Medicine — M.D. with Bioethics — M.A.

Program director, Bioethics, School of Religion

Whitny Braun

Program liaison, School of Medicine



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


Students are selected through a competitive process led by the School of Medicine in conjunction with the Bioethics Program. Selection is based upon the standard admission criteria for the M.A. degree in bioethics minus the GRE because the MCAT includes a critical-thinking component.

The program

An M.A. degree in bioethics taken as a stand-alone degree requires 48 units in bioethics courses. However, the M.A./M.D. combined degrees student is able to reduce the total units required by sharing 18 units between the two programs in the following manner.

  1. 12 units from three courses in the medical curriculum count as credit toward the M.A. degree in bioethics: a) MDCJ 538 Medical Neuroscience , b) PSYT 526 Psychopathology, and c) PRVM 517 Lifestyle and Preventive Medicine. Acceptance of these courses for M.A. degree credit requires an integrative, supplemental eight-page paper that relates the courses' content to bioethics. The rationale: These three courses in medicine have sufficiently relevant content to bioethics that they academically warrant being applied to the M.A. degree in bioethics requirements.
  2. 3 units come from three School of Religion courses: a) RELE 708 Medicine and Ethics, b) RELE 714 Advanced Medical Ethics, and c) the deletion of one RELT course from the medical student's combined degrees curriculum because its content is substantively duplicated in the Bioethics Program. (Students are informed of the combined degrees option at the beginning of their first year and are encouraged not to take RELE 708 Medicine and Ethics during Autumn Quarter if they are contemplating the combined degrees program. The School of Medicine's determination about student acceptability for the combined degrees program can be made immediately after Autumn Quarter grades are posted.)

M.A. degree requirements

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

MDCJ 538Medical Neuroscience3.5
PRVM 517Lifestyle and Preventive Medicine4
PSYT 526Psychopathology4.5
RELE 708Medicine and Ethics1
RELE 714Advanced Medical Ethics2
Total Units15

A model curriculum of bioethics coursework taken throughout the four years of medical school

First Year
Winter Quarter
RELE 588Philosophical Ethics3
RELE 568Bioethics and the Law3
Second Year
Summer Quarter
RELE 524Bioethics and Society3
Autumn Quarter
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
Winter Quarter
RELE 554Clinical Ethics Practicum I3
RELG 510Christian Service2
Fourth Year
Winter Quarter
RELE 545Bioethics Case Conference I1
RELE 598Master's Seminar I3
RELE 555Clinical Ethics Practicum II3
Spring Quarter
RELE 556Clinical Practicum III3
RELE 566History of Health-Care Ethics3
RELE 599Master's Seminar II2
 Total Units: 32