Medical Humanities

Welcome to the Medical Humanities Program at the University of the Incarnate Word. This interdisciplinary concentration helps students understand and appreciate how the humanities may be engaged to enhance a career in the health professions.


Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field that uses Humanities’ methods of inquiry to analyze, critique and enhance the practice of medicine. Through courses such as English, Philosophy and Religious Studies, students are encouraged to critically examine issues from diverse perspectives.

There is an increasing market for ethicists, policy makers, lawyers and social workers trained in the Medical Humanities. The concentration at UIW is distinct from other programs because it integrates spirituality and theology, promoting the students’ understanding of ideas supported in humanities courses and Bioethics. Additionally, the Medical Humanities concentration helps promote development of the good character needed to be a quality caregiver.

This concentration, ideal for both pre-med/pre-health students and those wishing to pursue a career in humanities, supports the Mission of the University and its vision to support students to lift their own lives and the lives of others. It also aligns with UIW’s commitment to the original call of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word: the care of the suffering through which we find Christ.

Trauma Studies Concentration

UIW Medical Humanities program is the only program of its kind to offer an additional option to pursue Trauma Studies, a separate concentration as part of Medical Humanities. Courses within this concentration focus on psychology and psychiatry, revealing the important contributions that the humanities make to the study of trauma. Study in this specific field is beneficial to students pursuing medical school or healthcare professions as trauma can be associated with experiences of people in at-risk communities.

18 credit hours are required for the Concentration in Medical Humanities

Required Courses (9 hours):

  • MDHM 2310 Introduction to Medical Humanities
  • MDHM 2320 Introduction to Trauma Studies
  • PHIL 4350 BioEthics

Select one Philosophy or English Course (3 hours):

  • PHIL 3315 Philosophy of Human Nature
  • PHIL 3318 Theories of Reality and Knowledge
  • PHIL 3375 Aesthetics: Philosophy of Art/Beauty
  • PHIL 4371/ENGL 4399 Literature and Trauma
  • ENGL 3375 Creative Writing
  • ENGL 4320 Period Studies
  • ENGL 4340 Major Authors

Select one Religious Studies Course (3 hours):

  • RELS 3305 Catholic Social Teachings
  • RELS 3381 Christianity and Global Justice
  • RELS 3370 Christian Ethics
  • RELS 4330 Death and Belief

Select one Elective Courses (3 Hours):

  • HIST 4325 Global Human Rights
  • HIST 4345 Global Refugees
  • MUTH 1301 Introduction to Music Therapy
  • MUTH 3301 Psychology of Music
  • THAR 1320 Acting in Everyday Life