Program Overview

Students in this program will produce a Capstone Project, which demonstrates a sustained work of academic research and sustainably fills a specific and substantial need in a selected community. The interdisciplinary nature of this Distinction will expose students to novel career options while enabling them to develop a strong record in both academics and community outreach that will be well regarded by residency selection committees.  

For complete details about the application process and requirements, please refer to the Humanities Distinction Application Process or email Iris Mast at

Follow this link to apply:  M.D. with Distinction in Medical Humanities Application.

Application Deadlines

Initial Application 

  • FALL – August 15th, 11:59 PM deadline
  • SPRING – March 15th, 11:59 PM deadline

After approval of the Initial Application by the Humanities Distinction Committee, the applicant will be notified and directed to the Final Application process (see below).

Final Application 

    • Deadline for the final application will be set by the coordinator of your chosen discipline

Core Requirements

  1. Students will pick one area of focus from the four disciplines within the Cheever Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics (CMHE)  – Arts & Humanities, Community Service Learning (CSL), Global Health, and Medical Ethics.
  2. In addition to the core requirements, students will complete a Capstone Project based on their selected discipline.
  3. Students must have a project mentor who is a faculty at UT Health SA or an external individual approved by the discipline director and does work related to the selected area.
  4. 180 hours must be dedicated to activities fulfilling core requirements. All hours must be logged by the student on the Core Requirement Log Form. These hours may be filled in the following ways:
    • Volunteer Service – A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service
      • 20 hours should contribute directly to the focus of the student’s specific discipline or project.
    • Elective Coursework – A minimum of three (3) elective courses offered through the CMHE must be completed.
    • Other – Remaining hours may be fulfilled through additional volunteer service or elective coursework (beyond the minimum), or participation in other activities related to medical humanities, e.g.. guest lectures, community events, journal clubs, conference participation, global health trips unrelated to capstone project, etc.
  5. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 (High Pass) or above and remain in good academic standing throughout the duration of the program.

Capstone Project Requirements

  1. Proposal – After selecting a track and finding a mentor, students will submit a written proposal with their application to Iris Mast at
  2. Four-week “Operations Month” – Time dedicated solely to project, which can be used for travel, service, project preparation, research, field assessments, etc.
  3. Formal Presentation – The chosen Distinction discipline will determine the format for the student’s public presentation of their work; Global Health – “Global Health in Action: Notes from the Field”  or through a “CSL Toolkit” if earning a distinction in Community Service Learning.  The presentation may be scheduled any time following the conclusion of the project, with date approved by the Discipline Directors.
  4. Capstone Report – A final written report will be submitted detailing the project outcomes.  DEADLINE: The final Capstone Report must be received by the Humanities Distinction Committee no later than March 1st prior to graduation.  

To see previous capstone presentations, click here. Also, some of these Curriculum offered by CMHE that fulfill course requirements for MD Distinction in Humanities & Ethics

Discipline Directors

Frequently Asked Questions