You must have completed an undergraduate degree (BA, BS or equivalent) with a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale before beginning our program.
We draw our student population from many different interest areas so we do not specify the type of degree or field of study. However, experience with philosophy courses is beneficial and preference will be given to applicants with a minimum of nine (9) credit hours in humanities courses. The School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies may impose additional requirements.
The School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies requires a 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale for unconditional admission. Students with a final GPA between 2.5 and 2.75 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted conditionally, please contact us for more information.
We will accept other recent test scores (such as MCAT and LSAT) with permission. Please state your desire to use these scores in your application. Official score results must be included in your application.
Please note, no test scores from greater than 3 years before the application date will be accepted.
For applicants with a terminal degree (JD, PhD, MD) we will waive the test score requirement entirely.
Currently we do not have a set minimum test score, though only scores above the mid-range are likely to be competitive for admissions.
Test scores are considered as only one facet of the application, and are used in context with the other requested documents (GPA, personal statement, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) as well as in the context of the entire pool of applicants and current students.
The program consists of 33 credit hours total. See the core curriculum page for more information about the courses required.
A full time student would take four semesters (two years) to complete the program.
Part time students have up to 12 semesters (six years) to complete the degree requirements. It is possible to complete the program with one class per semester for 11 semesters. Completion time can be accelerated by taking more than one class per semester or by taking electives during summer sessions. Please see our sample schedules for more information.
Yes. As a non-terminal degree we have found that this degree provides a body of knowledge, experience and the development of critical thinking skills which will benefit any career path in health care or health law practices. It will also benefit those designing, performing or approving medical research, medical education or health care policy. Please see our "Who Should Apply?" page for more information on who would benefit from this program.
We currently have approved dual degree programs with the School of Medicine and the Brandeis School of Law which allow for accelerated completion of both degrees. Please note that dual degree programs require admissions to both schools involved. For example, the MD/MA program requires admission to both the School of Medicine and the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. Each school may have different time lines for the admissions process, please see the link above for current details.
Other dual degree programs are currently being investigated for feasibility. If you are interested in another dual degree please contact us to discuss which degree you would like to see combined with the MA. While we cannot guarantee that a dual degree will be possible we will work with you to determine the most efficient means to complete both degrees.
No, we currently do not offer a PhD program.
Not at the moment. We are, however, working on developing a more focused medical humanities track within the program curriculum. When this track is completed students will have the option of completing the more generalized bioethics curriculum or a more specialized medical humanities curriculum. Both tracks will maintain our program's focus on social context and collaborative work.
At the moment, no.
Our core courses tend to be small, as is appropriate for graduate level learning. Most courses tend to have 5-10 students, with the largest courses having 20-25. Elective class size will vary depending on the topic.
Core courses are offered during weekday evenings, usually from 4 – 6:45pm on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Core courses are usually held in the MedCenter One building in downtown Louisville. MedCenter One is at 501 East Broadway. Limited parking is available for students during class hours. Elective course locations are determined by the department offering the course and may be on any campus.
None of the core courses are offered on-line. However, distance learning courses allow non-local students to attend core classes through teleconferencing. Electives may be available on-line.
We use a PolyCom VSX3000 and VSX7000S to provide excellent quality video interaction with the classroom. This technology allows the distance learning student to engage in class room activities and discussion in an immersive experience that rivals physical attendence.
Please note that the equipment available at the remote location affects the overall quality. Standard web cameras provide a mediocre experience. Professional equipment provides a nearly lag-free and crystal clear experience. If available the professional teleconference or telepresence technology used by schools and businesses will far surpass home use technologies. We will be pleased to help you investigate options in your locality.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about distance learning options, or to test your equipment.
No, as this degree does not require a thesis. All students will complete a collaborative project during BETH 685 (Integrative Bioethics) which serves as the culminating work for the degree.
"Integrative Bioethics: Self and Other in Theory and Practice" is the title of BETH 685 which serves as the capstone course for the MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities. This course serves as an integrating experience and is designed to provide real life in the type of work prevalent in bioethics and medical humanities. The topic and final format for the project are chosen by the group and the work is completed collaboratively with faculty guidance. The results of this work are presented to program faculty and the interested public in a presentation at the end of the semester.
Can I take your courses as a continuing education student, or audit any of your courses?
Yes, with some exceptions. All of our courses are cross-listed with Philosophy and we welcome students from other programs looking for electives, visiting students from other academic institutions and auditing students in the PHIL sections of the course. The BETH sections are restricted to only those students enrolled in the program. And please note: BETH 684 (Clinical Ethics) and BETH 685 (Integrative Bioethics) are restricted to program students only, even though those courses are also cross-listed with Philosophy.
Our professors come from a variety of backgrounds with diverse research interests. Please see the faculty information page for more details.
Our professors are passionate about course subjects and student success, so they are quite willing to discuss the course materials with you! Our small class sizes mean that everyone has a chance to be involved in the discussion and have the opportunity to have their questions answered within the class time. But sometimes one on one time with a professor is the best way to clarify confusion on a particularly tricky area. Individual material discussion time is available during office hours and by appointment with all of our professors.