinator

Scott Wilson, Ph.D.

Religion Philosophy & Classics
Associate Professor, Philosophy
Millett Hall 385, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435-0001

Program Administrative Specialist

Pre-Health Advisors

Program Committee

  • Dr. Ava Chamberlain, Chair, Depts. of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics
  • Dr. Dane Daniel, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Lake Campus
  • Dr. Jennifer Hughes, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Social Work
  • Ms. Amanda Herbe, Assistant Director, Pre-Health Programs
  • Dr. Barry Milligan, Professor, Dept. of English
  • Dr. Laurel Monnig, Instructor, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Dr. LaFleur Small, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology
  • Dr. Marie Thompson, Associate Professor, Dept. of Communication
  • Dr. Mary T. White, Director, Division of Medical Humanities, Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Ms. Harolynn Williams, Academic Advisor, Pre-Health Programs