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

    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)  
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)   

    Spring Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics and Public Policy (3)
    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3)   
    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.

    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)  
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)   

    Spring Semester
    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics and Public Policy (3)
    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3)
    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.

    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.

    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):

    MS I
    MED 123 Bioethics I (1)
    BETH 110 Ethics for Physicians (1)
    BETH 501 History and Methodology for Bioethics (3)
     
    MS II
    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture andBioethics (3)
    BETH 525 Research Ethics (3)
    BETH 505 Bioethics and Public Policy (3)
    IDIS 223 Bioethics II (1)
     
    MS III

    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives (3)
    BETH 507 Clinical Dilemmas
     
    MS IV

    BETH 5XX Elective (3)
    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 BETH 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 110 Ethics for Physicians
    This course offers a rich and varied introduction to the role of the medical humanities and bioethics in the practice of medicine. It’s goal is to demonstrate the value of the field of bioethics to medical education and to patient care.

    BETH 501 History and Methodology
    This course develops the philosophical foundations of bioethics. The course will be a mixture of lectures and discussion and will center on key texts of Western moral philosophy by Mill, Kant and Aristotle, along with selections from other contemporary theorists.

    BETH 502 Introduction to Bioethics
    This course will examine how advances in technology have changed the practice of medicine. It will explore the complexities that have resulted as medical technology has progressed and will demonstrate the essential role of bioethics in 21st century health care.

    BETH 503 Religious Perspectives in Bioethics
    This course introduces students to selected world religions – their beliefs, practices, theologies and philosophies of life. The course continues with an examination of the religions’ ethical systems, focusing especially on bioethics.

    BETH 504 Diversity, Culture, and Bioethics
    This course explores the role of human and cultural variation in health and illness. It examines the intersection between disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, diverse spiritual beliefs, and medical practice.

    BETH 505 Bioethics and Public Policy
    American society is characterized by economic and health disparities. This course will explore the distribution of wealth and health in America as well as strategies to help reduce inequalities in health status.

    BETH 506 Exploring the Foundations of Bioethics
    This course will provide a foundational base of knowledge that will demonstrate the need for skills in bioethics and the medical humanities in everyday doctoring.

    BETH 507 Clinical Dilemmas in Bioethics
    This course will enhance students’ skills in ethical decision-making by applying those skills to actual cases encountered in the clinical setting.

    BETH 508 Clinical Topics in Bioethics
    This course will demonstrate the value of bioethics in clinical settings. It will explore ethical challenges that clinicians face in their work and provide opportunities for students to shadow health-care practitioners in various settings.

    BETH 510 SPECIAL TOPICS: Law and Society
    As the practice of medicine has become technologically advanced, ethical and legal complexities have arisen. This course will explore the intersection of law, ethics, and the practice of medicine in the 21st century.

    BETH 510 SELECTED TOPICS : Social Justice, Bioethics, and the Practice of Medicine
    This course will explore the social factors which underlie and shape the experiences of illness and health. It will focus on the social organization of medical care and how health and access to care is variably attained by different groups.

    BETH 514 Death and Dying: Social & Ethical Factors
    The experience of dying has changed profoundly as medical technologies have been able to prolong life and stave off death. This course will examine the consequences of modernization and medicalization of the dying process for patients, loved ones, providers, and the broader society.

    BETH 515 Bioethics and the Law
    This course explores the relationship between bioethics and the law. Selected legal cases will strategically touch upon reproduction, end-of-life care, doctor-patient relationships, standards of care, new technologies, death, transplantation, and explore research ethics and regulation.

    BETH 516 Pediatric Ethics
    This course will focus on the ethical issues that arise in pediatric medicine during the diagnosis, decision-making and treatment of infants, children and adolescents as well as elements of philosophical ethics.

    BETH 518 SELECTED TOPICS : Social and Ethical Transformations in Bioethics
    Medicine is a social institution. The shape of healthcare delivery, the medical profession, and knowledge about the body, all emerge through a collaboration of medicine and society. This course will explore these connections in the past, present, and future.

    BETH 519 Film and Creative Imagination in Bioethics
    This course will stimulate creative imagination of students through the craft of film making. It will examine how films create and convey meanings that are relevant to understanding the human condition and issues that loom large in the practice of medicine.

    BETH 525 Research Ethics
    This course explores key ethical issues in the history, funding, design, conduct, and publishing of biomedical research.

    BETH 550 Bioethics Final Project
    This course allows students to pursue a bioethical issue of special interest. It may be a traditional thesis project or a non-traditional project. It culminates in the presentation and defense of the project. Prerequisite: 18 credits of core bioethics courses and 9 credits of bioethics electives and approval of the chair of the department and faculty.

    IDIS 223 Cultural Competency
    This elective course examines our own culture – the Iatroculture – and preconceived notions about cultures, races and other groups. The content will identify features that make cultures unique while exploring the commonalities among cultures. The course will teach students new skills to appreciate all cultures. May be repeated for a maximum of 2 credits.

    MED 123 Bioethics I
    This course introduces learners to the field of bioethics and the role of ethics in the practice of medicine or research.