Master of Science in Bioethics: Bioethics Policy

The Bioethics Policy Specialization within the Master of Science in Bioethics program focuses on the effective and just design of health and science policies that govern populations.
"There is a growing need for professionally trained individuals who can understand and address the complex ethical issues that are present in healthcare today. As a graduate of the Bioethics Program, it provided me with the platform to launch my career in healthcare ethics."
Louise Winstanly ’09
Professor, University of North Carolina
The bioethics policy specialization offers students the opportunity to learn a new set of skills related to the formulation, implementation, evaluation and modification of policies that affect both the clinical and research arenas, as well as public health and other areas of the biosciences.

Overview of MSB: Policy Course Requirements

Proseminar in Health and Human Values (One week in summer)

This introductory one-week intensive seminar is taught by bioethics scholars from across the United States. The proseminar introduces students to the field, acquaints them with computer-based education, and affords them the opportunity to meet their professors and fellow students in person.

Core Courses

Six core courses are required:
  • Health Care Policy: The Political and Organizational Context
  • Advanced Biomedical Ethics
  • Bioethics and the Law
  • Medicine and Social Justice
  • Advanced Bioethics Policy: Philosophical, Economic, and Psychological Foundations
  • Public Health Ethics

Elective Course

One elective course is required. Options include courses in empirical research methods in bioethics, research ethics, reproductive ethics or clinical ethics.

Online Practicum

The Practicum provides invaluable opportunities for students to put theory into practice. The online practicum is taught workshop-style and emphasizes case studies and exercises that require students to apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained in the Program to cutting-edge policy challenges.

Two-Term Master’s Project

Students complete a significant project, paper, or initiative to investigate a specific area of bioethics policy or to recommend or implement changes in policy or practice.

Capstone Seminar

During this one-week, on-site seminar, students demonstrate their mastery of the skills taught in the Bioethics Program.

Sample Schedules

MSB in Policy 3 Years
MSB in Policy 2 Years
MSB in Policy 1 Year (Full Time)


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