Medical Ethics, MSME

The Master of Science in Medical Ethics (MSME) provides rigorous methodological and conceptual training in bioethics for postdoctoral scholars who aim to become academic bioethicists competing for and conducting externally funded empirical research.  Although there are many bioethics-related masters-level graduate programs in the United States, none of these programs is designed to train physician-scientists or other scholars aspiring to empirically oriented bioethics faculty positions in academic medical centers and universities.  Penn’s MSME program fills this important need.


Students complete 14.0 course units and must do so with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, students must achieve a grade of B- or better in each course and must produce scholarly papers that are accepted for publication.

Core Requirements
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 3 electives3
Mentored Research
Select 4 course units in Mentored Research4
Methods Training
Select 4 course units in Methods Training4
Total Course Units14

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


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.