Prepare for a leadership role in bioethics and public health.

Mailman School of Public Health School of Professional Studies


Columbia University’s Master of Science in Bioethics and Master of Public Health Dual-Degree Program prepares professionals to take leadership roles:

  • as public health professionals who can develop, deliver, and evaluate public health services grounded in a strong foundational knowledge in bioethics
  • as bioethicists who have a thorough understanding of issues that affect health at public and individual levels

Offered by Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS), this program prepares students to address critical issues concerning the ethical, legal, and social implications of advances in healthcare and biotechnology.

Offered by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, this program prepares students with the broad systemic understanding, critical thinking skills, and leadership training needed to tackle today’s complex public health challenges.


Program Benefits

Full-Spectrum Career Services
Gain access to both the SPS Career Design Lab and the Columbia Mailman School Office of Career Services, which offers lifelong support.

In-Person or Online Classes
Complete the Bioethics portion fully online, fully in-person, or through a combination of online and in-person study.

Specialized Career Opportunities
Cross-disciplinary training in public health and bioethics can expand your knowledge and skills and broaden your career prospects.

Global Alumni Networks
Become part of two global alumni networks.

Options to Pace Your Study
Complete the program in as little as two years or up to four years.

Columbia University Resources
Develop a network across Columbia institutes and centers affiliated with both schools.

An Advanced Cohort
Join an elite network of highly motivated professionals.


How Does it Work?

  1. Obtain MPH admission and M.S. admission separately.

  2. Complete MPH coursework full-time at Columbia Mailman during your first two terms. Three MPH courses will count toward your M.S.

  3. Complete all M.S. coursework at SPS—full-time or part-time, online or face-to-face.

  4. As a Graduate

    Graduates of the dual-degree program will be prepared to address questions including:

    • How do we balance individual rights with the interests of the public at large?
    • What ethical implications must be considered when public health scientists conduct research or when public health leaders conduct research or enact initiatives?
    • How can and should healthcare systems and policies promote justice and address inequalities?
    • How do we as a society best promote the health of our citizens?

    The program has been designed to enhance roles in:

    • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Governmental Agencies
    • Academic Settings
    • Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies
    • Research Labs
    • Healthcare Companies
    • Public Health
    • Hospital Administration

    Sample Full-Time Schedule

    Year 1 (35 Points)
    Fall — Columbia Mailman
    Foundations of Public Health1.5
    Research Methods and Applications5
    Biological and Environmental Determinants of Health2.5
    Social, Behavioral, and Systems Approaches to Public Health1.5
    Global and Developmental Perspectives, Policies, and Programs2
    Health Systems2.5
    Integration of Science and Practice1.5
    Spring — Columbia Mailman
    Leadership Development1.5
    Integration of Science and Practice1.5
    Departmental requirements and electives, including Ethics of Public Health12.5
    Summer — School of Professional Studies
    Public Health Practicum0
    Bioethics Elective(s) 3 (each)


    Year 2 (28 Points)
    Fall — School of Professional Studies
    Philosophy of Bioethics3
    Research Ethics3
    Bioethics Elective(s)3 (each)
    Public Health Elective(s), Mailman School4
    Spring — School of Professional Studies
    Law and Bioethics3
    Introduction to Clinical Ethics3
    Global Bioethics3
    Bioethics Master’s Thesis or Master’s Thesis Workshop and Master’s Thesis3
    Public Health Departmental Capstone Project3

    Program Contacts

    M.S. in Bioethics
    Thomas Kiefer, Advisor

    Clare Norton, Associate Dean