Requirements for the Major

All Biomedical Humanities (BIMD) majors must choose an adviser in the program.

I. Medical Humanities Core (four courses selected as specified from the categories below, and two 1-hour seminars):

These courses examine questions of human values in health and quality of life through study of literature and the arts, as well as the roles and limitations of bioethical principles. Please click here to view all of the Medical Humanities Seminar Course Descriptions.

A.  Choose one course from the following (these courses carry an ethics designation):

  • BIMD How We Die
  • BIMD Issues in Women's Health
  • BIMD Health and Social Justice
  • INTD Narrative Bioethics
  • INTD Obligations to Others
  • INTD The Science and Ethics of Human Cloning
  • INTD What is Human?

B. Choose one course from the following (these courses prepare students for the Medical Humanities portion of the Capstone. Students cannot use the same course to satisfy both Categories A and B):

  • INTD Aging, Sex, and the Body
  • BIMD Cultures of Medicine
  • BIMD Health and Social Justice
  • BIMD Issues in Women's Health
  • BIMD Stories of Illness and Healing

C. Choose two more courses from Category A, B, or the following:

  • BIMD/RELG Mindfulness, Meditation, and Healing 
  • INTD Alternative Health Care Systems
  • INTD Exploring Ability & Disability Through Performance: Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • INTD Genetics, Identity, and Popular Culture
  • INTD Global Health and Human Rights
  • INTD Gimpy Geezers: Representations of Disability and Age
  • INTD Images for the Living: Artistic Manifestations of Death, Burial, and Grief
  • INTD Pushing Up Daisies: Western Perspectives on Death and Dying
  • INTD The Science and Culture of Sleep
  • INTD What's Normal? I: Physical Abnormalities
  • INTD What's Normal? II: Mental and Emotional Disorders
  • Or any course from list A or B, or other courses as approved by the department.

D. Enroll in two 1-hour BIMD 18510 seminars

Courses include, but are not limited to BIMD The Biomedical Imagination, Science in the NY Times, Maladies and Ethical Challenges, Environmental Health, You and Your Microbes, The Black Death: Plague, Medicine, and Society, 1347-1650, Try Walking in My Shoes: Exploring the Experience of Mental Illness, The Science and Economics of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and The Politics of the Affordable Care Act.

II. Relational Core (two courses, two 1-hour service seminars, and a shadowing internship):

These courses provide students opportunities to explore the ways in which individuals understand and respond to one another and apply that knowledge and learned skills in new demographic contexts.

A. Choose one course from the following:

  • COMM 22000 Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 22100 Group Interaction Processes
  • COMM 22200 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 22300 Family Communication
  • COMM 22500 Nonverbal Communication
  • COMM 25000 Communication Between Cultures
  • COMM 32400 Gender Communication
  • COMM 32600 Persuasion and Attitude Change
  • COMM 35300 Intercultural Health Care Communication
  • or another course approved by the department

B. Choose one course from the following:

  • COMM/THEA 22400 Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • THEA 12000 Fundamental Principles of Acting
  • ENGL/THEA 20900 Shakespeare in Performance
  • THEA 22600 Storytelling in the Natural World
  • THEA 22900 Creative Dramatics
  • WRIT 21500 Writing About [...]
  • WRIT 22100 Basics of Creative Writing
  • WRIT 30400 Craft and Technique: Poetry
  • WRIT 30500 Craft and Technique: Creative Nonfiction
  • WRIT 30600 Craft and Technique: Fiction
  • WRIT 30700 Craft and Technique: Playwriting
  • WRIT 30900 Craft and Technique: Screenwriting
  • WRIT 31300 Teaching and Supervising Writing
  • or another course approved by the department

C. Two service courses – BIMD 61000 and 61100 (each requires 30 hours of approved service)


D. Shadowing Internship (120 hours)

All student are required to shadow one or more healthcare practitioners during their time at Hiram College. This experience can help students feel secure in their understanding of professional environments by immersion into the system and interaction with people involved in direct patient care. Students are required to have each practitioner they shadow sign off on the experience and the number of hours completed. Students will also keep a journal of the experience.

III. Science Core (seven courses and a research internship):

These courses enable students to explore the form and function of living systems and to develop the theoretical and conceptual background for independent laboratory work and data analysis.

A. Students must take the following courses:

  • BIOL 15100 Introduction to Biology I: How Science Works
  • BIOL 15200 Introduction to Biology II: How Life Works
  • CHEM 12000 General Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding
  • CHEM 12100 General Chemistry II: Introduction to Chemical Analysis
  • MATH 10800 Statistics

B. Students must complete one of the following two sequences of courses:

  • BIOL 23000 Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 36500 Genetics


  • CHEM 22000 Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 32000 Intermediate Organic Chemistry

 C. Research Internship (120 hours)

Because scientific research plays a critical role in medical advancement students must participate in an internship. During the research experience, students are exposed to the processes of basic science like those which shape clinical practice. Students work with their academic advisor to seek out approved experiences, and are required to have their research mentor sign off on the experience and the number of hours completed. Students will also keep a journal of the experience.

Students must complete a minimum of 120 hours in research in natural or social sciences. Students are required to garner faculty approval for their proposed research by submitting a proposal form to the Biomedical Humanities department two semesters prior to expected graduation. Students are required to submit a letter from his or her research mentor certifying completion of the internship.

IV. Capstone:

A. Senior Seminar (one course)

This capstone, in the form of two formal public presentations, reflects a student’s portfolio of educational experiences in and out of the classroom. The first presentation is a demonstration of the student’s command of her or his research. The second is a reflective, evidence-based argument documenting integration of academic and experiential learning in the medical humanities. Students completing the minor are only responsible for completing the medical humanities portion of the capstone.

▲  Return to Top

Four Year Program

The following are the suggested yearly requirements for biomedical humanities majors:

Year 1:

  • Complete either CHEM 120/121 or BIOL 151/152
  • Complete Colloquium and First-Year Seminar

Year 2:

  • Complete BIMD 610 and 611 (including a total of 60 hours of service in a health-care setting)
  • Complete CHEM 120/121 and BIOL 151/152
  • Line-up (or begin) your Shadowing and Research Internships (120 hours each)
  • Complete a Medical Humanities seminar with a Bioethics Emphasis

Year 3:

  • Complete CHEM 220 and 320
  • Complete Shadowing and Research Internships (120 hours each)
  • Begin taking courses in your area of specialization
  • Complete at least 2 of your 3 Medical Humanities seminars
  • If planning to go to professional or graduate school, begin MCAT or GRE preparations and sign-up to take these by the end of the summer
  • Request letters of recommendation and draft your personal statement and application essays

Year 4:

  • Fall: Prepare your capstone presentations
  • Fall: Complete applications to professional or graduate school programs
  • Spring: BIMD 480 (Senior Seminar)
  • Complete all program and college-required coursework