The minor in health and the human condition is an interdisciplinary minor broadly focused on the intersection of the humanities (philosophy, ethics, history, and religion) and health sciences. Students who earn the minor gain an understanding of the medical field through three unique lenses: ethics and values, historical perspectives, and diversity/global perspectives.

The minor is administered by the Department of Classics and draws on courses from several units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including the Departments of Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Health and Human Physiology as well as the Global Health Studies and Aging and Longevity Studies Programs.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • comprehension of the history and philosophy behind modern medicine and the human body; and
  • familiarity with multicultural and temporal perceptions of healing, aging, and approaches to medicine.

The undergraduate minor in health and the human condition requires a minimum of 15 s.h., including at least 12 s.h. in courses taken at the University of Iowa. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the minor and in all UI courses for the minor. Coursework in the minor may not be taken pass/nonpass.

A maximum of 3 s.h. of work for another University of Iowa major, minor, or certificate may be counted toward the minor.

The minor is interdisciplinary. It is administered by the Department of Classics and draws on courses from several units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The minor in health and the human condition requires the following coursework.

Ethics and Values

These courses focus on moral and ethical issues in the medical field and health care, such as bioethics, patient autonomy, and the role of the state.

At least 3 s.h. from these:
PHIL:1034Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness3
PHIL:1401Matters of Life and Death3
PHIL:2402Introduction to Ethics3
RELS:2260/GHS:2260Hard Cases in Healthcare at the Beginning of Life3

Historical Approaches

These courses focus on the treatment and understanding of health and disease from the ancient world to the 20th century in order to contextualize students’ understanding of the medical field today.

At least 3 s.h. from these:
CLSA:1181/GHS:1181Ancient Medicine3
CLSA:3020/GHS:3021Mental Health in the Ancient World3
HIST:3508/GHS:3508/LAS:3508Disease and Health in Latin American History3
HIST:3162/GHS:3162History of Global Health3
HIST:4203Disability in American History3
RELS:3580/ANTH:3113/ASIA:3561/GHS:3113Religion and Healing3

Diversity and Global Perspectives

These courses invite students to consider the contemporary cross-cultural intersections of privilege and marginalization as related to health care. These include issues of gender, sexuality, race, disability, aging, colonialism, and social class.

At least 9 s.h. from these:
ANTH:2164/GHS:2164Culture and Healing: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology3
ANTH:2181/ASP:2181/GHS:2181The Anthropology of Aging3
ASP:3135/GHS:3050/SSW:3135Global Aging3
ASP:3740/MED:3740/NURS:3740End-of-Life Care for Adults and Families3
GHS:4003Case Studies in Global Health Inequities3
GHS:3060Studies in Complementary and Alternative Medicine3
GWSS:3177/NURS:3739Women and Their Bodies in Health and Illness3
RELS:3431/ASIA:3431/GWSS:3131Gender and Sexuality in East Asia3
SSW:3786/ASP:3786Death/Dying: Issues Across the Life Span3-4
WLLC:3105/CLSA:3105/GHS:3105/GRMN:3105/GWSS:3105Contraception Across Time and Cultures3