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Certificate in Health Humanities and Ethics

WHAT IT IS:                                       

One of only a few such programs nationwide, the
e Certificate in Health Humanities and Ethics
is intended to 
enrich the training of health professions
students and 
graduate students in the humanities and
social sciences 
as well as enhance the expertise of
working professionals.

By integrating health humanities and health ethics,
the Certificate provides a basis with which to navigate
the increasingly complex and nuanced landscape of
healthcare through rigorous and relevant explorations of the personal, cultural, and social dimensions of health and disease.  In addition to foundational courses in health humanities and health ethics, students can pursue more targeted study in a range of subject areas such as clinical, research or environmental ethics; health communication; medical rhetoric; narrative medicine; literature, film and the visual arts as related to healthcare; or sociological and anthropological approaches to healthcare. 

Learning Goals of the Certificate:   
  • To understand how different perspectives and disciplines inform what constitutes health and disease and the role of the health professional. 
  • To recognize, resolve and reflect on challenging ethical and social issues in health, healthcare, health policy and research. 
  • To examine the values and meanings of health, disease, illness and disability among patients, families, healthcare providers, and communities. 


Health Profession Students 
It is increasingly common for major medical schools and health professions schools to offer some level of education in health humanities and/or ethics. This reflects a growing recognition that training in the humanities such as reflective writing, narrative medicine, and the cultural and historical determinants of health augments the quality of care delivered by health professionals and improves their well-being and resilience and that the increasingly complex ethical landscape faced by health professionals is shaped by both technological advancements and diverse patient populations.  The Certificate in Health Humanities and Ethics is a valuable addition to a health professional degree. It will strengthen a residency or fellowship application and can serve to place a physician, pharmacist, or nurse on a leadership track with respect to hospital and clinic policy.

Graduate Students in Humanities and Social Sciences 
For graduate students across the University of Colorado, the Certificate effectively serves as a health humanities track/concentration within their respective programs, but as an independent academic acknowlegement, the Certificate carries more weight than a concentration or track within a graduate degree.  In addition, the Certificate in Health Humanities and Ethics enables students to claim a concentration relevant to one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, namely the medical and public health sectors. 

Professionals and Community Members 
For the working professional, the Certificate provides an opportunity for advanced formal training in health humanities and ethics.  It is designed to be flexible to meet the educational needs of individuals from diverse background such as healthcare, law, or public health and to accommodate the schedules of full-time working professionals.  Community members can enroll without having to pursue another degree at the University, and unlike other degree programs, the Certificate does not require any specialized tests (e.g., GRE or MCAT), transcripts or a lengthy application process. 
If you are looking for a more formal and intensive investigation of the health humanities and ethics, join us at the Center for Bioethics and the Humanities. 

Application Process ​is Now Open!​​  ​ 

For more information, email: Dr. Tess Jones.                                                         Like us on Facebook