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Master of Science in Bioethics

Full-Time or Part-Time

Columbia University’s Master of Science in Bioethics grounds students in interdisciplinary approaches and models to address the most pressing bioethical challenges. Students may choose to complete coursework from among two formats: in-person on Columbia’s New York City campus or online via Columbia’s flexible learning platform. The full-time program takes one year to complete and the part-time program takes up to 3 years to complete. Students may start the program in the fall or spring for 2021. Most courses are offered in the evening, between 4:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. EST. Synchronous online courses are offered during weeknights.

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Voice Program students have published papers in The New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine, and other major publications.
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Flexibility The program features multiple course formats so students have study options both on-campus and online.
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Collaborative The program partners with faculty and advisors from the top-10 programs in medicine, law, public health, business, journalism, international affairs, and philosophy.

At a Glance

In This Master’s Program, You Will…

  • Address the most complex and urgent 21st century challenges in medicine and biotechnology.
  • Learn from world-renowned faculty from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Department of Psychiatry, the Schools of Law, Journalism, Nursing, International and Public Affairs, and Arts and Sciences, each of which is ranked in the top ten globally in their disciplines.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how to address real-world moral and ethical dilemmas by seeking out, assessing, and benefiting from a wide range of perspectives.
  • Take advantage of Columbia’s extensive resources, study options, and employment opportunities, which benefit from its location in New York City, a center of pharmaceutical and medical innovation.
  • Gain knowledge and skills to advance your career in medicine, law, business, media, or non-profit. 

Program Features Include…

  • An innovative, highly interdisciplinary curriculum taught by a distinguished faculty, including renowned scholars who are researching leading-edge bioethical issues within their own disciplines.
  • A community of support in which every student is matched with a primary academic mentor, a School of Professional Studies advisor, a thesis advisor, and a peer-selected “student or alumni buddy.”
  • An Advisory Board that includes industry leaders who help organize networking events and provide employment opportunities.
  • An opportunity for students taking a “gap” year to gain distinct perspectives, experiences, and advantages before applying to medical school.
  • A true global orientation – the only Bioethics program of its kind.
  • Opportunities to obtain Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.

Who Should Apply?

The Bioethics program is ideal for students who are interested in working in biomedical and health-related areas, including:

  • Recent undergraduates who plan to work in healthcare and related areas such as consulting and are interested in bioethical issues, such as medical ethics. Students will have a diverse range of backgrounds, and may have majored in the social sciences, the humanities, or the sciences.
  • Pre-med students who wish to add the breadth and experience of Columbia’s bioethics program to their curriculum vitae, while also enriching their medical training with a grounding in critical ethical issues and perspectives.
  • Pre-law students who wish to further hone their analytical and critical thinking abilities in preparation for careers in health, law, policy, or advocacy.
  • Graduate students in fields such as medicine, science, business, law, public affairs, or journalism who are looking to expand their skills and extend their expertise through the study of bioethics.
  • Professionals in healthcare or related fields such as law, medicine, and nursing, as well as healthcare administration and research compliance who want to apply new problem-solving skills to address the most complex bioethical issues.


Continuing Medical Education (CME) Accreditation

Participants in any of Columbia University’s courses in Bioethics can obtain Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.

Accreditation Statement

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The College of Physicians and Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 19.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Study Options On-Campus and Online

The program includes options to take coursework two ways:

  1. Face-to-face, primarily on Columbia’s campus in New York City.
  2. Entirely online, via Columbia’s interactive learning platform, which allows students to connect with their instructors and fellow students. All online courses have weekly live web classroom meetings with their professors to foster dynamic interaction around course content. Students participate in discussion groups, collaborative and independent coursework, interactive forums, and pre-recorded videos.

Find Out More

Master of Science in Bioethics and Master of Public Health Dual-Degree Program

Ideal training for a leadership role in bioethics and public health.

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Online Certification of Professional Achievement in Bioethics

Ideal for healthcare professionals and medical practitioners, researchers, IRB members, attorneys, educators, and others interested in the field, including patients and caregivers who have confronted bioethical issues.

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Noncredit Courses Online

An ideal option for busy professionals, who may select one or more courses from the certification to take on a non-credit basis to hone in on a point of interest.

​​​​​​​Learn More

Executive Education on Bioethics

A robust, interactive bioethics educational noncredit program designed specifically for pharmaceutical and biotechnology company leaders and executives.

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Connect with Us

Learn more about Bioethics at Columbia University School of Professional Studies, or contact the program admissions counselor.

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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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