Medical Humanities and Health Studies

The Major

Introducing the New BA in Medical Humanities & Health Studies! 


The Medical Humanities & Health Studies Program is proud to announce a new major at the IU School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis. The IU School of Liberal Arts is now offering a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Humanities and Health Studies.

Click here for degree requirements!

Goals, Objectives, and Mission

Our mission is to fill a much needed demand for interdisciplinary preparation of undergraduates to understand the qualitative humanistic and socio-cultural context of health care in contrast to the clinical/objective approach traditionally taken in biomedicine, and to develop informed graduates with analytical skills, cultural awareness, and ethnical sensitivity.

The BA in MHHS is unique, being among the first comprehensive MHHS degrees offered to undergraduates nationwide. The major entails successful completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours: 90 credit hours will satisfy the School of Liberal Arts general education requirements, and 30 credit hours will satisfy the major concentration.

Academic & Career Preparation

An academic foundation in MHHS can be valuable to students pursuing virtually any career path, including but not limited to social/economic research, medicine, allied health professions, dentistry, health law, medical social work, nursing, public health, and public policy studies.

Why study Medical Humanities? Here is what a few of our students have to say.

"I did not understand healthcare beyond science, technology, the diagnosis of diseases, and the treatments for those diseases.  I was focused on what the pharmacy profession could do for me and not what I could do for the profession, and ultimately, the patient.  By shaping my education into an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study of medicine, I have gained an understanding of the humanistic, social, and cultural elements of healthcare.  Further, I have also learned how medical practitioners influence patients as they experience health, disease, suffering, and dying….Perhaps the most important lesson that I have learned is the importance of treating the entire patient: body, mind, spirit, and soul. I believe that my Medical  Humanities Health Studies education is a major reason why I was accepted into Purdue’s School of Pharmacy." - Nicole Helsel, Medical Humanities major. Nicole is currently enrolled in Purdue University’s School of Pharmacy.

"I chose the Medical Humanities program at IUPUI because, as a pre-med student, I wanted to develop a functional picture in my mind of a healthy human being which I could use to evaluate the health of my future patients. I was confident that medical school would teach me the physical aspects of health, but as a Christian, I believe that a healthy human life involves much more than mere biology. Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life that, "Respect for life requires that science and technology should always be at the service of man and his integral development. Society as a whole must respect, defend, and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life." This call to defend the dignity of human life also led me to choose the Medical Humanities program because of it’s unique focus on Bioethics. During my time in the program I’ve researched and written on critical bioethical issues, including end of life health care, organ trafficking, and medical decision making. I believe that my studies within the Medical Humanities program have broadened and enriched my understanding of health and humanity." - George Kane, Medical Humanities major and Chemistry minor. George plans to attend the IU School of Medicine and also do mission work for in Southern Indiana for two years.

Interested in Medical Humanities?
Contact Judi Izuka-Campbell, our undergraduate advisor, at jizukac@iupui.edu if you are interested in pursing a major or a minor in Medical Humanities & Health Studies.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at medhum@iupui.edu.