Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor

The Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor at Penn State Berks

The minor in Bioethics & Medical Humanities explores the human experience of health and illness from diverse perspectives. Health care in the twenty-first century calls for a well-rounded education that includes the arts and humanities as well as the sciences.

Examine health and health care through the lens of ethics, sociology, communication, women studies, history, culture, and literature. If you are interested in issues like inequities in health care, cross-culture studies of medicine, and the impact of illness on patients, families, and communities, this minor is for you.

While the BMH Minor is beneficial to students in almost any major, it offers particular value to students planning to attend medical, dental, veterinary, or law school, as well as to students pursuing careers in health care, life sciences, public policy, health communication, humanities, informatics, or forensics. The knowledge and skills developed through the BMH Minor provide students with the tools they need to help tackle the major challenges facing society in the areas of medicine, public health, nutrition, and the environment—among many others. Moreover, BMH Minor graduates leave Penn State better prepared to engage as global citizens in a world that urgently needs talented stewards.


Students must take 18 approved course credits. The curriculum begins with a mandatory introductory course covering basic bioethics concepts (BIOET 100/PHIL 132). Subsequent classes are selected from a list of relevant offerings. Students may petition for class substitutions. Permission for substitutions depend on the student’s other course work, as well as the nature of the requested course. The BMH Minor culminates with a required capstone (BMH 490), which involves original student research.

Required COURSES: 6 credits

  • PHIL 132 / RLST 132: Bioethics [GH]
  • BMH 490: Bioethics and Medical Humanities Capstone Course

We offer a wide range of courses that examine health and illness from different perspectives and within and across various fields. Three credits much be at the 400 level, and at least one course must be selected from approved ethics courses. Students are encouraged to consult with the Bioethics & Medical Humanities Minor Coordinator, Kesha Morant Williams via email: [email protected]