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Bioethics and Science Policy

For more information contact

Michael "Buz" Waitzkin
Director of Graduate Studies
Duke University
Science and Society
Box 90222
Durham, NC  27708-0222


General Information

Degree offered:
Faculty working with students:
Students receiving Financial Aid:
Over 80%
Part time study available:
Test required:
GRE General, MCAT
Application Deadlines

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Bioethics and Science Policy is the only program in the country that combines bioethics and science policy to teach students how to thoughtfully identify, analyze, and propose solutions to address cutting edge and historical developments in science, medicine, technology and policy. The program will provide a foundation in the history, philosophy, legal, social, and theoretical approaches to bioethical analysis, as well as in science and health policy. Another distinctive feature of the program is the option for students to select a topical area in which to concentrate their advanced studies. These concentrations represent existing or emerging areas of knowledge that pose complex questions about the relationship between science, ethics, and society.  The three pre-designed concentrations are Genomics, Neuroscience, and Public Impact and Engagement. Students may also design an independent concentration with program faculty.  In addition to coursework, each student will complete a capstone project under the guidance of a faculty mentor:  either an in-depth research paper, or a field placement to gain practical experience (“practicum”), with a written report analyzing the experience and integrating concepts learned in the program.  The capstone project is designed to demonstrate that a student has acquired extensive knowledge of current thinking in bioethics; has collected, synthesized, and reflected on these issues; and has developed competence in scholarly writing.

Situated within the Science & Society initiative at Duke, the Master of Arts in Bioethics and Science Policy and the broader initiative offer a host of workshops and programs to deepen student understanding of the field, help students consider career options, and connect students with leaders in bioethics and science policy and with other departments on campus.These extra-curricular offerings include Science & Society Dialogs, Distinguished Speaker Series, Science Communication, Science Policy Tracking, and joint workshops with other Duke entities.

Full time students can complete the program in 3 semesters, including a summer. The option of undertaking an extra semester of study is available for students who wish to expand their research or coursework. The program can also be completed over two (or more) years on a part time basis. While most of the students begin the program in the Fall semester, matriculation in the Spring is also possible.


Spring Application

Master’s only