Departments, Programs and Centers


Medical Humanities and Health Studies

Director   Professor William H. Schneider, History, Medical Genetics, Center for Bioethics

Professors Kimberly Quaid, Medical Genetics; Carol Gardner, Sociology; Richard Gunderman, Philosophy and Radiology;  Eleanor Kinney, Law; Eric Meslin, Philosophy and Medicine; David Orentlicher, Law and Medicine; Sandra Petronio, Communication Studies; Lynn Pike, Sociology; William Schneider, History and Medical Genetics; Jane Schultz, English;  Richard Ward, Anthropology and Dentistry; Eric Wright, SPEA and Public Health  

Associate Professors  David Craig, Religious Studies; Jeanette Dickerson-Putman, Anthropology; Jason Eberl, Philosophy; Carrie E. Foote, Sociology; Margaret Gaffney, Medicine; Gregory Gramelspacher, Medicine; William Gronfein, Sociology; Peter Marcus, Ob/Gyn; Wendy Morrison, Economics; Rebecca Sloan, Nursing;  Kathleen Zoppi, Family Medicine

Assistant Professors  Susan Hickman, Nursing; Lois Lane, Nursing and Regenstrief Institute; Tamara G. J. Leech, Sociology; Jeremy J. Wilson, Anthropology

Senior Lecturer  Archana Dube, Economics and Public Health 

Assistant Scholar  Emily Beckman, Medical Humanities-Health Studies

The Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program provides a unique opportunity for students in liberal arts, pre-medicine, allied health sciences, pre-dentistry, and nursing, and for all those interested in the state of health care in America, to explore the concepts of health and illness from an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspective. 

Minor in Medical Humanities and Health Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in medical humanities and health studies seeks to promote an increased awareness of the humanistic, social, and cultural dimensions of health care and health care systems. It provides an exciting opportunity for students to work in close conjunction with faculty who have strong teaching and research interests in the area of health care. A survey of the relevant issues to be addressed during the course of study in the minor includes human values and ethics in decision making; the idea of preventive and holistic health and health care; patient care as an art form and scientific endeavor; the relation among ecology, economy, and health care; the relation between cultural and social systems and health and health care; the connection between health care systems and good health; the role of the provider-client relationship, especially in the areas of communications skills and the humanistic dimensions of patient care; the meanings of suffering, illness, and dying; the role of technology in improving care but creating a legacy of dehumanization of patients; and the role of the consumer in the health care system.

The minor entails successful completion of a minimum of 15 credit hours, distributed as follows: 

Required Core Course

MH301 Perspectives on Health, Disease, and Healing (3 cr.) The course utilizes the perspectives of the humanities and social science disciplines to provide students with a broader understanding of the many facets of health and disease, suffering and dying, as well as the art and science of healing. 

Required Exit Course

MH495 Independent Project Seminar in the Medical Humanities and Health Studies (3 cr.) Each student pursuing a minor degree in the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program who has completed at least 9 credit hours toward the degree will take a seminar or be given the opportunity to develop a research or applied project related to the interests of the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Committee. This seminar or project will allow the student to apply the knowledge gained from the course work taken in the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program, serving to tie together the humanistic and social scientific bases of health care in a directed endeavor of interest to the student. The student should contact the chairperson to arrange the details of this independent project. 

Electives (3 courses/9 credits)

At least 3 credits from each of both

  • Humanistic perspectives
  • Social Science perspectives

An additional 3 credits chosen from the above categories or from

Other electives

NOTE:  No more than two courses from any one discipline can count toward this interdisciplinary minor.

Humanistic Perspectives on Health Care

Communication Studies

  • C392 Health Communication (3 cr.)
  • C410 Health Provider–Consumer Communication (3 cr.)


L431 Literature and Medicine (3 cr.)


  • H364 History of Medicine and Public Health (3 cr.)
  • H374 History of Science and Technology II (3 cr.)
  • H425 Topics in History: Humanitarian Assistance (3 cr.)

Medical Humanities & Health Studies

  • M492 Topics in MHHS: Perspectives on Medicine in Film (3 cr.)
  • M492 Topics in MHHS:  Culture of Mental Illness - Literary Representations of Mental Illness (3 cr.) 


  • P393 Biomedical Ethics (3 cr.) 

Religious Studies

  • R384 Religion, Ethics and Health (3 cr.)


  • R327 Sociology of Death and Dying (3 cr.)

Social Scientific Perspectives on Health Care


  • A337 African American Health Care (3 cr.)
  • A460 Diseases in Human Evolution (3 cr.)
  • B370 Human Growth and Development (3 cr.)
  • B480 Human Variation (3 cr.)
  • E421 The Anthropology of Aging (3 cr.)
  • E445 Medical Anthropology (3 cr.) 


  • E307 Current Economic Issues: Health Economic Issues (3 cr.)
  • E387 Health Economics (3 cr.)


  • G410 Medical Geography (3 cr.)


  • R285 AIDS and Society (3 cr.)
  • R321 Women and Health (3 cr.)
  • R381 Social Factors in Health and Illness (3 cr.)
  • R382 Social Organization of Health Care (3 cr.)
  • R410 Alcohol, Drugs, and Society (3 cr.)
  • R415 Sociology of Disability (3 cr.)
  • R485 Sociology of Mental Illness (3 cr.)

Other Electives

The remaining 3 credit hours of electives may come from the courses above or the following courses:

Medical Humanities and Health Studies

  • MH492 Topics in Medical Humanities and Health Studies (3 cr.)
  • MH498 Readings in Medical Humanities and Health Studies (1-3 cr.)


  • S474 Applied Health Care Ethics (3 cr.)


  • H316 Introduction to Environmental Health (3 cr.)
  • H320 Introduction to Health Administration (3 cr.)
  • H322 Principles of Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • H354 Health Economics (3 cr.)
  • H420 Health Policy (3 cr.)

Note:  Other courses may be accepted upon approval of the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Committee. See the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Committee Chairperson or Lead Advisor for information.

Majoring in Medical Humanities and Health Studies

The School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI offers students the special option to design programs of study that are outside the scope of existing major programs. Students have utilized this option to design interdisciplinary majors in medical humanities and health studies-oriented fields of study such as international health and culture studies. For more information, please contact the MHHS Program or the Individualized Major Program, (317) 274-7611, Cavanaugh Hall 540B.