Best Bioethics Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about some of the top schools in the nation to offer bioethics programs. See a list of ten of these schools and get detailed program and ranking information for three of the best.

School Overviews

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary program that looks at the historical, cultural, legal and philosophical issues of medicine. Programs are distinctly philosophical and can vary based on the school's ideology; for example, a religious university may hold different perspectives on bioethical issues than a public one. Top-ranked Ivy League school Columbia University offers bioethics programs focused primarily on healthcare, while the University of Pennsylvania's program also offers a focus on law.

1. Columbia University in New York City, NY

School Highlight: The bioethics program at Columbia also offers an online certification in professional achievement in bioethics, in which students in relevant disciplines of law, medicine, education, etc., can develop their understanding of bioethics in an interactive online format.

Columbia University was ranked #8 among the best medical schools for research, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. It was also named the top research university in a 2012 report by 'The Center for Measuring University Performance' at Arizona State University. The university hosts a Master of Science in Bioethics that is designed for professionals looking to expand their understanding of complex issues in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine, such as stem cell research and healthcare reform. Coursework includes the history of bioethics, research ethics and electives that can be taken from other departments, such as law, social science and philosophy.

2. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

School Highlight: In addition to the MBE, the University of Pennsylvania also offers the Penn Postgraduate Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics, the Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program, and several online courses.

UPenn was ranked #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of best medical research schools. The Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) offers a Master of Bioethics (MBE) created for healthcare and legal professionals as well as students planning a career in healthcare or law that may benefit from bioethics training. The program helps graduates address issues such as death and dying, suffering, reproductive technology and intellectual property. Postdoctoral students interested in bioethics can also enroll in the Master of Science in Medical Ethics program.

Top Bioethics Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Brown University Brown ranked #16 on a list of top national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. Providence, RI
Duquesne University The school's Center for Healthcare Ethics has several international partnerships with associations located in India, Spain and Azerbaijan, among others. Pittsburgh, PA
Loyola University Chicago The school offers a specialty in Catholic bioethics Chicago, IL
Northwestern University The school offers a single bioethics degree as well as a dual bioethics/medical degree and a dual bioethics/genetic counseling degree. Evanston, IL
Trinity International University The bioethics program is offered online. Deerfield, IL
University of Pittsburgh The university ranked #16 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 listing of the best medical research schools. Pittsburgh, PA
University of South Florida USF Health students have the opportunity to travel abroad to volunteer, organize missions trips, conduct field experiences and more. Tampa, FL
University of Texas Medical Branch Students have access to four schools, a major medical library, three institutes for advanced care and a range of healthcare facilities. Galveston, TX

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