"These courses offer students an opportunity to learn how to think deeper, with flexibility and an open mind. As a healthcare professional, I believe that these are indispensable skills to have in the constant quest to provide individualized care tailored to the different physical and psychological
needs of each patient.”

- Yuko Iwanaga, OSU Graduate 2009, Medical Humanities Certificate




The undergraduate Certificate in Medical Humanities offers OSU students a multi-disciplinary integrated program to study health, medicine and the healing professions. The certificate relies on key courses in medical anthropology, literature and medicine, medical history, and biomedical ethics for its core content foundations; courses from an additional nine different disciplines – biology, ethnic studies, exercise science, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religious studies, sociology, and women studies – can fulfill complementary elective courses. In addition, the certificate program provides a team-taught colloquium on “the art of healing” that emphasizes skills in professional identity, reflective writing, cultural competency, and diversity as a complement to the scientific features of the healing professions.


The certificate will prepare students to:

  • empathize with the sufferings of others;
  • reflect critically on medical knowledge and discourse;
  • create new representations of the medical experience;
  • confront moral, psychological, and ethical dilemmas.


For more information, visit the Medical Humanities page or contact one of the Medical Humanities Advisors listed below:


Medical Humanities Core (7-8 required credits from the following)

Course Title Subject & Number Number of Credits Instructor
Introduction to Medical Anthropology ANTH 383 3 credits Melissa Cheyney
Literature, Writing, and Medicine ENG 489 4 credits Anita Helle
History of Medicine HSTS 417 4 credits Mike Osborne
Science and Society HSTS 418 4 credits Anita Guerrini
Biomedical Ethics PHL 444 4 credits Courtney Campbell


Medical Humanities Colloquium (2 credits)
The Art of Healing  UHC/PHL 299 2 credits Team-taught



Medical Humanities Elective Courses (17-18 elective credits)

Elective Courses in the Baccalaureate Core
Biological & Cultural Constructions of Race ANTH 345 3 credits ANTH staff
Human Impacts on Ecosystems BI 301 3 credits Patricia Muir
Native American Science and Technology ES 445 3 credits ES staff
Sociocultural Dimensions of Physical Activity EXSS 312 3 credits Brad Cardinal
Introduction to Health Systems and Services H 210 3 credits Stephanie Bernell
AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases H 312 3 credits

PH staff

Families and Poverty HDFS 447 4 credits HDFS staff
History of Modern Biology HSTS 415 4 credits Mike Osborne
Science and Society HSTS 418 4 credits Anita Guerrini
Science and Religion HSTS 423 4 credits Gary Ferngren
History of Psychotherapy HSTS 440 4 credits Mina Carson
Politics of Science PS 476 4 credits PS staff
Gender and Science WS 340 3 credits Janet Lee


Elective Courses Outside the Baccalaureate Core
Evolutionary Medicine ANTH 440/540 4 credits Melissa Cheyney
Nutritional Anthropology ANTH 444/544 4 credits Melissa Cheyney
Cross Cultural Health and Healing ANTH 474/574 4 credits ANTH staff
Advanced Medical Anthropology ANTH 483/583 4 credits Melissa Cheyney
Special Topics (with dept. approval) COMM 299 4 credits Staff
Health Policy Formation H 319 3 credits Stephanie Bernell
Environmental Health H 344 3 credits Anna Harding
History of Early Modern Europe HST 331 4 credits Lisa Sarasohn
History Seminar HST 407/507 5 credits History Faculty
Illness in America: 1492-1850 HST 415/515 4 credits Ben Mutschler
History of European Woman 1400-1789 HST 435 4 credits Lisa Sarasohn
History of Medicine HSTS 417/517 4 credits Mike Osborne
History of Animals in Science HSTS 437/537 4 credits Anita Guerrini
Medical Preceptorship GS 410 1 credit Ariella Wolf
Environmental Ethics PHL 440/540 3 credits Kathleen Moore
Death and Dying PHL 455/555 3 credits Courtney Campbell
Philosophy of Biology PHL 474/574 4 credits Jonathan Kaplan
Health Psychology PSY 498/598 4 credits Aurora Sherman
Health, Illness, and Society SOC 350 4 credits Kristin Barker
Sociology of Aging SOC 432/532 3 credits Sally Gallagher
Violence Against Women WS 270 3 credits Patti Watkins
Women, Weight, and Body Image WS 465/565 3 credits Patti Watkin