Bioethics for Premed Students

Premedical students face many bioethical issues, including shadowing physicians, working in labs, and taking the Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMIs) many medical schools now use. The Columbia University Master of Science in Bioethics program is pleased to provide this page of resources to help premed students address these complex issues.

Prepare for Multiple Mini-Interviews

The study of bioethics can prepare premed students to excel at MMIs by instilling in them the principles of ethics, a framework in which they can analyze and make ethical decisions, the means to weigh and resolve competing ethical principles, and processes for solving ethical conflicts. Here are three free resources to aid students in the MMI:

Free MMI Prep Resources

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Video of Columbia University Bioethics faculty discussing how to prepare for and successfully complete MMIs.

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Robert Klitzman’s paper, “How Bioethics Can Help Students with the Multiple Mini-Interviews for Medical School”, from The Advisor

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Robert Klitzman’s presentation, "Preparing Pre-health Professional Students & Advisors for the Multiple Mini-Interviews: Advanced Issues."

Learn More About the Premed Student Experience

Katrina Hui

Katrina HuiPsychiatry Resident
University of Toronto

Passionate about philosophy, this 2013 graduate of the Bioethics master’s program and current resident in psychiatry at the University of Toronto combined her interest in complex ethical issues with her aspirations in medicine.


Scott Korotkin

Scott KorotkinM.D. Candidate
Tulane University School of Medicine

The Bioethics master’s program played a “crucial role” in the med school interviews of this 2014 graduate and provided him with valuable clinical experience.


Jane Kang

Jane KangPhysician

Ethics training helps this rheumatologist, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Bioethics alumna as a teacher and practitioner.


Program Options in Bioethics

Many premed students may be interested in further study of the complex bioethical issues in clinical medicine and research to help them navigate the challenges they will face as physicians. Columbia University offers a master’s program in bioethics (12 courses/36 points) that can be completed within one calendar year (or 3 terms: fall, spring, and summer). We also offer a certification in bioethics (4 courses/12 points) which can be completed in two terms (fall and spring) and which can also be completed completely online. In addition, we offer a range of individual courses online.

Master of Science

On-campus and online instruction Part-time or Full-time program
36 points for degree completion 3-6 terms to complete
Fall and spring intake  
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Certification of Professional Achievement

Online instruction only Part-time program
12 points for completion 2 terms to complete
Fall and spring intake  
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Online Noncredit Courses

Online instruction only 3 points per course
Fall and spring intake Certain prerequisites may apply
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