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Dual Degree: Master of Science in Bioethics and Master of Public Health

Prepare for a leadership role in bioethics and public health.

Logos for the Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia SPS

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 the health of individuals, communities, and society.

Master of Science in Bioethics

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.

Master of Public Health

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 lifelong access to both the SPS Career Design Lab and the Columbia Mailman School Office of Career Services.

In-Person or Online Classes

Complete the Bioethics portion online, in-person, or through a combination of online and in-person study.

Specialized Career Opportunities

Cross-disciplinary training in public health and bioethics can extend your knowledge and skills and expand your career opportunities.

Global Alumni Networks

Become part of two powerful Columbia University 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.


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 Health (1.5 points)
  • Research Methods and Applications (5 points)
  • Biological and Environmental Determinants of Health (2.5 points)
  • Social, Behavioral, and Systems Approaches to Public Health (1.5 points)
  • Global and Developmental Perspectives, Policies, and Programs (2 points)
  • Health Systems (2.5 points)
  • Integration of Science and Practice (1.5 points)

Spring — Columbia Mailman

  • Leadership Development (1.5 points)
  • Integration of Science and Practice (1.5 points)
  • Departmental requirements and electives, including Ethics of Public Health (12.5 points)

Summer — School of Professional Studies

  • Public Health Practicum (0 points)
  • Bioethics Elective(s) (3 points each)


Year 2 (28 points)

Fall — School of Professional Studies

  • Philosophy of Bioethics (3 points)
  • Research Ethics (3 points)
  • Bioethic Elective(s) (3 points each)
  • Public Health Elective(s), Mailman School (4 points)

Spring — School of Professional Studies

  • Law and Bioethics (3 points)
  • Introduction to Clinical Ethics (3 points)
  • Global Bioethics (3 points)
  • Bioethics Master’s Thesis or Master’s Thesis Workshop and Master’s Thesis (3 points)
  • Public Health Departmental Capstone Project (3 points)

Connect with Us

Learn more about Dual Degree: Master of Science in Bioethics and Master of Public Health Bioethics at Columbia University School of Professional Studies, or contact the program advisor.

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As admissions to our programs are highly competitive, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Learn more about the application process, deadlines, and requirements.

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