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MD/MA Overview

The dual degree program takes into consideration the shared goals of both the M.A. and M.D. programs and allows for completion of both degrees in five years. The first two years of the dual degree program will incorporate all core courses for the M.A. as well as the first year medical school curriculum. The third, fourth and fifth years of the program will generally follow medical school curriculum, with M.A. appropriate electives. This allows for the completion of the majority of the academic coursework prior to the busy clinical years of medical school and ensures that students will never have to sacrifice clinical experience for academic accomplishments. Please see the detailed curriculum below for more information.



The program strives to offer a competitive pricing structure for students. The five-year program consolidates the costs of both degrees. The first year is charged at current School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies rates. The following four years are charged at current Medical School tuition rates.


Financial aid may be available through the appropriate school. As well, a limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Students awarded the assistantship will receive a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a stipend of $15,000 for the first year of the program. Thereafter the student will be responsible for the normal costs of attending the University of Louisville Medical School.


Application Process

Admissions decisions are handled independently for each school involved in the dual degree program. In order to be admitted to the M.D./M.A. program you must be admitted to both the Medical School and the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies


However, since the standardized application for medical school has a much earlier deadline it is possible to offer M.D./M.A. candidates an accelerated admissions process to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies using the materials from their AMCAS application. Most materials need not be submitted twice.


Candidates must complete an application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and provide a 2-4 page personal statement answering the question: “Why have you decided to pursue an M.A in Bioethics and Medical Humanities?” before the November 15th deadline. An official final transcript must be provided before beginning classes in the following fall. 


Requirements may change, please check with the program for details about the admissions process or for answers to any questions.




Core Courses: MD/MA students will attend the same core courses as MA students. The first year of Medical School is split over two years. Bioethics courses are taught every other year on a rotating basis, so the courses taken in a given semester will vary depending on where in the cycle a student begins. All courses will be taught within the two years required to complete the MA degree requirements.


Electives: The MA program requires a total of four electives. This requirement will be satisfied by:

  1. ICM1 will be “double-counted” for 3 credits towards the MA.
  2. Appropriate electives may be taken during summer sessions, if available, at Graduate School rates.
  3. Remaining electives will be completed during the remaining years as available.


Semester Courses
Fall 1 Medical School Year 1 part 1; BETH 680 Foundations of Bioethics; BETH Core Fall
Spring 1 Medical School Year 1 part 2; BETH Core Spring; Approved Elective
Fall 2 Medical School Year 1 part 3; BETH 684 Clinical Ethics; BETH Core Fall
Spring 2 Medical School Year 1 part 4; BETH 685 Integrative Bioethics; BETH Core Spring
Year 3 Second year curriculum, full-time. BETH Elective, if needed and available.
Year 4 Third year curriculum, full-time. BETH Elective, if needed and available.
Year 5 Fourth year curriculum, full-time. BETH Elective, if needed and available.

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