Dentistry — D.D.S. with Bioethics — M.A.

Program director, Bioethics, School of Religion

Zdravko Plantak

Program coordinators, School of Dentistry

Robert Handysides
Graham Stacey


The faculty for the combined degrees program in Bioethics with Dentistry is drawn from Loma Linda University's School of Religion and School of Dentistry.


Students are selected through a competitive process led by the School of Dentistry in conjunction with the Bioethics Program. Selection is based upon the recommendation of  the School of Dentistry academic dean and dean of students and the standard admission criteria for the M.A. degree in bioethics.  DAT scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE.

The program

The combined degrees Bioethics with Dentistry Program is designed to fit the schedule of D.D.S. degree students. Ethics in dentistry is well-established at Loma Linda University. Loma Linda University's School of Dentistry is one of a select few dental schools in the nation known for expertise in ethical issues.

An M.A. degree in bioethics taken as a stand-alone degree requires 48 units. However, the M.A./D.D.S. combined degrees reduce the total units required by 12 units in the following manner:

  1. The 8 units earned from the following four 2-unit courses in the dental curriculum can be counted for credit toward the M.A. degree in bioethics: a) RELR 717 Diversity and the Christian Health Professional, b) DNES 794 Public Health Dentistry, c) RELR 715 Christian Dentist in Community, and d) DNES 851 The Dentist and the Law. In order for these 8 units to be counted toward the M.A. degree, the student must submit a supplemental eight-page paper that integrates the content of these four courses and relates the content to bioethics.These four courses have sufficiently similar content to bioethics that they warrant being applied to both the D.D.S. and the M.A. degree in bioethics, once the supplemental paper is approved.
  2. Four (4) units come from the deletion of RELE 734 Christian Ethics for Dentists from the combined degrees student's curriculum because its content is substantively duplicated in the Bioethics Program; and the deletion of a 2-unit religion selective from the dental curriculum, which will now be taken in the bioethics selectives.

M.A. degree requirements

The following courses from the D.D.S. curriculum will be counted double for the M.A. degree in bioethics once the supplemental papers, noted above, are approved.

DNES 794Public Health Dentistry2
DNES 851The Dentist and the Law2
RELR 715Christian Dentist in Community2
RELR 717Diversity and the Christian Health Professional2
Total Units8

A model curriculum of bioethics course work taken throughout the four years of the dentistry program

First Year
Winter Quarter
RELE 588Explorers of the Moral Life3
Second Year
Spring Quarter
RELE 566Heroes of Health Care3
Third Year
Summer Quarter
RELE 524Bioethics and Society4
Autumn Quarter
RELE 564Ethics and Health Disparities3
Winter Quarter
RELE 554Clinical Ethics Practicum I4
Spring Quarter
RELE 567World Religions and Bioethics3
Fourth Year
Summer Quarter
RELE 568Bioethics and the Law3
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
Winter Quarter
RELE 598Master's Seminar I3
Spring Quarter
RELE 599Master's Seminar II2
RELE 565The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Moral Aspects of Art and Illness3
 Total Units: 34