Humanities Institute

Master of Arts in Humanities, Health & Medicine

What is the field of Humanities, Health and Medicine (HHM)? 

Who Should Apply for UT-Austin’s Master’s Degree Program in Humanities, Health and Medicine?

What Is the Structure of UT-Austin’s Master’s Degree Program in Humanities, Health and Medicine?

What are the degree requirements?

What Are the Admission Requirements?

To Whom May I Direct Questions? 


What is the field of Humanities, Health and Medicine (HHM)? 

The field of Humanities, Health, and Medicine, which can also be referred to as the Medical and Health Humanities, explores and advances relationships between the humanities, arts, and social sciences on the one hand and health and health care on the other. The content and methods of humanistic disciplines have the power to transform health care for all by enhancing human connections, deepening the capacity for empathy, and improving our understanding of the cultural and social contexts in which health, illness, and care occur. At the same time, focusing on health and health care reveals new relevance for humanistic scholarship and teaching in a society increasingly dominated by STEM fields. Several books offer excellent overviews of the field, including Health Humanities Reader, Medical Humanities: An Introduction, and Research Methods in Health Humanities.

Who Should Apply for UT-Austin’s Master’s Degree Program in Humanities, Health and Medicine?

The program will be a good fit for anyone excited about intersections of humanities, health, and medicine who also wishes to hone their skills as writers, researchers, and critical thinkers while gaining a Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. 

The MA-HHM program is designed in particular, however, for three specific audiences:

  • Students considering applications to health professional school but who also have interests in the humanities, arts, or humanistic social sciences. The health professions increasingly recognize the importance of humanistic knowledge and skills for expanding providers’ capacity to offer empathic and context-sensitive patient care, as well as to enhance their own self-care, self-reflection, and resilience. Indeed, many medical schools now view a record of sustained interest and accomplishment in the liberal arts as a “plus factor” in admissions.
  • Students who wish to explore the new and special forms of significance that humanistic disciplines gain when pursued in the contexts of health, healing, and health care. Such students may ultimately choose to use their MA in Humanities, Health, and Medicine as a bridge to PhD programs in any number of humanities disciplines, including the medical humanities themselves.
  • Students, including those who may already have substantial professional experience, who wish to bring humanistic knowledge, skills, and frameworks to the health care sector, whether as care providers, researchers, policy advocates, consultants, or administrators.

What Is the Structure of UT-Austin’s Master’s Degree Program in Humanities, Health and Medicine?

The transdisciplinary nature of Humanities, Health, and Medicine, along with the MA program’s combination of structure and flexibility, gives students the ability to design, in collaboration with the HHM program’s Graduate Adviser, a coherent program of study that matches their own interests, desires, and post-degree goals. Although HHM program is housed in the University of Texas Humanities Institute, eligible courses and participating faculty can be found across the UT-Austin campus, including in the College of Liberal Arts, the Moody College of Communications, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, the College of Education, the School of Nursing, and the School of Information, among other campus units. Students might design study plans that emphasize, for example, Health and Culture; History of Medicine; Health, Ethics, and Social Justice; Narrative Health and Medicine; or Critical Disability Studies. Students also have the ability to complement their MA degrees with formal UT-Austin Graduate Portfolios in, for example, Disability Studies and Health Communications. 

What are the degree requirements?

The Master’s Degree in Humanities, Health, and Medicine requires satisfactory completion of 30 credit-hours, up to nine of which may come from approved upper-division undergraduate classes. Students may complete the degree over the course of nine, twelve, or sixteen months depending on which specific degree plan they opt for and how intensively they are able to devote themselves to their coursework. Degree plans range from a coursework-only option (i.e., ten 3-credit classes) to plans that incorporate an independent capstone project, master’s report, or master’s thesis. Detailed information about requirements and degree plans can be found HERE

What Are the Admission Requirements?

Admissions are competitive. The minimum requirements of the Graduate School are as follows: 

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United
    States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution
  • A grade-point average of at least 3.00 in upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed
  • An official score on the GRE
  • An acceptable score on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for non-native speakers of English.

In addition, the MA program in Humanities, Health, and Medicine requires that applicants also submit:

  • Complete transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from professors with whom the applicant has studied at an institution of higher education
  • A personal statement of 500-800 words

To Whom May I Direct Questions?

If you have questions or would like additional information, please send an email to HHM@austin.utexas.edu. Personal consultations with the Graduate Advisor are also available upon request.


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  • Humanities Institute

    University of Texas at Austin
    Office Address: SAC 4.138
    Mailcode F1900
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-471-9056