Biohumanities Track

The Department of Philosophy at UC has joined together with the Pre-Professional Advising Center to counsel interested Pre-Med students toward majoring in Philosophy on the Biohumanities Track. Biohumanities encompasses the philosophical study of the biological, cognitive, and medical sciences and their social and ethical dimensions. The program is designed primarily for Pre-Med students, but any student may pursue it.

UCs Department of Philosophy is internationally recognized for its excellence in research and teaching in philosophy and the life sciences, including the conceptual foundations of the biological, biomedical, neural, and cognitive sciences. Faculty in the department are also experts in ethics and applied ethics, particularly biomedical ethics, research ethics, ethics and technology, and the ethics of race in a medical context. Moreover, UC has designated its Philosophy of Science program a "USO Center of Excellence." There is, without a doubt, no better place to prepare for medical school than right here at UC --by majoring in philosophy on the biohumanities track.

Program Requirements (Quarters)

An important feature of the major in philosophy is that it encourages students to study the philosophical topics they most enjoy. As such, we take an á la carte approach to the program of study:

  • PHIL 104, 105, 106 (a year long intro to philosophy);
  • PHIL 123 (or 341) (a course in symbolic logic);
  • 10 courses at the 300-level or above, including one advanced, capstone course at the 500-level.
  • Four more electives in philosophy.
  • The biohumanities track in the major carves out specific courses pre-med students should take as their 10 course core:

  • PHIL 247: Ethics of Scientific Research
  • PHIL 262: Philosophy of Biological Science
  • PHIL 302: Topics in Practical Ethics: Bioethics
  • PHIL 306: Metaethics
  • PHIL 308: Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 322: Ethics
  • PHIL 330: Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 353: Philosophy & Race
  • PHIL 475: Philosophy of Medicine
  • PHIL 5XX: Biohumanities Capstone

Majors must also satisfy all Pre-Med (science) A&S and UC requirements for minimum total of 180 credits. The philosophy major is 54 credits.

Download a program checklist (quarters).

Program Requirements (Semesters, beginning Fall 2012)

  • Complete two Introduction to Philosophy Courses: PHIL 1000 - PHIL 1004
    (a year long introduction to philosophy);
  • Complete PHIL 2010 (Symbolic Logic)
  • Complete two Philosophy electives
  • Complete PHIL 3020, PHIL 3028, and PHIL 3041
  • Complete three additional upper division Philosophy courses (PHIL 3000 level and higher, excluding PHIL 5099)
  • Complete the Philosophy capstone: PHIL 5099

Majors must also satisfy all Pre-Med (science) A&S and UC requirements for minimum total of 120 semester hours. The philosophy major is 36 semester hours.

Download a program checklist (semesters).

Why Philosophy/Biohumanities?

If you're interested in preparing to enter medical school upon graduation, then you're interested in what's generally called "Pre-Med." Now, most medical schools don't require a particular major. But in choosing a major, you should think hard about what you enjoy, what you're good at, what you really want to get out of your undergraduate experience, and what will best prepare you for continuing to medical school. Medical school admissions committees expect variety in educational programs; they want students who are well-rounded, who can think analytically, and who have good imaginations. Philosophy majors are among the best prepared of any pre-professional student. For instance, philosophers score among the highest on pre-admissions exams such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT. Philosophers think analytically and creatively -this is the essence of the discipline. It's also the business of medicine. Medical school tests your ability to take in, organize, analyze, and theorize huge amounts of information. Let the biohumanities track in the philosophy major be your foundation.