Medicine, Science, and the Humanities Requirements

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

Introductory Level

  • An introduction to the medical humanities course (usually AS.145.101 Death and Dying in Art, Literature, and Philosophy: Introduction to Medical Humanities)
  • One course focusing on classic scientific and medical texts
    • Examples: History of Medicine, History of Modern Medicine, Introduction to Bioethics, or Great Books at Hopkins II: The Sciences
    • Other courses may apply with approval from the director of undergraduate studies

Required Core Humanities Courses

  • At least 4 courses totaling at least 12 credits in one, pre-approved humanities department
  • 6 credits must be at the 300-level or higher
  • Approved humanities departments: Anthropology, Classics, English, Modern Languages and Literatures, History, History of Art, History of Science and Technology, Comparative Thought and Literature, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, and the Writing Seminars

Foreign Language

  • Through the intermediate level (second year at the college-level)

Additional Courses in the Sciences and the Humanities

  • At least 6 courses totaling 18 credits in sciences and humanities; at least 2 of these courses must be in the humanities and at least 2 must be science courses. Of the 6 courses, 4 must be at the 200-level or higher.

Summary

AS.145.101Death and Dying in Art, Literature, and Philosophy: Introduction to Medical Humanities3
or AS.145.103 Men, Women, and Melancholy: Premodern Physiologies of Madness
or AS.145.104 Science, Medicine, Media
One course focusing on classic scientific and medical texts3
Four courses in one pre-approved humanities department 112
Foreign language through the intermediate level12-18
Six additional courses in the humanities and sciences 218+
Two must be in the humanities with POS-Tag MSCH-HUM
Two must be in the sciences
Total Credits30-54

Sample Program of Study

A typical program might include the following sequence of courses (note, this example plan emphasizes science):

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.145.101 (Or other approved 100 level course)3Foreign language4
Foreign language4Natural science course at the 100 level3
Natural science course at the 100 level3Humanities elective in one pre-approved department at any level3
 10 10
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
One course focusing on classic scientific and medical texts13Foreign language3
Foreign language3Natural science elective at the 200 level3
Natural science course at the 200 level3Humanities elective in one pre-approved department at any level3
 9 9
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Humanities elective in one pre-approved department at the 300-400 level3Humanities elective in one pre-approved department at the 300-400 level3
 3 3
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
200+ level Humanities elective with POS-Tag MSCH-HUM3200+ level Humanities elective with POS-Tag MSCH-HUM3
 3 3
Total Credits 50

Honors in the Major

Honors will be offered as an option to juniors with a minimum GPA of 3.50 in major requirements. Honors projects will be a one-semester endeavor, typically aiming toward an original thesis paper (or equivalent scholarly or creative work) approximately 20-25 pages in length, whose topic is closely related to the student’s humanities core area. Thesis projects may be supervised by a faculty member in the student’s core area, or by another faculty member with expertise relevant to the topic. In either case the supervisory/mentoring role will be by arrangement between the student, MSH advisors, and the faculty member being solicited. All topics and supervisors are to be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Juniors interested in the pursing honors option must apply with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before Fall of the senior year. The application requires development of an approved research proposal with an accompanying mentorship plan.

While writing the thesis, students may enroll in the Independent Research course (AS.145.511 Medicine, Science & the Humanities Independent Research, 1-3 credits). These credits are taken in addition to the 12 credits of the normal major requirements and do not count as an elective or advanced course.

Additional Course Information

Study Abroad

Courses taken abroad count toward the major only if approved by the director of undergraduate studies in consultation with your adviser. This should be arranged prior to travel.

Thinking About Pre-Med?

Johns Hopkins offers an undergraduate pre-med program, but it is not a major. It is an advising track program through the Office of Pre-Professional Advising. Any Johns Hopkins undergraduate student pursuing any major may also pursue the pre-med advising track.

The pre-professional advisers work with the students, providing them with academic advising, assistance in selecting the proper courses, and help with the medical school application process. Please note that the MSH major does not fulfill all of the requirements for a pre-med course of study. Speak with your adviser for more information.