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Certificates

The Department of English and Philosophy offers four certificate programs to enhance the academic skillset of students across the University: Medical Humanities; Philosophy in the Arts and Humanities; Philosophy in Science and Technology; and Writing and Publishing.

Medical Humanities

The Certificate in Medical Humanities creates an interdisciplinary framework for investigating the challenges within medicine and caregiving. Our aim is to promote dialogue and mutual appreciation for various approaches to health-related topics. These perspectives encourage students to explore illness, disability, dying and healing as human experiences influenced by cultural factors and personal value systems. This format also allows students to evaluate some of the limitations of an exclusively scientific orientation towards health care and research.

This program is especially relevant to those in or training for health care professions and research-related fields, and may appeal to students in a range of disciplines. The co-directors of the program and student advisers help students choose courses best suited to their personal and professional interests.

Opportunities

  • Improved preparation for the new MCAT that now includes questions on psychology and sociology
  • Shadowing of medical professionals
  • International travel to various health facilities through Drexel's Study Abroad Program

References

Example Student Papers

  • "How Physicians Cope with Administering Euthanasia"
  • "Midwifery in the United States"
  • "Denial of Death"
  • "Inexperienced Medical Professionals Practicing on Human Patients"

Medical Humanities Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I study medical humanities?

    To gain a better understanding of the many factors that influence health care and that affect interactions between patients and medical practitioners. Such knowledge and sensitivity can help any member of a medical team be more empathic and effective. Published studies repeatedly indicate that trust between patient and physician promotes healing and avoids legal complications.

    To rethink illness, aging and dying as human experiences (rather than medical conditions), which generate complex ethical and emotional dilemmas as well as opportunities for insight. Studying these circumstances in the safety of the classroom gives us time to reflect on how we might handle such situations, regardless of our roles. Even those of us not engaged in medical professions are likely to become caregivers and even patients.

    To enhance preparation for the MCATs and other medical graduate programs. Starting in 2015, the MCAT will include sections on sociology and psychology. Our interdisciplinary program creates a venue for exploring how these and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences apply to a medical context. Having a Certificate in Medical Humanities on your transcript calls attention to the intellectually integrated training you have had.

  • What is the difference between a certificate and a minor?

    A certificate requires 18 credits in a wide range of related disciplines. A minor requires 24 credits in more specific areas of study.

  • Are there required courses?

    Yes, Hum 315, “Perspectives on Medical Humanities” the introductory course, and ENGL 470, “Capstone Seminar in Medical Humanities,”, three credits each.

  • Can I use my electives for my major and for the certificate?

    Yes. Some courses in almost any discipline are applicable to the Certificate in Medical Humanities. Consult with the Co-Directors, Emilie S. Passow, PhD and Stacey Ake, PhD in the Department of English and Philosophy.

  • What majors can take the Medical Humanities Certificate?

    Students in any major are welcome including those in the Honors program with appropriate modification of their coursework. (See “Why should I study medical humanities.”)

  • How do I enroll and how soon?

    Begin by contacting either Co-Director of the program: Stacey Ake, PhD, at sea29@drexel.edu or Emilie S. Passow, PhD, at ep43@drexel.edu. They will supply you with additional details best suited to your goals. Students can enroll as early as the end of their first undergraduate year at Drexel in any of the colleges and no later than the beginning of their third year.

For additional information, contact the program co-directors: Stacey Ake, PhD, at sea29@drexel.edu or Emilie S. Passow, PhD, at ep43@drexel.edu

Learn more about this certificate in the course catalog

Philosophy in the Arts & Humanities

A Certificate in Philosophy (6 classes, 18 credits) will enhance any student's college experience, regardless of their major. Philosophical study is a way to explore the full variety of questions about life, reality and meaning. Philosophy classes are also an excellent preparation for the widest range of careers, including law because it helps us develop reasoning and argumentation skills that make us better listeners, speakers, readers, writers and thinkers. All of these skills and the attitudes that go with them make us better able to think for ourselves and understand and make our own choices in life.

The Philosophy in the Arts and Humanities Certificate provides a solid philosophical foundation for the careful study of the philosophical dimensions of fields of endeavor including fine art, performing art and art criticism, literature, law and religion. Art and the humanities raise philosophical issues of great importance, which are essential to their enjoyment and their impact on how we live. What, if anything, do we learn about the world and life from art? What is the difference between music and noise? Does art have to be beautiful — and what is “beauty,” after all? What does it mean to grasp the meaning of a poem or a novel? Why do literature, music and dance matter to people? This is only a small sample of the kinds of questions students will think about and discuss in the classes taken for this certificate. The Certificate in Philosophy in the Arts and Humanities gives students the opportunity to explore these complex issues in a rewarding way that will greatly enhance their involvement in and appreciation of the arts and the humanities.

For additional information, contact the program director Peter Amato at peterama@drexel.edu.

Learn more about this certificate in the course catalog

Philosophy in Science & Technology

A Certificate in Philosophy (6 classes, 18 credits) will enhance any student's college experience, regardless of their major. Philosophical study is a way to explore the full variety of questions about life, reality and meaning. Philosophy classes are also an excellent preparation for the widest range of careers, including law because it helps us develop reasoning and argumentation skills that make us better listeners, speakers, readers, writers, and thinkers. All of these skills and the attitudes that go with them make us better able to think for ourselves and understand and make our own choices in life.

The Philosophy in Science and Technology Certificate provides a solid philosophical foundation for the careful study of the philosophical dimensions of fields of endeavor including logic and the production of knowledge, the complexities of its application in the forms technology takes, and the effects it has on our lives, the lives of other creatures and the planet. Science and technology raise crucial philosophical issues for human life. What is the basis for scientific claims to tell us about reality? Is science the only way to know what is true? Do we control technology or does technology really control us? What are the ethical aspects of the choices we make about technology in its effects on people’s aspirations and living conditions? How much should criteria like sustainability or elegance guide the design of new technologies? This is only a small sample of the kinds of questions students will think about and discuss in the classes taken for this certificate. The Certificate in Philosophy in Science and Technology will guide students through many questions and ideas that will enhance their understanding of these important aspects of modern existence.

For additional information, contact the program director Peter Amato at peterama@drexel.edu.

Learn more about this certificate in the course catalog

Writing & Publishing

The Certificate in Writing and Publishing (CWP) provides both professional and personal development through a combination of courses in professional writing, creative writing and publishing that emphasize both theory and practical application. The certificate enhances employment opportunities for placement in Drexel's co-op program and in the post-degree job market as skills are acquired. As students' writing skills and associated professional knowledge develop and improve, so too does their on-the-job performance.

Completion of the Certificate in Writing and Publishing highlights student skills more visibly than a list of courses on a transcript. This can be particularly helpful to students majoring in science, business or technical areas in which writing skills are extremely valuable but often underdeveloped.

Tracks Offered

Students pursuing the CWP achieve certification in one or more of the following tracks:

  • The Professional Writing and Publishing Track is useful for business majors or students in technical or science fields who want to highlight their acquisition of writing skills. For students majoring in the humanities, it provides an opportunity to develop areas of writing and publishing competencies in the professional arena.

  • The Creative Writing and Publishing Track is useful to students in all disciplines, as it encourages personal and professional development through creative writing and an understanding of the field of publishing.

  • The Comprehensive Writing and Publishing Track is for students who want to gain a more general background in publishing, creative or professional writing and journalism.

Tracks can be designed to meet the professional needs and personal interests of the individual student. The Program Director will advise the student on track selection and appropriate courses; it is likely that the student's academic adviser may also provide insight. Each track requires the completion of a minimum of six courses (18 credits) chosen from the courses in the CWP program. All courses are three credits, except WRIT 400 Writing in Cyberspace (four credits).

Note: Many majors already require one or more of the CWP courses or list these courses as recommended electives.

For additional information, contact the Program Director Harriet Millan at millanhl@drexel.edu.

Learn more about this certificate in the course catalog