The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities and Bioethics is an interdisciplinary graduate program designed to educate medical personnel on the legal, historical, ethical, and cultural contexts of medicine.  Medical Humanities uses the perspectives and tools of humanities disciplines to study the human contexts of healthcare.  Graduates of this unique degree program obtain a multidisciplinary understanding of medicine that can robustly influence their teaching, advising, ethical decision making, and patient care.

Course work in this program spans the many fields of the humanities, including religion, philosophy, history, literature, and art, in order to foster understandings of the culture, faith systems, and language essential to patient interactions. 

The proposed MA in Medical Humanities and Bioethics provides a curriculum based in the humanities and social sciences departments of the College of Arts & Sciences, with specific emphasis on topics related to health and medicine.  This degree program is designed to provide a broad understanding of these issues and questions through a focused and systematic program of study drawing upon faculty from various disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences, and the domains of ethics.

In addition, students in this program will have the opportunity to engage in collaboration with the Miller School of Medicine’s Institute for Bioethics & Health Policy and the College of Arts & Sciences’ Center for the Humanities.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities and Bioethics accepts rolling admissions. Interested students may apply to the program at any time. 

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
    • An $85.00 non-refundable application fee is paid online upon submission of the application.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The statement of purpose is the most important element of your application packet. This letter needs to reflect who you are, your goals and how you plan to use this degree to improve and enhance your health care practice. It is very important to ensure it is grammatically correct and as detailed as possible. The statement of purpose should be no more than two pages in length. Please review before your submit. 

      Below is a link to help you get started:

      OWL Statement of Purpose Guidelines.

  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation must be provided. These letters should be from an employer, colleague, or other professional source.  *If you are currently taking classes, or if you are a recent graduate (within two years), you must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

  • Official Transcripts
    • You must provide official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. Official transcripts in languages other than English must also be submitted with a certified English translation.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Curriculum Requirements

Required Core Courses
MLS 601Aspects of Creative and Reflective Thought3
MLS 602Perspectives on Human Nature3
MLS 604Survey of Medical Humanities (New course: Survey of Medical Humanities and Health Sciences)3
MDR TBA (New course in Bioethics from Medical Education)3
Electives 112
MLS 696Directed Readings3
or MLS 697 Directed Readings
MDR TBA (New Medical Humanities and Bioethics Practicum from Medical Education)3
Total Credit Hours30

Students must take at least one elective course from three of the following areas:

  • Visual Humanities (ex. Art, Art History, Architecture)
  • Literature (ex. English, Classics)
  • Religious Studies
  • Philosophy              
  • History/Cultural Studies (ex. History, Anthropology, Latin American Studies)                        
  • Social Ethics (ex. Sociology, Global Health, Environmental Ethics, Data Ethics)

Sample Plan of Study

Elective courses will vary.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MLS 601 Aspects of Creative and Reflective Thought 3
MLS 602 Perspectives on Human Nature 3
MDR TBA New Course on Bioethics from Medical Education 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
MLS 604 Survey of Medical Humanities (New course: Survey of Medical Humanities and Health Sciences) 3
MDR TBA New Medical Humanities & Bioethics Practicum from Medical Education 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
MLS 696 Directed Readings 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours30

Student Learning Outcomes

The M.A. in Medical Humanities and Bioethics provides advanced training and practice in the ethical and psychosocial approach to understanding health and illness.Through the study and application of humanities to issues in patient care, students will:

·Acquire knowledge of concepts, methods and subject materials from core humanities disciplines (literature, ethics, history, and visual arts) in relation to current problems and issues in healthcare.

·Consider multiple perspectives from humanities disciplines on ethical ‘caring for the patient’, with particular focus on the patient and provider as persons in social and cultural contexts that shape their knowledge, behaviors and attitudes.

·Develop skills and tools from humanities-based knowledge about patients, providers, and practices that can be applied in clinical practice, studied in scholarly research, and taught in healthcare education.