Bioethics, MBE

The Master of Bioethics (MBE) is an interdisciplinary degree offered by the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy. The MBE degree program gives students broad exposure to the full range of topics and issues in contemporary bioethics, drawing on the expertise of distinguished faculty and visiting fellows.

The program admits highly accomplished professionals who work in the bioethics-related fields of medicine, nursing, law, dentistry, social work, genetic counseling, regulatory affairs, public policy, veterinary medicine, and industry, as well as outstanding students in other professional degree programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

The MBE is designed for the following audiences:

  • Mid-career and senior health care professionals, including lawyers, physicians, nurses, health care administrators, pharmaceutical employees, social workers, those working in public policy or regulatory affairs, dentists, veterinarians, research associates, other allied health professionals, and other practitioners and teachers who wish to expand their area of competency to include bioethics;
  • Students already enrolled or admitted to a Penn graduate or professional degree program, such as medicine, law, nursing, or a PhD program, who want to combine bioethics with their primary training;
  • Post-baccalaureate students with a special interest in the field who plan further graduate study in law, medicine, humanities, or social sciences. This degree is not sufficient training for job placement
  • Current undergraduate students at Penn, Haverford, or Bryn Mawr who would like to submatriculate into the MBE while still finishing their BA/BS degrees. (Students must have a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for this program, which requires an additional year of study after graduating from their undergraduate program.)


The MBE requires the completion of 9 course units.

Required Courses
BIOE 6020Conceptual Foundations in Bioethics1
BIOE 7010MBE/MSME Proseminar1
Satisfy one of the following content areas: 11
Rationing & Resource Allocation
Research Ethics
Research Ethics
Clinical Ethics
Clinical Ethics
Select 6 course units of electives 26
Total Course Units9

Substitutions for this requirement are at the discretion of the department.


BIOE 6010 is highly recommended and BIOE 9960 can satisfy this requirement in consultation with Staff Associate Director.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.