Why Earn an MA in Bioethics at CWRU?

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An MA in Bioethics is a great way to:

  • Gain important knowledge and insight into todays pressing bioethics issues
  • Add value to a professional career in medicine, law, social work, nursing, or public health
  • Help choose a career path after completing undergraduate school through exposure to faculty in a variety of professions and academic disciplines
  • Increase your chances of getting into professional or graduate school
  • Have a good time. Bioethics is just plain fascinating!


Change Your Life through Learning and Collaboration with Distinguished Faculty

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Our faculty members represent the fields of medicine, law, philosophy, womens studies, and anthropology. They serve on a variety of national and international boards and task forces and hold leadership positions in national Bioethics organizations. Their interests and expertise are in organ transplantation, stem cell research, tissue banking, ethics of genomic research, reproductive ethics, definitions of death, international research ethics, and health disparities. All of our faculty teach in the MA program and are easily accessible to students.


Online applications are available at Graduate School Application.

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MARCH 1: Application for admission and concurrent financial aid consideration.

MAY 1: Application for admission without financial aid consideration.

*Late applications received by mid-June will be considered as space becomes available.

Apply Today!

Master's Degree Program

  • Nationally and internationally renowned multidisciplinary faculty with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, philosophy, law, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, public health, and history
  • Outstanding dual-degree programs with Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Law, Public Health, and Genetics
  • Unique clinical experience with clinical ethics practicum opportunities at three major academic medical centers (University Hospitals Case Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation) and the Hospice of Western Reserve
  • Wide array of department electives drawing from the entire University curriculum
  • New research ethics track designed to explore ethical issues in research in depth through course work, direct observation, and working with research regulatory professionals. Because the Research Ethics Track can be done on a full- or part-time basis, it is suitable both for those who wish to develop new expertise and those who wish to enhance their knowledge while working in a research setting. Students will explore the theoretical and practical issues that arise in research, examining various stakeholders' perspectives. IRB directors, study coordinators, and other research professionals would be especially well-suited to undertake this course of study. Graduates of the research track have gone on to work in IRBs and research education.
  • International bioethics programs. Different cultures understand and address ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences in unique ways. Gaining an appreciation for this international diversity is critical in todays world, and can be both illuminating and challenging. The Department of Bioethics has developed study abroad partnerships with academic institutions in other countries. These short-term study abroad courses are taught by CWRU and international faculty, and take place over the winter, spring, and summer breaks. Locations include Paris, Amsterdam, Salamanca (Spain), Costa Rica, and India. The courses provide a window into critical Bioethics questions such as end-of-life decisions, reproductive rights, and health care justice. In addition to giving students a broader perspective, the international experience also provides them with an opportunity to reflect on how culture has helped shape their own individual views about issues central to the delivery of health care.

The Department's highly successful Master of Arts program in Bioethics emphasizes the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the field. Since 1995, it has provided advanced training in bioethics for students and professionals who will encounter bioethical issues in the course of their primary careers.

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Bioethics MA students/colleagues have the opportunity to work closely with department faculty in their specialty areas while completing the MA degree in only one year (full-time) Highlights of the program include:

See what our students have to say!

Bioethics & Public Health

Charley completed MA in Bioethics and MA in Public Health program with specialization in Public Health Ethics. It enabled her to have a stronger grasp on health policy and public health ethics to make her a stronger health policy professional.

MA Bioethics

John is a full time Masters student at Case Western. Hes doing the Bioethics program to help him get ready for medical school. He finds that Bioethics program is especially valuable because of the clinical exposure you receive and the amazing faculty.

MA Bioethics

Joe is currently taking the Bioethics program at Case Western as well as going to Mandel School as a social worker. Hes in a unique position where he is able to observe different levels in the hospital through his social work lens and as a bioethicist, and see how they relate.

Dual Degree

  • M.A. / J.D.

    This program combines the Master of Arts in Bioethics with the Doctor of Jurisprudence and is offered in cooperation with the School of Law. Advances in health sciences have created new and difficult moral choices for individuals, their families, and the health professionals who work with them. The Department of Bioethics is dedicated to responding to the challenge of health care choices faced in today's society. It focuses on the ethical, cultural, and policy dimensions of health care, technology, and the life sciences. Professionals from many arenas, including public health, prevention sciences, health sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences have contributed to and drawn from the field of Bioethics.

  • M.A. / M.S.N.

    This program combines the Master of Arts in Bioethics with the Master of Science in Nursing, in cooperation with the School of Nursing. The program provides excellent preparation for advanced practice nurses to gain knowledge about the principles and problem resolution techniques that are foundational to bioethics. The combined M.A./M.S.N. program will enable students to obtain graduate preparation in both fields, contributing to the integration of ethics in advanced practice nursing and thereby increasing the availability of ethics expertise to the nursing community.

  • M.A. / M.P.H. -

    This program combines the Master of Arts in Bioethics with the Master of Public Health degree. The Master of Public Health Program prepares students to address the broad mission of public health, defined as "enhancing health in human populations, through organized community effort," utilizing education, research, and community service. Public health practitioners must be prepared to identify and assess health needs of different populations, and able to plan, implement and evaluate programs to respond to those needs. It is the task of the public health practitioner to prevent illness, and to protect and promote the wellness of human-kind. A Master of Public Health degree provides education in public health basics, including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health policy and social and behavioral sciences.

  • M.S.S.A. / M.A.

    MSSA/MA Master of Science in Social Administration and Master of Arts in Bioethics "Side-by-Side" Joint Degree Program. This program joins two well-known academic programs to offer students an interdisciplinary experience blending the similar values of social work and medicine. This is a "side-by-side" program composed of existing elements of ongoing programs provided by the faculty usually engaged in these efforts. These new elements will be supplemented by an integrative experience designed to make the interdisciplinary character of the program concrete. Dual-degree students must receive the MSSA and MA. degrees simultaneously to be granted credit for specific courses taken in the other program.

  • M.A. / M.D.

    This program combines the Master of Arts in Bioethics with the M.D. degree, in cooperation with either the School of Medicine or the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. This program provides physicians with advanced knowledge and experience in Bioethics integrated into the medical curricula in each program.

The Department of Bioethics has established relationships throughout the university to offer students outstanding dual degree programs with Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Law, Public Health, and Genetics

The following dual-degree programs are available through the Department of Bioethics in partnership with the respective departments & colleges at Case Western Reserve University:

How To Apply

Online applications are available at Graduate School Application.

Required Materials for a Complete Application Package:

  1. Completed application, with the nonrefundable application fee of $50.00.
  2. Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate courses taken for credit.
  3. Graduate and/or undergraduate degree verification, which can be posted on the academic transcript or certified by the academic institution from which the degree(s) has been awarded.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from former professors or other persons familiar with the applicant's ability and probable performance as a graduate student.
  5. Results of one of the following standardized tests: GRE, MAT, MCAT, LSAT, or the GMAT. If an applicant has extensive professional experience, test results may be waived.
  6. Statement of Objectives.
  7. Interview with a faculty member in person or via telephone.

Admission of International Students

The admissions criteria for international students are the same as for U.S. residents except for the following:

  1. International students whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam and earning a minimum score of 550. Some departments require higher scores.
  2. To obtain a student visa, international students must submit bank statements and other financial documents indicating sufficient funds to support the tuition and living expenses for one academic year.
  3. For those students who are to receive financial aid from the department, the amount of personal funds required will depend on the amount of the aid award. In some cases, funds will be required for living expenses; in other cases, more funds will be required. When a letter of acceptance for an international student has been issued, a copy is sent to the International Students' Office, where the I20 is processed and sent to the student. The student must then obtain a student visa in order to begin study in the U.S. More detailed information can be obtained from the International Students' Office and from the "Student Affairs" section of the Bulletin.
We are now accepting applications for the Master's Program that starts in the Fall of .

Department of Bioethics
CWRU School of Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4976.

Phone (216) 368-8718
Fax (216) 368-8713
e-mail: marie.norris@case.edu