Graduate Degrees in Bioethics in California

May 23, 2019

In the state of California, students who wish to pursue graduate education in bioethics might earn a Master of Arts, or pursue a specialization as a component of a medical or legal degree. Read on to learn more about some of the specific programs available in the state.

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field which seeks to provide a framework for ethical dilemmas which arise in the health care and medical research arenas. Bioethicists may consider such topics as assisted suicide, stem cell research, or reproductive technologies. Students who are interested in pursuing bioethics may seek a graduate degree in the field, or may specialize in bioethics while earning another degree. Read on to learn more about some universities in California that offer the chance to learn more about this quickly developing area of study.

California Schools with Bioethics Graduate Degrees

Loma Linda University

At Loma Linda University, students can pursue a Master of Arts (MA) in Bioethics. The program requires 48 credits and the completion of a final exam. The bioethics degree is housed within the Center for Bioethics of Loma Linda University's School of Religion. The Center focuses on understanding ethical issues in the Christian tradition, and providing ethical consultation to Adventist health care institutions. Courses may include ethics and health disparities and world religions and bioethics. The center's library holds a major collection of books and materials in the ethics field. Students have the opportunity to gain clinical experience while enrolled.

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University, a Catholic school in Los Angeles, provides a course of study leading to the MA in Bioethics. The program requires 30 credit hours to complete. Courses may include clinical bioethics and end of life care. The yearly O'Malley lecture series offers an opportunity for students to engage with leading bioethicists who present perspectives on important case topics.

Stanford University

Medical students at Stanford can pursue a Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities concentration as a component of their program of study. Courses are offered through the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, which provides interdisciplinary ethical research and consultation. Students may focus on the ethical dimensions that arise both in direct patient care and in medical research, and take courses and research such topics as the ethics of medical technological advances and access of diverse communities to health care. A fellowship in bioethics is also available.

University of California- Davis

Law students at UC Davis are able to choose a concentration in Bioethics as they pursue their Juris Doctorate (JD). The JD requires six semesters in residence. Many students choose externships or journal participation to increase their knowledge of bioethics. Courses focused on bioethics may include disability law or reproductive law and policy.

Program Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for bioethics programs will vary depending on the degree sought. For stand-alone MA programs, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. They should submit transcripts, recommendations, and a personal essay. Standardized test scores such as GRE or MAT results may be requested, and many programs do require interviews. Those planning to specialize in bioethics as part of law school or medical school should apply as other prospective students. Medical school applicants should apply through the American Medical College Application Services. They should expect to provide MCAT scores, recommendations, personal essays, and transcripts. Interviews may be required. Prospective JD students should apply through the LSAC credential assembly service. They should expect to provide LSAT or GRE scores, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume.

Bioethicists ensure that clinical care and research is performed in a way that meets ethical standards. Students can pursue various graduate degrees within this field in the state of California, including through master's programs, medical school degrees, and law degrees.

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