Students can find master's degree programs at various U.S. colleges and universities that offer bioethics curricula, while doctoral programs are less common. Bioethics are commonly studied alongside medicine or law.
10 Schools with Degrees in Bioethics
The following 4-year schools offer degree programs in bioethics:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Graduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)**|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH||4 year, private||Bachelor's, Master's||$44,560, undergraduate; $41,169, graduate|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4 year, private||Master's||$44,176|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4 year, private||Master's||$48,656|
|Duquesne University||Pittsburgh, PA||4 year, private||Master's||$21,402|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||4 year, private||Master's||$41,940|
|Fordham University||Bronx, NY||4 year, private||Master's||$31,713|
|Indiana University||Bloomington, IN||4 year, public||Master's||$9,743 (In-state) $28,113 (Out-of-state)|
|Iowa State University||Ames, IA||4 year, public||Master's||$9,172 (In-state) $22,096 (Out-of-state)|
|Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||4 year, private||Master's||$17,599|
|New York University||New York, NY||4 year, private||Master's||$40,984|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in these programs should consider the following:
- Bioethics students will want to consider their career path when selecting a program. Those wishing to focus on the medical aspects will want to consider a joint degree with medicine while those more interested in the legal aspects might want a joint degree with law.
- Students who wish to take a more general approach to bioethics should look for programs that cover all aspects of bioethics including health care, law, public policy and humanities.
- Flexibility within the program should be a consideration. Students taking dual programs might have to take classes in addition to the regular medical or law schedule. Professionals who already work in the field might need programs with flexible schedules or online options.
- Students will want to consider the accreditation of their program. The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities suggest bioethics programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Master's Degree in Bioethics
Various schools offer Master of Science, Master of Medical Humanities or Master of Arts in Bioethics or Medical Ethics. A typical master's degree program includes a clinical practicum, research experience and a terminal project or thesis. The thesis might require a student to read, understand and produce a clinical narrative.
Dual Master's Degree in Bioethics
Some dual degree programs accept undergraduate students and allow these students to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in bioethics or medical humanities simultaneously. Other dual degree programs allow the student to graduate with two graduate degrees. Examples of dual master's degree programs include those that combine a Master of Arts in Bioethics with a Juris Doctor or a Doctor of Medicine.
Doctoral Degree in Bioethics
Very few schools in the U.S. offer doctoral degrees in bioethics or medical humanities. The few schools with these programs allow students to choose specializations such as clinical bioethics or organizational bioethics. Program components include bioethics coursework, practicum, capstone project and research.
Students wishing to study bioethics can find graduate degree programs in the field at private and public institutions. Students should consider their career path, program accreditation and program flexibility when selecting a school to attend.