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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

B.A. in Health Humanities (ILM)

Are you interested in a health-related career, but aren’t sure which career best suits your talents and interests? Are you interested in medical schools, and want to gain an edge in your MCAT performance by improving your analytical writing and critical thinking skills, as well as gaining relevant cultural, ethical, and social knowledge? Are you wondering how you could productively relate your previous learning in the humanities and/or social sciences to your interests in health, healing, disability, and illness?

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, then the Health Humanities ILM may be a good choice for you.

Health Humanities majors often go on to pursue advanced degrees in the following areas: dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, public health, health administration, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, nursing, law, and physician assistant studies. Other career possibilities include, for example: art therapist, medical illustrator, medical historian, medical anthropologist, medical librarian, health educator, health researcher (clinical or social), research technician, nonprofit facilitator, or health policymaker.

The Health Humanities ILM includes a menu of courses designed to foster the skills and qualities that prepare you for successful further study in health-related fields. If you are planning on going to medical school, the Health Humanities ILM will likely benefit you. Medical schools increasingly understand that it is important for aspiring medical students to have not only proficiency in scientific content, but also awareness of the social and cultural landscape that affects health outcomes and our assumptions about health, healing, disease, and disability. Some training in critical thinking and basic bioethics is also important, as is empathy and tolerance for ambiguity. These expectations are reflected in recent updates to the MCAT (https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/mcat-2015-cars-passage-types/). At the same time, we also understand that not everyone interested in health-related topics will ultimately wish to go to medical school. The Health Humanities ILM will engage you in a critical, multi-disciplinary, reflective course of study that will help you to broaden your horizons and determine the health-related career that best suits your interests and talents.

The Health Humanities ILM can be combined with any other major at SU.

For more information, please contact Hille Paakkunainen at hpaakkun@syr.edu.

Program Faculty