At Boston College, Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary, humanistic and cultural study of illness, health, health care, and the body. Many minors plan careers in medicine, health care policy or law, psychology, public/global health, social work, patient advocacy, or health journalism. 

Minor in Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture


Application Procedures

The Medical Humanities minor requires an application and committee approval to enroll.

Two Application Cycles Each Year

We accept applications for the minor twice per year— the fall deadline is October 11 and the spring deadline is March 15.

  • In the fall, we admit sophomores and juniors.
  • In the spring, we admit freshmen and sophomores.


2024–25 Application Information

Course Approval and Credit Transfer Process

In order for a course taken abroad to be considered for MHHC minor credit, it should be consistent with the Medical Humanities as the interdisciplinary, humanistic, and cultural study of illness, health, health care, and the body. Consideration requires an application and approval by the Medical Humanities Program. Please access the course approval form for more information and to submit courses for approval.

Planning Your Minor

For a list of all current and past MHHC electives, please visit our Course Database.

Minor courses should be selected in relation to your major and your interests. Try to take the required Introductory course, ENGL 2212, as early as possible in the minor, as it will introduce you to a range of disciplinary approaches (and to several BC faculty) that will help you to choose subsequent courses. It may be helpful to shape your electives around a thematic cluster, for example:

  • Global/Public Health
  • Values and Ethics
  • Mind and Body
  • Health Care Delivery
  • Medical narrative, writing, and representation

Electives taken prior to enrolling in the minor will count once you enroll. 

Structure and Requirements

6 Courses — Minimum 18 Credits

We try to keep things as flexible as possible because BC has many requirements through the Core.

Minor Requirements

  • Introduction Course: ENGL2212
  • Four regular elective courses
  • One advanced elective (taken in your Junior or Senior year)
  • Courses from three different departments (This is a BC requirement for interdisciplinary programs. ENGL2212 does not count towards this, but your advanced elective can.)
  • You may co-count a maximum of two courses for the minor–one from your Core requirements and one from your major or other minor. You may not co-count two Core courses or two major/minor requirements.

Concentrations, or “Thematic Clusters”

  • Global/Public Health
  • Health Care Delivery
  • Mind and Body
  • Medical Narrative, Writing, and Representation
  • Values and Ethics

You are not required to pick one of these (or declare any concentration at all!), but it can be very helpful in advising sessions and in shaping your minor to best meet your academic and/or professional goals.

Advanced Electives

We categorize an “advanced elective” as a 3 credit course that includes graduate-level course materials and/or a research paper of 15 pages or more. Most grad/undergrad courses fall into this category. Please note that you must take a course during your Junior or Senior year of study in order for that course to count as an advanced elective.

If you think that a course meets these requirements, but is not already counted as an advanced elective, let us know at medical.humanities@bc.edu.

Studying Abroad

We encourage all of our students to study abroad if they are able, especially since many programs offer courses in international health policy and country-specific health issues.

You may count ONE course taken abroad as a regular MHHC elective, given that at least 30% of the syllabus is directly related to human health. To submit a course for review, please fill out the Study Abroad Course Evaluation form, or, if you have questions, email Martin Summers at summermb@bc.edu.


Students choose courses from a range of departments in Arts and Sciences, from the social sciences and the humanities to the natural sciences. Throughout, the minor draws from Boston College’s commitment to social justice, ethics, and care for the whole person.

Student Organizations

The Medical Humanities Journal of Boston College

Medical Humanities Journal cover

The Medical Humanities Journal of Boston College is a student-run, interdisciplinary journal that seeks to examine and represent ideas of health, illness, caregiving, and medicine.