History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Major Requirements

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

Offered in cooperation with the Institute of the History of Medicine, this major allows students to combine substantive work in science with study of the social and historical context of modern science, medicine, and technology. The aim of the program is to produce graduates who are scientifically literate and technically competent, and who at the same time understand science and medicine not as static, autonomous enterprises but rather as modes of thought that have developed in specific social contexts.

The major is appropriate for any student planning a career in medicine or other areas of the health care industry. It is also flexible enough to serve as a basis for a variety of careers where an informed knowledge of science and technology and their impact on society is important. Such careers include broad areas of business and industry, journalism, teaching, museum work, and specialized areas of law and public policy.

  • Sciences: Students are required to have a total of 30 credits in science, engineering, and mathematics courses (with area designator coding of E, N, or Q) of which at least nine credits must be above the 100-level. Laboratory courses in science count toward this requirement. Calculus I is strongly recommended.
  • History of Science, Medicine and Technology: A total of 24 credits of course work in the history of science, medicine and technology are required. These must include at least two survey courses and four additional courses above the 100-level.
  • Students in their senior year may take graduate courses with permission.
  • A minimum grade of C- is necessary in all courses applied toward the requirements of the major and requirements may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Courses taken at another institution that are not directly equivalent to a JHU course may not apply towards these requirements without permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Each course must be at least 3 credits.

Survey Courses 1
Select two of the following:6
History of Medicine
History of Modern Medicine
History of Science: Antiquity To Renaissance
Rise Of Modern Science
Scientific Revolution
Additional History of Science, Medicine & Technology Courses 2
Two history of science, medicine & technology courses at any level6
Four 200-400 level history of science, medicine & technology courses12
Science, Math, or Engineering Courses (N, Q, or E)
Nine credits of 200-level or higher N, Q, or E courses9
Twenty-one credits of N, Q, or E courses at any level21
Total Credits54

Other courses might serve to fulfill the survey course requirement with permission of the director of undergraduate studies.


Courses that apply must be offered by the department (AS.140.xxx). Additionally, the courses AS.140.411 Senior Research Seminar and AS.140.412 Research Seminar may not be used towards this requirement

Sample Program of Study

A typical program might include the following sequence of courses:

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.140.1xx Freshman Seminar or other AS.140.xxx elective3AS.140.1xx Freshman Seminar or other AS.140.xxx elective3
Any level N,Q,E course3Any level N,Q,E course3
 Any level N,Q,E course3
 6 9
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Survey course like AS.140.105 or AS.140.3213Survey course like AS.140.106 or AS.140.3023
200 level or above N,Q,E course3200 level or above N,Q,E course3
 200 level or above N,Q,E course3
 6 9
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.140.xxx HSMT elective above 100 level3 AS.140.xxx HSMT elective above 100 level3
AS.140.xxx HSMT elective above 100 level3Any level N,Q,E course3
Any level N,Q,E course3Any level N,Q,E course3
 9 9
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.140.411 (Optional)3AS.140.412 (Optional)2
AS.140.xxx HSMT elective above 100 level3Any level N,Q,E course3
 6 5
Total Credits 59

Honors in the Major

Students who demonstrate excellence in course work are eligible to write an honors thesis (AS.140.411 Senior Research Seminar and AS.140.412 Research Seminar) in their final year for additional credits. Students must have outstanding recommendations from two department members to be eligible for the thesis. Departmental honors are conferred if a student has a GPA of 3.5 or better in major requirements and receives a grade of A- or better on the thesis.