Program Description

Program Description

The Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities (BEMH) scholarly concentration has four components: required gateway, core courses for the foundation; independent study, scholarly work and research;  bioethics and medical humanities meetings; and elective courses.

Required Gateway, Core Courses

  • INDE 212 - Medical Humanities and the Arts (2 units) (spring quarter course: students highly encourage to enroll in their first year)
  • PEDS 251a - Medical Ethics I (2 units)

Independent Study, Scholarly Work, and Research

To accomplish an independent project, students can enroll in directed reading with faculty, complete a Medical Scholars Research project, or do independent study outside of academic credit. Each student must discuss plans with his or her advisor.

Students may elect to do the investigative work during the preclinical years, such as autumn and winter quarters of their second year. Alternatively, an approved Medical Scholars Research project could be planned for the summer after the first year of medical school. Scholarly work can also be done in the clinical years during periods without clerkships, if compatible with graduation plans (as approved by a dean or advisor).

All students are expected to invest significant time on original research. Students doing four quarters of full-time research would need to extend their medical school years beyond four.

Visit for an extensive listing, by year, of prior medical scholars funded projects.

Visit (steering committee and affiliated faculty) as well as for potential faculty mentors.

Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities Meetings

Students in the concentration are expected to attend the Jonathan King Lecture, the Medicine and the Muse Symposium, and other similar events. Event listings can be found on the Medicine and the Muse Upcoming Events site  In addition, meetings and seminars of students and faculty in the concentration will occur to enable student presentation of work in an informal setting

Additional Courses

Each student must review the course selection with his or her advisor. Each student's course pathway is individualized according to his or her interests. Students are encouraged to take elective courses related to their field of independent study in order to improve the depth of understanding in that field.

BEMH students who are not concentrating in another scholarly concentration must take a minimum of 8 units of additional coursework in addition to directed reading or other independent study courses. These units can be divided in multiple courses (such as one 4 unit and two 2 unit courses). Note that this is a minimum and students may enroll in more coursework. Students who are concentrating in BEMH plus another concentration must take a minimum of 2 units of additional coursework.

Sample elective courses can be found at and