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New Interdisciplinary Minor Programs Combine Humanities and Social Sciences with Health Care

By UM News

New Interdisciplinary Minor Programs Combine Humanities and Social Sciences with Health Care

By UM News
Medical Humanities and Social Science & Medicine minors launching Fall 2016

This fall, faculty from diverse disciplines in the College of Arts & Sciences will be working together to launch two new undergraduate programs at the University of Miami – the minor in Medical Humanities and the minor in Social Science & Medicine.

These new interdisciplinary programs offer students a chance to explore the social and cultural elements of health and well-being, as well as the historical and practical roots of the medical sciences. 

“The minors are an excellent way for students who are interested in careers in the medical fields to expand their academic horizons and hopefully enrich their understanding of how health care and human experience are deeply entwined,” said Dr. Catherine Newell, an assistant professor of religious studies at the UM College of Arts & Sciences. “I think it's eye-opening for students to realize that you can study health care outside of science, and it's important for everyone to know that modern medicine has social, political, religious, and historical dimensions.”

Specifically, the Medical Humanities minor allows students to explore the science of medicine from the perspective of the humanities through a curriculum that incorporates literature, philosophy, ethics, history, religion, women and gender studies, theater, film, and visual arts.

The Social Science & Medicine minor presents students with the chance to learn about the social and behavioral aspects of medicine and health care through the social sciences, while integrating a curriculum that includes anthropology, communication, economics, epidemiology, geography, global health, international studies, policy, psychology, and sociology. 

“Many students are deeply enthusiastic about a health-related career and want to study medicine from perspectives outside of the laboratory – people, in addition to proteins,” said Dr. Justin Stoler, an assistant professor of geography and regional studies at the UM College of Arts & Sciences. “Our students have spoken through their persistent interest in our medical social sciences and humanities classes, and we have responded. These new minors formalize an interdisciplinary program of study that students have previously had to navigate on their own.”

Undergraduate students immersed in the Medical Humanities minor will interpret and articulate how and where the humanities lend perspective to the medical field; students engaged in the Social Science & Medicine minor will examine public health and medical practice as the integration of the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences.

Students interested in careers in public health, medicine, the health sciences, health care management, and (non-) governmental organizations will find the Social Science & Medicine and Medical Humanities minors relevant to many private and public service disciplines.

For more information about the Medical Humanities minor program, visit, and for information about the Social Science & Medicine minor, visit


March 30, 2016