School of Humanities and Social Sciences


The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at PUMC was established in July 2014, with Xiaomei Zhai as its first dean. The school evolved out of the Division of Education Office of Marxism and Leninism at PUMC, founded in 1952, which later became known as the Division of Political Ideology Education and the Division of Education for Social Sciences PUMC (1978). The division had four directors between 1952 and 2014: Renzong Qiu (1959-1968), Yu Lu (1978-1984), Lina Lu (1984-2002), and Xiaomei Zhai (2002-2014).The school comprises four departments, the Department of Political Theory and Ideological Morality; the Department of Philosophy of Medicine, Medical History and Social Medicine; the Department of Bioethics and Health Law; and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature.

The school serves students at a variety of educational levels, offering master’s and doctoral degrees, undergraduate programs, and courses for nursing students seeking college and associate degrees. Notably, the school confers master’s and Ph.D. degrees in bioethics and runs the Center for Bioethics, which is affiliated with CAMS/PUMC and focuses on training in cross-institutional and interdisciplinary research, policy consultancy, and social services. The school and the center have received grants at the international, national, ministerial, and university level, and also boast international collaboration programs.

One of the school’s international partnerships is a joint program with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to bring experts in ethics training to educate university faculty across China. As part of this program, a translation of the World Health Organization (WHO) publication Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Health Research is being published in China. The school has established international collaboration with institutions and universities in the United States, including the National Institutes of Health, the University of Chicago, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University, as well as the University of Bergen in Norway and the National University of Singapore. Faculty members from the school also serve as expert members of international organizations, including the Human Genome Organization, WHO, and the Hinxton Group.

In addition to their teaching commitments, the school’s faculty serve academic and professional associations. These faculty include the vice president of the National Medical Ethics Committee, a member of the expert committee of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, a member of the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, and the director of the bioethics committee of the China Association for Science and Technology . The school strives to foster interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities and to enhance academic collaboration. Its goal is to become an interdisciplinary research and education center that advances the study of humanities in China.