About Us

Medical History

Since its founding in 1950, the department has maintained a tradition of excellence in the history of medicine where it is recognized as one of the leading research and educational programs in the field. In alliance with the History of Science program, it offers graduate study leading to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the history of American, European, and Colonial medicine and public health. Also available is a joint doctoral program with the Department of History. Graduate students are further encouraged to work in related fields, such as history (including the history of science, technology, and pharmacy), medical sociology, bioethics, and population health.

Ph.D. Minor

Requirements for a doctoral minor in History of Medicine are a minimum of nine credits in Medical History courses, including at least one 900-level seminar. Please contact the department chair, Richard Keller, for additional information.


The University of Wisconsin established Bioethics as one of the first interdisciplinary programs of its kind in a school of medicine. Faculty members come from diverse disciplines, including medicine, law, philosophy, and anthropology. Through their various activities, these scholars have helped to frame bioethics debates at both the national and international levels. Today, Bioethics faculty members are actively engaged in research, teaching, and service related to stem cell research, reproductive medicine, medical education, health disparities, public health ethics, agricultural and medical biotechnologies, and social science perspectives on bioethical concerns.

Although the program offers no independent degrees in bioethics, interested graduate students can specialize in the subject while earning a degree in philosophy, law, population health sciences, or biotechnology studies (which offers an M.S. degree).

Graduate Studies in Medical History and Bioethics

Graduate study in Medical History and Bioethics is combined with the History of Science, Medicine and Technology program within the History department. Details about the graduate program, including application information, can be found on the History of Science graduate program “Overview” page.