Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Humanities Distinction Requirements and Graduation Criteria

Progress Reports

Each student in the Humanities Distinction Track (HDT) will submit Progress Reports on March 1 of the M2 year, March 1 of the M3 year, and October 1 of the M4 year. If satisfactory progress is not demonstrated, HDT co-directors and faculty mentors will work with the student to meet their project goals and milestones.

Oral Presentation

Each student will make a final oral presentation to the HDT community during spring of the M4 year.

Criteria for Graduating with Distinction in Humanities

  1. Successful Collaboration with a faculty mentor over the Course of the HDT.

  2. Participation in the Examined Life elective (Writing in Medicine), 1 credit-hour 

  3. Participation in two of the following elective activities:

    • Bioethics and Humanities Seminar elective, a 1 credit-hour, course that meets once a week in the fall semester)

    • Medicine, Literature, and Writing (advanced elective)

    • Editorial Writing for Medical Students (advanced elective)

    • Oaths and Ethics (advanced elective)

    • Personal-Professional Compass Program (1 credit-hour)

    • Participation in The Examined Life Conference (consult with HDT co-directors)

    • Improvisation: A Life Skill (advanced elective) 

    • Other possibilities (requiring at least 15 hours of contact time):

      • Individualized elective opportunities may be arranged, based on project and need, with approval by mentor and HDT co-directors 

  4. By the end of the M3 year, for their HDT Project Plan, students should write a 2-3 page description organized as follows:

  • Title of the project
  • Background (What’s the context of the work?)
  • Aim (What’s the problem to be addressed or theme to be explored? What’s your goal?)
  • Significance (Why is this problem or theme important to address or explore?)
  • Methods (How will you specifically and feasibly address this problem or explore this theme?)
  • Deliverables (What exactly will you have produced by the end of the proposed project?)
  • Impact (What effects/outcomes, for you and others, do you expect will come from your work?
  1. Preparation of a Final Research, Scholarly, or Creative Work (or works): Depending on the nature of the student’s pursuits, these works may constitute a single manuscript (e.g., research or scholarly paper) or a collection of creative works (e.g., a portfolio of an appropriate number of poems, short stories, musical compositions, or other creative works). 
  2. Students pursuing projects involving human participants need to follow the requirements described in the Guidelines for Projects Involving Human Participants.
  3. Summative Reflection: Each student will submit a summative written reflection by March 31 of the M4 year. This personal narrative must be 800-1500 words and will describe the student’s insights gained through the course of their work and participation in the HDT and how these insights are expected to influence their practice as a physician and career choices.

  4. Oral Presentation of the Final Research, Scholarly, or Creative Work: Each student will make a final oral presentation to the HDT community during spring of the M4 year. This will give the student an opportunity to engage the community members in dialogue and open reflection on the insights they have gained through the course of their work and participation in the HDT.

Financial Support

Financial support for independent research, scholarly, or creative activities must be arranged by each student according to resources to which they can gain access.

Special Circumstances

Any students who have already been satisfying the requirements of the HDT but have not enrolled in the HDT on schedule may seek approval for consideration of late entry into the HDT up to the end of the M3 year. Such applications will be treated individually upon the basis of their particular merits.

Participation in Multiple Tracks

Participation in the HDT may be combined with participation in other distinction tracks at the CCOM, so long as the necessary requirements for each and all tracks are satisfied separately.  CCOM students may only participate in two distinction tracks.