Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

College within the College

College within the College Humanities Track (CwiC-Humanities) offers students an opportunity to pursue a self-directed course of creative practice and research within the arts and humanities in parallel with their medical education. CwiC-Humanities is guided by the principle that the arts and humanities provide a rich context for practicing habits of mind related to observation, interpretation and reflection that are as essential to the successful practice of medicine as mastery of basic science and other clinical skills. Students will work closely with professional artists, as well as faculty affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University, to build technical and conceptual skills in the arts and humanities and carry out an independent capstone project. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the CwiC-Humanities directors about their specific interests.


During Year 1 spring semester, students participate as a cohort in a core curriculum of participatory arts workshops: theater (4 hours), visual art (3 hours), music (3 hours), writing (3 hours) and critical inquiry (2 hours). Each of these workshops is designed to emphasize skills related to specific SKMC graduation competencies in observation and critical thinking, openness, effective communication, empathy and facility with ambiguity. The core curriculum allows students to experience a range of arts-based media and methods before focusing their studies in subsequent terms.   

During Year 1 summer and throughout Year 2, students focus on a medium or method of their choice and undertake a course of study designed in collaboration with the CwiC-Humanities directors. This course of study can include classes and individual advising through community partner organizations, such as Fleisher Art Memorial and Lantern Theater Company, or through Philadelphia University. At this stage, students are working to develop the technical and conceptual skills in the arts that they will need to realize a successful Year 4 capstone project.

During Year 3, students are strongly encouraged to maintain their arts or humanities research independently and to begin capstone project development through regular conferences with CwiC-Humanities directors and topic advisors, but no additional coursework is expected.

During Year 4, students undertake a capstone project in their chosen medium or method with a required component of community engagement. Community engagement may include developing a public performance or presentation, such as an exhibition or publication, or developing and leading a participatory arts program that engages members of the public and/or TJU and Philadelphia University students. 

Student travel is encouraged, and the CwiC-Humanities directors are committed to helping students design arts-based studies that can be pursued abroad. 

Contact Us

Salvatore Mangione, MD
Associate Professor, Sidney Kimmel College of Medicine
Director, Physical Diagnosis Course, History of Medicine Course
Coordinator of Foundations of Clinical Medicine 
1001 Locust Street
Hamilton Building, Suite 305
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 503-4231

Megan Voeller, MA
Director of Humanities, Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Locust Street
Jefferson Alumni Hall, Suite 163
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 503-9050