Spring on the York College campus

Medical Humanities

Explore the human side of healthcare and medicine. York College’s Bachelor of Arts in Medical Humanities prepares you for a career that balances the sciences, ethics, social impact, and critical thinking.

The healthcare sector is evolving, with a greater focus on wellness and a comprehensive understanding of patient needs. Medical Humanities majors are uniquely prepared to offer a modern standard of care. 

York College of Pennsylvania is one of just 22 colleges across the U.S. and Canada to offer a degree in Medical Humanities. This broadened approach to a pre-med program is quickly becoming the preferred pathway to medical school. As a Medical Humanities major, you’ll learn to think critically about how healthcare is influenced by ethics, societal trends, community demographics, patient spirituality, and the measurements we use to define wellness. You’ll gain an understanding of medicine that is both rooted in science and enriched by an overall understanding of health and healing.

A student works in a medical laboratory, performing tests on material in a petri dish.

Majoring in Medical Humanities

  • Key Courses

    Medical Humanities Courses

    York College’s Medical Humanities program covers a wide range of courses that enables students to understand the intersection of medicine, humanity, and society. While you will learn broadly about illness and patient treatment, your studies will focus more deeply on the ways medical conditions impact individuals, families, and communities as a whole.

    As a Medical Humanities major, you will take a series of required courses and electives. Your class schedule may include:

    • BIO 150: Introduction to Molecular Biology
    • PHL 220: Principles of Scientific Reasoning
    • PHL 225: Philosophy of Medicine
    • BIO 240: Genetics
    • PHL 346: Bioethics
    • PS 357: Health Law and Policy
    • HIS 402: The Black Death
  • Career Opportunities & Benefits

    Medical Humanities Careers

    Professionals with a Medical Humanities background are in high demand as the healthcare and medical sectors are rapidly changing. Graduates go on to work with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, universities, and a number of other settings. 

    A Medical Humanities degree can provide a competitive edge in the diverse field of healthcare and related industries—and students who further their education in graduate school or medical school will open up additional options. Career opportunities include:

    • Physician 
    • Clinical Researcher or Technician
    • Medical Administrator
    • Patient Advocate
    • Social Work
    • Program Manager
    • Health Educator
    • Community Health Worker

    Medical Humanities Salary Information

    People who graduate with a Medical Humanities degree go on to work in a wide variety of professional roles and industries. Your salary potential will depend on the area where you choose to work and the type of job you pursue. 

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers earn a median salary of $48,860 per year. Meanwhile, Medical and Health Services Managers earn an average of $101,340 per year and Medical Scientists average salaries of $95,310 annually. 

    As a Medical Humanities major, you can work with your advisor and the Career Development Center to carefully choose electives that tailor your education to your desired future career.

    Benefits of Earning a Degree in Medical Humanities

    In addition to a broad selection of career opportunities, Medical Humanities majors are in high demand. BLS data shows that job growth in areas like medical and health services, healthcare, and community health is significantly higher compared to other fields nationwide. 

    The Medical Humanities degree empowers you to find work that offers personal satisfaction and contributes to community wellness. You’ll also graduate with a strong background in both the sciences and the liberal arts, so you’ll have the flexibility to build a career that aligns with your areas of interest—whether that means research, communication, education, or a combination of multiple skill sets.

  • Internships & Work Experience

    Internships & Work Experience

    In the Medical Humanities program at York College, hands-on experience is a core part of the curriculum. Students work closely with faculty members whose research and expertise align with their interests. Student-faculty collaboration and networking extends from seminar classes to independent studies. 

    Many students also choose to pursue internships, and work with both faculty advisors and the Career Development Center to identify high-quality work sites.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Mentorship & Community

    The York College experience extends far beyond the classroom. Strong communities are often formed within majors and other academic groups. Additionally, YCP offers over 100 student clubs and organizations, along with club sports and a variety of campus recreation activities.

    Many Medical Humanities majors participate in the Pre-Medical and Allied Health Society, a student-run organization that works to promote health and wellness through awareness, education, and prevention.

  • High-Demand Skills

    Skills and Requirements

    As a graduate of York College’s Medical Humanities degree program, you’ll acquire broad medical knowledge along with marketable, transferable professional skills that make you a valuable employee. 

    You’ll gain a unique blend of functional and job-ready skills, including:

    • Research and analysis
    • Ethical decision-making
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Technical writing
    • Knowledge of medical and healthcare fields
    • Interpersonal skills

    Best Minors for Medical Humanities

    As you consider your interests, preferences, and goals for your future career, you may wish to add a minor alongside your Medical Humanities major. Some of your options include:

    Explore more minors and dual major opportunities, or talk with one of York College’s career counselors if you aren’t sure which degree is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Medical Humanities degree?

    A Bachelor of Arts in Medical Humanities is a multidisciplinary degree that combines the fields of humanities, social sciences, STEM, and the high-demand hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Medical Humanities majors will gain a broad understanding of the science at the root of medicine, while diving into the ‘human’ side of healthcare and how it impacts individuals, communities, families, and society as a whole.

  • Why is Medical Humanities an important subject?

    Medical Humanities is important because it provides essential insights into the conditions and illnesses that affect our lives. It goes beyond the “how” of biology and genetics, and examines the “why” behind healthcare’s role in society. Medical Humanities majors examine issues like ethical responsibility and professionalism in the medical field, as well as the impact of overall wellness and community influences.

  • What kind of jobs can you get with a Medical Humanities degree?

    A degree in Medical Humanities is extremely versatile, and will position you for career opportunities in healthcare and beyond. Graduates of York College’s Medical Humanities program have gone on to careers in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, universities, and more.

  • What skills can you learn by taking the Medical Humanities program?

    The Bachelor of Arts in Medical Humanities degree helps to develop your critical thinking, research, analysis, technical writing, and communication skills—just to name a few. This program teaches you to be empathetic toward others and to approach problems from different angles. You’ll graduate prepared to analyze situations from historical, cultural, and social contexts, giving a human dimension to the sciences.

  • Is the Medical Humanities degree only for those who want to pursue their career in medical sciences?

    Not at all! While this major is ideal for those who wish to work in the medical field, it also allows for a broader range of career opportunities. The Medical Humanities program is a high-quality option for those who want to explore significant questions regarding medical care, mortality, illness, and justice—whether your career leads you into healthcare, community health, wellness education, or even med school or graduate studies.

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
catalog icon

2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Related Programs

Contact Us
History and Political Science Department
Corey Brooks, Ph.D., Chair
Humanities Center, 101
Phone: 717.600.3869

Deb Staley, Administrative Assistant
Humanities Center, Room 100
Phone: 717.815.1349