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MD/MA in Bioethics

The dual MD/MA in Bioethics program prepares students from the onset of their medical careers to identify, address, and assess ethical issues as they appear in clinical practice.  No matter what medical specialty you pursue, you will encounter complex ethical issues and this MD/MA dual-degree program will help you best respond to those issues.

Students who graduate with a dual MD/MA-Bioethics degree will not only be prepared to enhance the care they provide to patients, but will also be ready to work on issues of public policy as they relate to the provision of clinical care, to serve on or chair ethics committees, or to educate others about the ethical foundations of clinical practice. 

Alumni of the MA in Bioethics pursue fulfilling and rewarding medical careers; publish in respected journals and serve on important ethics committees.  For example, our alumni have worked at or for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Marcus Autism Center, Emory Hospital, Georgia Department of Public Health, University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Suffolk Care Collaborative.  Furthermore, our alumni now serve as ethicists for organizations such as Grady Memorial Hospital and the American Society of Dermapathology.  In addition, our alumni have presented research at national and international conferences as well as published in peer-reviewed ethics journals (e.g. The American Journal of Bioethics and The Hastings Center Report) and in non-academic venues (e.g. the New York Times).  In these and other ways, our MA in Bioethics alumni are distinctive and distinguished. 

All students in Medicine at Emory complete a Discovery Phase, which is an opportunity to engage in in-depth research or to explore issues in the medical humanities. Students who are interested in a robust study of bioethics simply replace the Discovery Phase with the MA in Bioethics Program; most students will likely move into some of their clinical rotations for the Translation Phase before stepping out in the fall semester following Year 3 to begin the MA in Bioethics. A total of 5 years is required for the dual MD/MA-Bioethics degree. Entry to the MA year is contingent on satisfactory evaluation of academic standing and professional conduct in the School of Medicine. 

Medical students can apply to this dual degree program up to the fall term of their third year in medical school, although students who know they will have a strong interest in this program are encouraged to apply prior to the start of medical school.

For more information, please visit our website and contact the Program Director:


Gerard Vong, DPhil
Assistant Professor, School of Medicine
Director, Master of Arts in Bioethics Program