Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Bioethics M.A.

Bioethics, Center for
Graduate School
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Suite N504 Boynton, 410 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-9440; fax: 612-624-9108)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Admissions for the Bioethics MA Program are currently on hold. Please contact for updates. The Center for Bioethics offers two kinds of MA degrees: Plan A and Plan B with a major in bioethics. The curriculum for both Plan A and Plan B degrees includes a set of required core courses, bioethics electives, and a requirement for coursework in fields related to bioethics. The Plan A culminates in a substantial, 10-credit master's thesis. In lieu of a thesis, the Plan B culminates in a 4-credit practicum, a 3-credit capstone project and final exam. Electives comprise the additional 3 credits in the Plan B degree. Graduates of the MA in bioethics greatly enhance their professional opportunities in the field when they combine their bioethics degree with a terminal graduate or professional degree in another field. Examples of degree combinations can include an MA degree in bioethics with a JD, PhD, MD, nursing, or others. This model of pairing the MA in bioethics with another degree prompts students to acquire a firm disciplinary grounding as well as interdisciplinary bioethics expertise, a practice which best prepares students for the interdisciplinary career options related to bioethics. Some examples of careers include work in the fields of genetics, social work, public health, veterinary science, religious studies, psychology, biology and philosophy.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
A bachelor's degree is required for admission.
Special Application Requirements:
Transcripts of all postsecondary academic work, a personal statement, a writing sample (preferably on a topic in bioethics), a description of research or relevant work experience, a C.V. or résumé, and at least three letters of reference are required. Applicants may also submit a statement on "Extenuating Circumstances" and "Diversity." See program website for more details. Students are admitted to the Bioethics M.A. program for fall semester only. Applications are accepted as early as the first day of fall semester prior to the proposed start of the student's M.A. program. Our primary deadline is March 1 with an extended deadline of May 1 if space in our program remains available. Students are encouraged to link their degree in bioethics to a degree in a related field (either before entering the bioethics M.A. program or at the same time). Given the fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of bioethics, prospective students are advised against viewing the bioethics M.A. as a stand-alone degree that prepares them for career placement. This model prompts students to acquire a firm disciplinary grounding as well as interdisciplinary bioethics expertise--a practice that best prepares students for bioethics-related career placement. Thus, the admissions process will give preference to students who have already earned or are in the process of earning an advanced degree in a related field, although this will not strictly be required for admission. Because our program recommends pairing the Bioethics degree with another graduate or professional degree, we recognize applicants may need to answer to another program prior to our deadline. If this is the case, please email with your concern.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
  • MCAT
  • LSAT
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 100
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 600
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 21 major credits and 9 credits outside the major. The final exam is written and oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:Students will design and undertake a project and its corollary product relevant to their interests, experience, and intended use of the MA in bioethics. The experiential component is designed to be flexible, allowing the student to undertake an internship, shadow physicians or other health care personnel, or use their own work experience when relevant to cater a project to their intended goals. Rigor is maintained through committee oversight, nature of the experience, and number of hours undertaken. Products are also designed to be flexible while retaining rigor, innovation, and written analysis. Original research is not required (as with a thesis), but a thorough literature review and accompanying overview or synthesis of the arena of which the project is a part is necessary, as is a thorough explanation of the final product. Full committee approval of the final product before the project is undertaken is required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Joint- or Dual-degree Coursework:
Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and the Life Sciences Students may take a total of 11 credits in common among the academic programs.
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