General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 15
  • Students: 15-25
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: Over 80%
  • Part time study available: Yes
  • Application terms: Spring, Fall
  • Application deadlines: Spring: October 2; Fall: March 14


  • Applicants interested in the JD/MA must be current Duke Law School students who apply during the fall of their 1L year.
  • M.D./M.A. students apply during their second year of Duke Medical School.
Application Info


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

Email: and


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy is the only program in the country that combines bioethics, tech ethics, 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 tech policy.

Students may design a highly customized curriculum. They can focus their studies on biosciences and/or technology. The program provides frameworks for two subplans: (1) Bioethics and Science Policy and (2) Tech Ethics and Policy. Students are also able to create their own concentration.

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, and has collected, synthesized, and reflected on these issues.

The Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy resides within the Duke Initiative for Science & Society which offers a host of workshops and programs to deepen student understanding of the field, helps students consider career options, and connects students with leaders in bioethics, tech ethics, and science policy and with other departments on campus.

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. Students also may complete the program 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.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Spring, Fall

Application Deadlines
Spring: October 2

Fall: March 14
All applications received by January 11, 2024 will receive a final decision by February 2024.
Applications received by March 14, 2024 are guaranteed review. After March 14, 2024, applications will be accepted on a space-available basis through May 31, 2024.

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: Optional for Spring and Fall enrollment. MCAT scores may be submitted instead of GRE Scores, if desired.
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)
Applicants to the Bioethics & Science Policy program must complete supplemental application questions. Please answer the following questions and upload your responses in the Departmental Supplemental Uploads section of your application:

  1. Describe and analyze an issue or dilemma in bioethics, tech ethics, science policy, or tech policy that you find interesting and challenging. Please limit your response to a maximum of 1200 words.
  2. What are your career goals, and how do you think this program will help you achieve them?  Please limit your response to a maximum of 600 words.

Writing Sample
None required

Additional Components
If you currently work in a company that partners with EdAssist, please submit the following information in your application: Company Name, Company Address, Work Email, Employee ID

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance