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Bioethics Major Concentration

The Bioethics Major Concentration leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Bioethics and prepares students to engage personally and professionally with some of the most challenging moral questions in medicine, clinical research, biotechnology and the life sciences.

Should we clone human beings?

Should we create genetically modified babies and consume genetically modified foods?

Is it morally permissible to experiment on human embryos and should we create human-animal hybrids for research?

Should we delay the aging process and how should we allocate scarce health care resources?

Should we use brain implants to prevent problem adolescents from engaging in anti-social, criminal and violent acts? 

Housed in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Bioethics Program is offered through a collaboration of faculty from multiple departments and programs at the College of Arts and Sciences including the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of Biology, and the Department Psychology, and with participation of faculty from the College of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and the Law School.

The Bioethics program combines rigorous academic training in the foundations of bioethics with in-depth exploration of its real-life applications in social, cultural, political and clinical contexts, while also introducing students to quantitative, qualitative and normative methods of analysis. As part of the Program, students have the opportunity to complete an internship at a clinical, policy or research institution in the Washington, D.C. metro and to study in-depth a topic of interest through elective courses or by pursuing a double-major or minor in a participating discipline, e.g., Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, Biology or Psychology.

Students graduating from the interdisciplinary Bioethics Program will be prepared for a variety of careers in clinical research, regulatory affairs and policy making, or they can pursue a traditional graduate degree in their field of interest.