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The online Master’s of Bioethics degree is best suited to students who enjoy the process of discovering and exploring the ethical and moral aspects of today’s healthcare systems. Becoming an ever more important aspect of healthcare, the field of bioethics in 2022 requires new students with integrity who are willing to face and resolve health challenges and policies.
Graduate degree studies in the field of bioethics can be very diverse, allowing students to explore their specific interests which can include the history of bioethics, bioethics research, the philosophy of bioethics, political science, pharmaceutical bioethics as well as many others.
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Students in a Masters of Bioethics degree program are usually required to complete a dissertation or thesis related to their research and study. Research requirements may also be part of a bioethics graduate program’s curriculum.
The job growth rate for career fields associated with bioethics is higher than average. When coupled with a nursing degree or as a stepping stone to becoming a professor of bioethics, the field of bioethics as enhanced by a master’s degree in bioethics is highly marketable and in demand.
For those with a philosophical bent who are more interested in the ethical questions surrounding healthcare than performing medical procedures, a degree in bioethics is a perfect fit.
Completing an online Master’s of Bioethics degree is ideal for those already working in the professional world but eager to advance their career and marketability as well as their knowledge of bioethics. These Ten Best Online Master’s of Bioethics graduate schools will give prospective graduate students a place to begin searching for a program that suits them perfectly.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Online Masters of Advanced Study Graduate Schools
F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
What is Bioethics?
Initially recognized in 1971, Bioethics is studying the philosophical concepts of right and wrong and applying ethics in the healthcare and medicine fields. It is an interdisciplinary field combining medical humanities, health policies, nursing, law, history, theology, and philosophy.
Similar to the old philosophies, bioethics ask philosophical questions that will be integrated into the healthcare systems. Some of the questions include the following:
- What are our moral responsibilities to each other?
- What is the appropriate response to a specific dilemma given its context?
- What is the good way to become, and what’s the moral way to do it?
- Who is primarily responsible for such an incident, for what, and to whom?
The questions portray healthcare, bioscience, and biology with human philosophy and knowledge regarding intuition and feelings between morally right and wrong decisions. With a diverse range of fields and important questions, completing an online Masters of Bioethics degree program covers several areas of study.
What is an Online Masters of Bioethics?
An online Masters of Bioethics is a multidisciplinary degree that combines coursework completion, research, thesis project, and clinical practicum experience to provide students with a holistic understanding of how new techniques, medicines, technologies, and medical procedures will be utilized ethically to administer healthcare to patients and help them heal.
The graduate program in Bioethics will study some of the relevant global issues in healthcare systems, such as the following:
- Allocation of insufficient resources
- Challenging private decision-makings in clinical/medical settings
- Effects of reproductive developments
- Healthcare public policies and regulations
- International medical research
- Stem cell medication and research
Although the issues only address the current healthcare trend, discoveries and challenges will emerge since the healthcare industry is rapidly evolving. Since innovation continues to rise, these issues will significantly evaluate healthcare systems, patient rights, and what it entails to be human.
What consists of an Online Masters of Bioethics program?
Most online Master’s of Bioethics programs often take two years to graduate for full-time learners. However, more and more colleges and universities allow students to enroll as part-timers, which will take longer to graduate. A standard graduate program in Bioethics consists of the following:
- Core Required and Elective Courses Completion
- Practicum/Internship Program
- Thesis/Research Project
The majority of programs require students to take part in a supervised practicum that involves working in an organization or healthcare facility, studying, and reporting ethical challenges that are resolved. With an internship or practicum program, they will have experiences dealing with ethical issues that portray how the theories and research they study online are eventually applied in the real-world setting.
Some of the bioethics courses you’ll study include:
- Bioethics and Law
- Decision-Making and Ethics in Medical/Clinical Practice
- Health Policies
- History of Bioethics
- Methods in Bioethics
- Neuroscience and Ethics
- Philosophy of Bioethics
- Topics In Bioethics: End of Life
Every college or university has a unique online Masters of Bioethics program, and its courses will differ from the ones we’ve mentioned. If you’re interested in adding a specific concentration, here are some of the specializations to choose from:
- Clinical Ethics
- Research Ethics
- Reproductive Ethics
- Environmental Ethics
- Pharmaceutical Ethics
- Research Ethics
- Society, Culture, and Medicine Ethics
Although many online programs already cover these concentrations, it doesn’t mean every school offers the same type of concentration. Therefore, if you’re planning to pursue a specific area of bioethics, it’s always recommended to check with the college or university before enrolling.
What are the types of Online Masters of Bioethics degrees?
Pursuing an online Masters of Bioethics degree requires the moral compass of studying current and emerging technologies, medicines, processes, and techniques in the healthcare industry. However, choosing the right type of program for your bioethics graduate degree can be challenging.
An online Master’s degree in Bioethics is offered in three different types:
- Master of Arts in Bioethics (MA)
- Master of Science in Bioethics (MS)
- Master of Bioethics (MBE)
Although all programs are the same, they have minor differences in the program curriculum, the emphasis of the overall degree, and the professional pathways they prepare students for. For instance, an online Master of Science in Bioethics is more on practical applications, while the online Master of Arts in Bioethics is primarily focused on research. Many online bioethics graduate programs combine the curriculum of MA and MS degrees to offer students a more comprehensive understanding and overview of the current research and key subjects in the industry.
The online Master of Bioethics program combines the study and resources between public health, social work, and medical fields. An MBE program provides students with the opportunity to understand the impact and components of their research while learning the how’s and why’s of their research at the same time.
What is the difference between an online Masters of Public Health vs. an online Masters of Bioethics program?
An online Masters of Public Health degree protects and advocates the health of individuals and societies through scientific research. Bioethics is one aspect of public health because it assures individuals that they have abundant options and are treated equally throughout their wellbeing and healthcare experiences.
Both online Masters of Public Health and Bioethics work hand in hand since the latter can offer expertise and insights to describing and highlighting ethical issues in public health. Public health, on the other hand, can broaden the scope of bioethics.
It is one reason why many undergraduate and graduate programs in bioethics are under the department or school of public health in my colleges and universities. However, bioethics continues to rise in popularity and demands; thus, many schools add an independent department of bioethics.
M E T H O D O L O G Y
What makes an online Master of Bioethics program stand out from the rest? In obtaining this degree, it matters that you pick the best school! Our 10 Best Online Masters of Bioethics Graduate Schools were selected based on their compliance with the highest academic standards in graduate study. Factored in are the strength of the program curricula, accreditation status, and overall reputation within the academic community.
Each of the programs and online schools featured on this list:
- Delivers 100% online or hybrid Master’s in Bioethics classes that emphasize convenience and schedule flexibility through a condensed, yet rigorous program of study,
- Features a graduate-level Bioethics curriculum endorsing up-to-date research principles, applications, and practices aimed at impacting the healthcare and other relevant industries,
- Promotes advanced-level learning for students, as taught by expert educators with impeccable skills and long-standing careers in the field,
- Offers students academic support from personnel and access to online program resources,
- Earned full accreditation from the authorities and approval from the academic community.
Best Online Master’s of Bioethics Graduate Schools
Ohio State University
: 281 W. Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210
: 614 292 OHIO
Ohio State University is a land-grant public university considered one of the country’s Top 20 public universities. For more than 150 years, OSU’s Columbus campus is a premier stage for educational achievement and state-of-the-art laboratory. The university is also recognized as a leading research center and cancer hospital, and a highly rated academic medical facility.
- OSU’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics program is a 30-credit hour interdisciplinary program that offers comprehensive coverage of bioethics.
- The online program is suitable for professionals in biotechnology, public policy, genetic counseling, veterinary medicine, social work, dentistry, and nursing.
- The 30-credit bioethics graduate program consists of 15-credit hour core courses and 12-credit hour electives, plus a choice of either a 3-credit hour ethics practicum or a 3-credit hour thesis project.
- Part-time and full-time learning is available, allowing students to complete eight credit hours each semester.
- Full-time students can earn their Master of Arts in Bioethics degree within three semesters, while part-timers can complete it in two or three years.
Standout Features of the Ohio State University’s online Master of Arts In Bioethics Program:
OSU’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics program has an exclusive, small class size with comprehensive access to faculty and other leading experts in the field of bioethics. The online program features an intuitive and progressive method to discover ethical theories and questions in life sciences, biomedical research, healthcare, and medicine.
Ohio State University’s main campus is one of the biggest and most comprehensive campuses in the US. As a land-grant public university, OSU has a physical presence throughout Ohio with several research facilities and campuses. Some of the prominent locations include Columbus, Stone Lab, Agricultural Technical Institute, Marion, and Mansfield.
University of Mary
: 7500 University Drive, Bismarck, North Dakota 58504
: 701 355 8030
The University of Mary is part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Since its inception in 1959, the University of Mary has been influential in offering education to non-traditional students or working adults in the state. The university is committed to providing high-quality online degree and certificate programs grounded in Benedictine, Catholics, and Christian values.
- UMary’s online Master of Science in Bioethics program can be completed within two years of full-time study.
- The online program includes three visits to the main campus and a 2-day in-person NCBC seminar in the same location.
- A National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics is a prerequisite requirement before enrolling in the standard graduate program.
- The online Master of Science in Bioethics program is open to professionals interested in ethical decision-making and professionals in the fields of public affairs, business, law, and medicine.
- A capstone project and practicum will cover the credits required as a culminating experience.
Standout Features of the University of Mary’s online Master of Science In Bioethics Program:
The University of Mary has a partnership with the National Catholic Bioethics Center, allowing students pursuing the online Master of Science in Bioethics program to participate in 2-day NCBC seminars in Bismarck. Applicants with a National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics can transfer a maximum of ten graduate credits through the university.
The University of Mary offers seven evening learning locations for students interested to participate in a classroom setting once in a while. The classes are held in a traditional classroom once per week from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Medical College of Wisconsin
: 8701 Watertown Plank Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226
: 414 955 8218
Since 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin has been a frontrunner in community engagement, education, research, and patient care. MCW’s main headquarters is located in the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. The school houses the 3rd largest private medical school in the US and is considered Wisconsin’s biggest private research institution.
- MCW’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics program is a full-time program that requires 30 credit hours for graduation.
- The online graduate bioethics program consists of three major components, such as 9-credit hour core courses, a Clinical Bioethics Experience, and a Final Paper or Thesis.
- Students select from a 6-credit Master’s Thesis or accomplish additional six credits of coursework completion and a final paper.
- The online MA in Bioethics program offers three areas of emphasis: Humanities, Legal Bioethics, and Clinical Bioethics.
- Students can graduate with a Master of Arts in Bioethics degree in as little as two years; however, they have a maximum of four years to complete their program from the date of enrollment.
Standout Features of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s online Master of Arts In Bioethics Program:
MCW’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics program has one of the most generous transfer policies, allowing students to transfer a maximum of ten credits as long as they aren’t previously applied to a program. It is the first Bioethics graduate program of its kind in the country, offering flexible learning formats for working and online students.
Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by several healthcare-related accrediting agencies in the nation, such as the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education.
Trinity International University
: 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015
: 800 822 3225
Headquartered in Illinois, Trinity International University consists of four schools and a Christian camp. The university provides students with the flexibility to pursue a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate degrees through Trinity Online. Through Trinity Online, students can choose from 16 online programs that integrate academic rigor to deliver a Christian academic experience, including an online Master of Arts in Bioethics program.
- The online Master of Arts in Bioethics program is suitable for professionals pursuing a foundational study in bioethics for their public engagement, profession, and studies.
- The online program requires 21-credit-hour core courses, 5 to 9-credit hour electives, and a 4-credit hour capstone.
- The capstone requirement will allow students to choose one out of four formats, such as a Special Project, Written Integrative Paper, Comprehensive Essay Exam, or Thesis Project.
- Students should earn at least 30 credit hours to receive their Online Master of Arts in Bioethics degree.
- Academic advisors at TIU will assist students in developing a personalized plan of study for their Bioethics graduate degree.
Standout Features of the Trinity International University’s online Master of Arts In Bioethics Program:
Trinity International University provides students pursuing an online Master of Arts in Bioethics program with three learning formats: online, modular, and residential, as added flexibility and convenience. The university offers a double degree option through a Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Bioethics degree. Students can also integrate their online Master of Arts in Bioethics with a Master of Divinity program or another graduate program from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
TIU also specializes in theological studies or divinity programs through its TEDS programs. The programs offer a theological curriculum that will equip students to serve Christ with grace and wisdom in love and truth. The Trinity Law School, Trinity Graduate School, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Trinity College offer a diverse range of distance learning programs across different discipline areas.
Loyola University Chicago
: 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
: 773 274 3000
Loyola University Chicago is one of the prestigious universities around Illinois. It has an exclusive partnership with Trinity Health in Maywood and the suburbs to offer flexible and top-quality healthcare-related degrees. Through LUC’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the university offers blended course formats and learning assessments that take a holistic approach and carefully developed programs influenced by three pillars – meaningful life, career success, and leadership.
- LUC’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics & Health Policy program can be earned once students accomplish 30 credit hours, consisting of five required core courses and five electives.
- The online bioethics program doesn’t require a thesis project. However, students must prepare a paper of publishable quality to fulfill the Master’s Research Capstone requirement.
- Students will take online courses through Sakai, the university’s online learning management platform.
- The university recommends that students must take two courses per semester.
- Students must commit 8 to 12 hours per week for each course.
Standout Features of the Loyola University Chicago’s online Master of Arts In Bioethics & Health Policy Program:
LUC’s online Master of Arts in Bioethics & Health Policy program is offered through the world-class Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Healthcare Leadership that offers one of the most innovative distance learning environments in the fields of health policy and bioethics. Students will have a graduate degree in bioethics with a curriculum that combines healthcare aspects to understand and respect the Roman Catholic heritage involving healthcare decision-making.
In Fall 2010, Loyola University of Chicago became one of the cohort 20 academic institutions invited by the Commission to partake in a demo project for an all-new standard of accreditation called “Pathways.” As one of the pioneering institutions, LUC had the wonderful opportunity to reshape the existing 10-year Open Pathway Process and pilot the new pathway program.
: 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178
: 402 280 2700
Located in Nebraska, Creighton University offers top-quality academic programs in the Jesuit tradition. The university is established in 1878 and is considered one of the 27 Jesuit universities and colleges in the US Students pursuing an online degree at Creighton, such as an online Master of Science in Bioethics, is one of the wisest investments since the university has consistently received a “Best Value School” recognition from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The Princeton Review, and the US News & World Report.
- Enrolling in Creighton’s online Master of Science in Bioethics program requires submitting official transcripts, CV/resume, letters of recommendation, a Health Care Bioethics Essay, a personal statement, and a $50 application fee.
- The online MS in Bioethics program is suitable for adult students and professionals in diverse healthcare-related roles.
- The 33-credit hour interdisciplinary program takes about 24 months to complete.
- As part of the degree requirements, students will participate in a practicum program.
- The MS in Bioethics degree can also be combined with a Medicine (Doctor of Medicine) degree to fulfill the requirements of a dual degree program.
Standout Features of Creighton University’s Online Master of Science In Bioethics Program:
Completing an online Master of Science in Bioethics program at Creighton provides students with the opportunity to combine graduate certificates to expand and strengthen their skills and expertise. They can either pursue the Graduate Certificate in Bioethics or the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ethics Consultation. Both programs require 15 hours for completion.
Creighton University consistently ranks as the #1 University in the Midwest for 16 consecutive years. It has garnered multiple rankings across a variety of prestigious school listings from different organizations around the US. When it comes to athletics, Creighton University’s official mascot is considered a blue jay since 1924, and the university is a proud member of the BIG EAST conference since 2013.
: 8 Clarkson Avenue, Potsdam, New York 13699
: 315 268 6400
Headquartered in New York, Clarkson University is a private, national research institution of higher learning and a leading university in sustainable economic development and technological education. The university caters to more than 4,800 students across 90+ rigorous programs linked to health professions, sciences, education, arts, business, and engineering.
- Clarkson University’s online Master of Science in Bioethics program comprises 39 credit hours of graduate-level courses.
- Students pursue either a full-time or part-time program. Full-time students must enroll in three or more courses per semester, while part-time students can take one to two courses each term.
- The online program offers three concentrations, namely Bioethics Policy, Research Ethics, and Clinical Ethics.
- Students will participate in a 7-day, on-site introductory pro-seminar that introduces them to a diverse range of bioethics-related topics.
- Students who prefer additional training and practical experience can complete optional internship programs or on-site residency requirements.
Standout Features of Clarkson University’s Online Master of Science In Bioethics Program:
Clarkson’s online Master of Science in Bioethics program offers skills-based and competency-based studies in bioethics policy, research ethics, and clinical ethics. It is offered with Clarkson’s collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Non-degree seeking students can enroll in one of three graduate certificates in Bioethics, such as Research Ethics, Health Policy & Law, or Clinical Ethics.
Clarkson University has numerous world-class facilities for research and innovation, including the Center for Identification Technology Research, Clarkson Center for Complex Systems Science, The Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, and The Shipley Center for Innovation. A long list of accreditations has also added the excellence of reputation of Clarkson University. All programs offered at Clarkson are approved by the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs and the NY State Board of Regents.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
: 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, New York 10029-5674
: 212 241 6500
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was started in 1968, seeking a diverse range of students who can advocate in engineering, technological, scientific, and medical expertise as well as social insights, empathy, and open-mindedness. As a frontrunner in biomedical research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai educates almost 2,000 post-doctoral fellows and students annually.
- The school’s 39-credit hour online Master of Science in Bioethics program involves a few face-to-face learning.
- The online MS in Bioethics program is open to students even without a healthcare-related academic and professional background.
- Students will participate in a 9-day summer pro-seminar as an introductory requirement of the online program.
- As a culminating experience, students must accomplish a 7-day clinical practicum at ISMMS.
- A capstone seminar is required for students, which entails them participating in a 7-day session.
Standout Features of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Online Master of Science in Bioethics Program:
The online Master of Science in Bioethics program is developed with the joint venture of Icahn School and Clarkson University. Every year, the school’s Bioethics program features numerous elective courses through its diverse graduate degree programs. The courses are cross-listed at The Graduate Center from the City University of New York and are taught by a clinician from Mount Sinai and a philosopher from CUNY’s The Graduate Center.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai receives one of the biggest funding from the National Institutes of Health. The institution has established a solid support system, strategic facilities, a comprehensive infrastructure, and inspirational leadership while educating healthcare leaders for the 21st century.
Trinity Law School
: 2200 N. Grand Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705
: 800 922 4748
As a member of the Trinity International University family of schools, the Trinity Law School is a California Bar-accredited law school headquartered in Orange County. The school provides students with exceptional law studies and training in the Judeo-Christian historic tradition. Formerly known as Simon Greenleaf University, the Trinity Law School is founded by Christian leaders – Dr. Walter Martin, Dr. Harold Lindsell, and Dr. John Warwick Montgomery in 1980.
- TLS’s online Master of Legal Studies – Bioethics Track program consists of a 15-credit hour core curriculum and 15-credit hour electives.
- To enroll, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, official transcripts and must possess a baccalaureate degree.
- GRE scores aren’t required for admission.
- All online asynchronous courses are taught in a 7-week cycle.
- The Master of Legal Studies also offers a track in Non-Profit Organizations, Human Rights, Human Resources Management, Criminal Justice, Contracts and Negotiation, Church and Ministry Management, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Standout Features of the Trinity Law School’s Online Master of Legal Studies – Bioethics Track Program:
The Trinity Law School – online Master of Legal Studies with a concentration in Bioethics is a unique program of its kind. The program equips students with the proficiencies in legal, bioethical, and philosophical arguments, helping them address timely and relevant issues in bioethics.
Trinity Law School has earned accreditation from the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and has received regional accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission. It’s the only school on our list that offers a Bioethics program of study integrated with the aspects of the law.
: 203 Lewisohn Hall, 2970 Broadway, MC 4119, New York, NY 10027
: 212 854 9666
Started in 1754, Columbia University is one of New York’s oldest universities and the country’s fifth. Today, the university houses the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory that was built in 1949 in Palisades. It is a leading research center focusing on environmental hazards, non-renewable resources, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
- Columbia’s Online Master of Science in Bioethics can be taken as a full-time or a part-time program.
- Students can begin the online MS in Bioethics program in the fall or spring semesters.
- Five concentrations are available under the Bioethics master’s program, such as Biotechnology, Pharmaceutics and Ethics, Policy, Regulations and Ethics, Global Ethics, Research Ethics, and Clinical Ethics.
- The 36-credit hour Online MS in Bioethics program can be completed within a year of full-time learning while a maximum of three years for part-time learners.
- A Master’s Thesis will fulfill the culminating requirements of the program.
Standout Features of the Columbia University’s Online Master of Science In Bioethics Program:
Columbia University is one of the rare universities to offer an online Master of Science in Bioethics degree with the opportunity to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. The university also provides students with the option to pursue a dual degree program by combining the Master of Public Health with an MS in Bioethics degree. Students can also strengthen their credentials and skills through an online Certification of Professional Achievement in Bioethics program.
Columbia University was once named King’s College by the Royal Charter of England’s King George II. The first classes were facilitated by Samuel Johnson in July 1754 in a new school bordering Trinity Church located in Manhattan’s lower Broadway location. There were only about eight students in that first class. One of the school’s ambitious goals was the founding of the 1st American medical school to offer an MD degree.