M.A. in Bioethics

  • Training Next-Generation Leaders in Ethics, Professionalism, and Humanistic Care

    Today some of the most critical challenges in health care revolve around ethical and humanistic issues. KCUMB's master of arts in bioethics provides students with a broad orientation to the interdisciplinary field of bioethics. COB - MA in Bioethics

    KCUMB's Department of Bioethics offers a broad and varied curriculum that promotes the development of important competencies for the practice of medicine in the 21st century. With this specialized bioethics degree, students will be qualified to become leaders on hospital ethics committees and among their colleagues at academic medical centers, clinics, group practices and hospitals. In addition, completion of the bioethics degree will demonstrate that students, especially those in the dual-degree and one-year program, have developed specialized clinical skills, which will enhance their applications for scholarships, internships, and residencies.

    These include:

    • Critical thinking
    • Ethical and moral decision-making
    • Professionalism and humanism
    • Effective communication
    • Self-reflection for self-care
    • Cultural proficiency in service to diverse and vulnerable populations
    • Skills in compassionate end-of-life care

     

  • M.A. in Bioethics (One-Year)

    Designed for students who expect to continue their education by pursuing a D.O., M.D., J.D. or Ph.D. in the future, this track allows full-time students to complete the program over a 12-month period.

    Standard Curriculum

    Summer Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)  

    Fall Semester
    BETH 501 History and Methodology for Bioethics (3)
    BETH 502 Introduction to Bioethics (3)
    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)  

    Spring Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics at the Margins (3)
    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3)  

    Summer Semester
    BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project (3)  

    Important: This is meant to provide a brief overview of the curriculum. For complete course policies and requirements, see the University Catalog.

     

     

    M.A. in Bioethics (Career Enhancement - Part-Time Track)

    The career-enhancement track is designed for working professionals who have developed an interest in bioethics and would like to pursue master's-level training in bioethics on a part-time basis.

    Standard Curriculum

    There is no required order for completion of courses for this track. Students may take required and elective courses in the order that works best for their individual schedule.

    Summer Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)  

    Fall Semester
    BETH 501 History and Methodology for Bioethics (3)
    BETH 502 Introduction to Bioethics (3)
    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)  

    Spring Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics at the Margins (3)
    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3)  

    Summer Semester
    BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project (3) 

    Important: This is meant to provide a brief overview of the curriculum. For complete course policies and requirements, see the University Catalog.

     

    D.O./M.A. in Bioethics (Dual-Degree Track)

    This dual-degree track is approximately 44 months in length and is designed for KCUMB medical students who decide to pursue a joint master’s degree in bioethics. Dual-degree students are required to stay in Kansas City during their third year in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    With the D.O./M.A. in Bioethics degree, graduates will be prepared to address complex ethical issues and provide leadership on hospital ethics committees, among their physician peers and in the local community. This degree may also provide a competitive edge when applying for residencies or fellowships.

    Standard Curriculum

    The following details the curriculum for the M.A. in bioethics in the dual-degree program. Click here to learn more about the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
     
    Required Courses (30 semester credits):
    BETH 501 History and Methodology for Bioethics (3)
    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics at the Margins (3)
    IDIS 110 Ethics for Physicians (1)
    BETH 506 Exploring the Foundations of Bioethics (2)
    BETH 507 Clinical Dilemmas in Bioethics (3)
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project (3)

    Dual-Degree Track Course Sequence and Schedule  
    The course schedule for the dual-degree track can vary from semester to semester, but is traditionally offered in the following framework:

    Fall Semester (MSI)
    IDIS 110 Ethics for Physicians (1)  

    Spring Semester (MSI)
    BETH 506 Exploring the Foundations of Bioethics (2)  

    Summer Semester (MSI)
    Two courses – typically both are core requirements (6)

    Fall Semester (MSII)
    One course – typically a core requirement (3)

    Spring Semester (MSII) 
    One course – typically a core requirement (3)

    Summer Semester (MSII)

    Two courses – typically both are required electives (6) 

    Fall Semester (MSIII)
    One course – typically a core requirement (3)

    Spring Semester (MSIII)
    One course – typically a required elective (3)

    Fall and/or Spring Semester (MSIV)
    One course – BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project (3)

    Special Note: Dual-degree students who are simultaneously completing the D.O. program and M.A. in bioethics program are eligible to request a waiver of up to two elective credits from the D.O. curriculum. However, dual-degree students who elect to take advantage of this waiver may not use IDIS 110 in partial fulfillment of their remaining D.O. elective requirements.

    Important: This is meant to provide a brief overview of the curriculum. For complete course policies and requirements, see the University Catalog.


    BETH 502 Introduction to Bioethics (3)
    OR
    BETH 506 Exploring the Foundations of Bioethics and IDIS (D.O./M.A.)
    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 501 History and Methodology for Bioethics (3)
    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture and Bioethics (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics at the Margins (3)
    BETH 507 Clinical Dilemmas in Bioethics (3)
    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3)
    BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project

    Elective Courses

    Please note: The following is a sample of elective courses that are offered in KCUMB's master of arts in bioethics degree program. Courses are subject to change and additional elective courses may be offered in the future.

    Death and Dying: Social and Ethical Factors
    This course examines the human relationship with mortality. It explores the encounter with dying and death within the context of historical evolution of Western attitudes. Specifically, the course examines how the human experience of dying is formed by the intersection of cultural values and institutional arrangements. It describes the challenges of caring for patients at the end-of-life. Individual topics include:

    • Social, cultural, and historical conceptions of dying and death in Western society
    • The fears that surround the modern experience of dying
    • The rituals that surround the experience of grieving and mourning
    • The ethical complexities that have arisen as a result of the medicalization of dying
    • The dimensions of compassionate care
    • The role of virtuous doctoring in relieving suffering
    • Genocide and the horrors of human experimentation
    • Lessons to be learned in confronting mortality
    • The impact of racial and economic barriers on the end-of-life experience for dying persons and loved ones

    On Doctoring: Reflections on Professional and Personal Growth
    (Online for third- and fourth-year students)

    This course introduces students to the process of reflective journal writing, which will be used as a vehicle for reflection upon topics that are useful and necessary for the development of the complete physician. We will begin by learning how reflection, journal writing, and story can combine to help us learn and grow. Then we will discuss medicine and what it means to be a physician. Finally, we will utilize critical reflection to explore skills that are essential for effective medical practice.