Master of Arts


Bioethics provides an educational opportunity at the graduate level for current and future professionals and others throughout the country interested in bioethics, including health care providers, researchers in biomedicine and the life sciences, lawyers, and professionals in religion, health and research administration, and the biotechnology industry. The goal of the MA in Bioethics is to equip graduates to practice and teach about bioethics as integral to the work of medicine and biotechnology, health care, and the basic sciences, and to undertake exemplary bioethics-related research and scholarship. The program encompasses clinical ethics, research ethics, and health policy and administration.

The program has two characteristic emphases: bioethics in social context, and bioethics and biotechnology. First, a general emphasis on the social, cultural, and policy contexts that shape all bioethics questions and issues is visible throughout the curriculum. Although the importance of incorporating the humanities, the social sciences, and even the arts may seem obvious, this is not a component of most bioethics education elsewhere. Second, a focus on bioethics and biotechnology takes advantage of Wake Forest University’s strong and growing presence in this area. Research and clinical practice in nanomedicine, genomics, pharmacogenetics, molecular and cell therapies, and the like is ongoing not only here at Wake Forest University but elsewhere in North Carolina.

The program has particular emphases without declaring particular specializations. This is in part because bioethics education is by its nature fundamentally generalist. Students receive broad exposure to ideas, discussion, scholarly literature, and experience, as well as a set of intellectual skills to be developed and practiced widely before being turned to special areas of interest.

Students are required to follow the student handbook of the school(s) through which they are enrolled. To continue in a dual or five year program, a student must remain in good academic standing with the respective School (Wake Forest College, Divinity, Law or Medicine) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.