Jan 21, 2022  
2021 - 2022 Catalog 
    
2021 - 2022 Catalog

Bioethics, M.S.


Chair: Schneider

Degree Type(s): Master of Science

Program Overview

The interdisciplinary Master of Science in Bioethics Degree offered in partnership with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) has a total of 32 credits and can be completed in two years. In the first year, the student enrolls in the NCBC Certification Program in Health Care Ethics.

Upon successful completion, the student may transcript up to 10 graduate credits through the University of Mary. The second year, completed within three semesters, begins directly after completion of the NCBC Certification in May and will include bioethics courses in faith and reason, law, health care, biomedical industries, medicine, and health policy. The degree program includes a practicum and capstone project.

Bioethics is a new field of study developed in the last third of the twentieth century in response to technological advances made in the areas of science, medicine and health care. It is the field of inquiry that addresses the ethical  problems posed by advances made in several specific disciplines such as the life sciences, psychology, biomedical engineering and genetics. Advances such as organ transplants, stem cells, genetic engineering, and life-support machines increase our ability to influence the length and quality of life. Bioethics is broadly interdisciplinary and encourages collaboration of various stakeholders in the discourse that helps people make morally sound decisions, made within our Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine tradition, about responsible use of biomedical advances.

Career Outlook

The Master of Science in Bioethics Degree provides advanced training in bioethics for students and professionals who will encounter bioethical issues in the course of their primary careers. Health care workers, attorneys, those in life sciences, church leaders, chaplains, ethics committee members (policy analysis & development), educators, researchers, compliance officers (risk managers or institutional review board positions), grant writers, and public policy makers are likely to enroll in this program.

Programs of Study

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to complete the Bachelors to Master’s degree in five years by enrolling in the NCBC Certification Program in Health Care Ethics during their senior year.

Program Mission

To prepare our students to provide leadership in the making of morally good and sound bioethical decisions through the integration of faith, reason, and science.

Program Vision

Informed by the Christian, Catholic and Benedictine tradition, the program in Bioethics prepares graduates to meet bioethical health care challenges with confidence, courage and clarity. Housed in the School of Health Sciences, the program seeks to advance the bioethical discourse in all areas of health care: education, clinical practice, and research. Our graduates are recognized leaders who serve the common good and every individual with mindfulness and compassion.

Program Outcomes

After completing the required curriculum in the bioethics program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Integrate the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of faith and reason in ethical decision making
  2. Integrate the philosophical underpinnings of faith and reason into a framework for ethical decision making
  3. Apply the ethical decision making framework to a complex ethical situation in the areas of clinical practice, education and research including but not limited to the following topics:
    1. informed consent in research and treatment
    2. confidentiality and the health care provider-patient relationship
    3. cultural and religious diversity among patients and practitioners
    4. suffering, death and dying
    5. experimentation and new technologies in health care and science
    6. reproductive technologies
    7. access to and allocation of medical resources
    8. fraud and abuse
    9. intellectual property
    10. regulatory affairs
  4. Develop a scholarly thesis or paper utilizing the faith and reason framework to critically analyze a complex ethical dilemma in health care.

Admission Requirements

Applications can be found at the University of Mary website www.umary.edu and are accepted online up to one year prior to the program start date.

In addition to meeting the University of Mary’s admission requirements and being accepted, the following criteria must be met for enrollment into the M.S. in Bioethics program:

  1. Successful completion of the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics evidenced by a certificate of completion from NCBC that must be received prior to the end of the student’s first semester at the University of Mary
  2. Must have a bachelor’s degree or have completed at least 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree and have graduated with the bachelor’s degree by the end of the Health Care Ethics Certification Program
  3. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics
  4. Letter grade no lower than a “C” on any individual National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics course
  5. International student language proficiency requirement: for applicants from a foreign country where English is not the first/primary spoken language, the bioethics program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 95 (IELTS 7.0) on the internet based test (IBT) or documentation showing that one of the exemptions listed in the Graduate Admissions Policy for International Students  applies. All exams are valid for two years.

Major Requirements


Total: 32 Semester Credits


Program length: 2 academic years / 5 semesters / 80 weeks

Optional Concentration


In addition to completing the M.S. in Bioethics requirements, students may choose to complete one of the following optional concentrations: