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Learn what Medical Anthropology can do for pre-med students here!

For a list of courses that count towards your major, click here

Medical anthropology addresses the biological, cultural, and political-economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing historically and at present. Reflecting the multi-disciplinary character of its parent field of anthropology, medical anthropology deploys quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the body as a site of evolutionary processes and cultural symbols, and healing as interpretive processes at macro, meso, and micro levels.

This program provides students with the fundamental knowledge and exposure needed to pursue careers and post-graduate studies in fields related to global health, public health, allied health care and health and human services, medicine, dentistry, and other emerging disciplines.

For students seeking a career in the health professions, the program in medical anthropology complements training in the natural sciences. Courses in medical anthropology explore population variations in health outcomes due to the influence of culture. The curriculum also equips students with ways to understand the meanings people find in illness and healing and the moral stakes of medical decisions. Additionally, courses in medical anthropology give students awareness of the formal institutions and social relations that become the channels and limitations of technical knowledge about illness and healing.

Upon completion of the medical anthropology program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationships between humans’ health and historical, biocultural, and societal dynamics
  • Demonstrate understanding of the ways comparative cultural and historical experiences impact health-related values and practices, definitions of illness, and methods of healing
  • Demonstrate competence in reading, analyzing, and communicating social science research on health
  • Gain experience conducting and/or applying research using medical anthropology’s methods
  • Gain an understanding of medical anthropology’s relationships to the holistic, parent discipline of anthropology and its contributions to applied professional fields such as medicine and global health.