Bioethics — M.A., Certificate

Program director
Whitny Braun

The purpose of the Bioethics Program—an interdisciplinary course of graduate study leading to a Master of Arts degree—is to prepare qualified persons to engage in education, research, and service pertinent to the ethical issues in health care, biotechnology, and bioethics.

This degree is designed primarily for two types of students: those who desire the Master of Arts degree as a step toward graduate work at the doctoral level; and those who wish to acquire the degree in order to complement their careers in health care or another field.

This academic program is enhanced by its close association with the Center for Christian Bioethics and its 4,000-volume library, as well as close  proximity to the LLU Medical Center and numerous physicians involved in clinical and research ethics.

Program learning outcomes

Graduates of the Bioethics Program will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A broad knowledge of the field of bioethics;
  2. Mastery of at least one area of bioethical inquiry;
  3. Research and writing skills of a caliber to contribute to bioethical literature;
  4. An understanding of the relationship among personal, professional, and social ethics.

Course requirements

In order to receive the Master of Arts degree in bioethics from Loma Linda University, the student will complete a minimum of 48 units of coursework as herein specified, with an overall grade average of B+ (3.30) or higher, with no grade lower than a C; and with no grade lower than a B- in a required course.

Transfer credits

Students are permitted to transfer up to eight units of approved graduate-level courses from other accredited institutions into the Bioethics Program. Approval must be requested from the program director. 

Special features

RELE 598 Master's Seminar I: This capstone seminar reflects on previous class work and involves integration of conceptual presuppositions, ethical theories, and ethical principles. Mastery of a broad knowledge of the field through an examination will be assessed by the bioethics faculty. A two-part comprehensive exam will be administered at the end of Master Seminar I. All program faculty members and students are invited to attend sessions they choose from these two seminars.

RELE 599 Master's Seminar II: Each student enters class with a research paper, likely prepared in an earlier course. With collegial critique, these papers are prepared for publication. Papers demonstrate the ability to identify an issue, analyze it, use relevant literature, and creatively conceptualize or advance the discussion. Students who are professionals are encouraged to write for their professional publications, adopting relevant size and editorial considerations. Paper(s) will total 20–25 pages.

In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Religion admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

Typically, applicants will meet the following criteria for admission:

  1. A four-year baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university;
  2. Minimal GRE percentile scores of 60 (verbal), 60 (analytical writing), and 35 (quantitative). In some professional programs (e.g., M.D. and D.D.S.), students and graduates need not take the GRE, although other requirements apply;
  3. An undergraduate grade point average of B+ (3.30) or better in the overall program;
  4. An 800-word essay on the applicant's background and goals and how earning an M.A. degree in bioethics at Loma Linda University is envisioned to further such goals;
  5. A personal interview;
  6. Three letters of recommendation from current or former professors.

More important than any single admissions factor is the cumulative sense that the applicant is capable of and committed to serious academic work. Hence, the applicant might also submit an essay--published or from previous class work--that demonstrates creative, analytical thinking.

Information on admission, tuition, and student life and an online application can be found on the Web at <llu.edu/central/apply>.

M.A.

Required
RELE 524Bioethics and Society3
RELE 545Bioethics Case Conference I1
RELE 588Philosophical Ethics3
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
RELE 598Master's Seminar I3
RELE 599Master's Seminar II2
RELG 510Christian Service 22
Standard electives
Choose required units from the following: 131
Faith and Flourishing
Bioethical Issues in Social Work
Ethics for Scientists
Ethical Issues in Public Health
Christian Social Ethics
Clinical Ethics Practicum I
Clinical Ethics Practicum II
Clinical Practicum III
Ethics and Health Disparities
Aesthetics and Ethics
History of Health-Care Ethics
World Religions and Bioethics
Bioethics and the Law
Reading Tutorial
Independent Research
Total Units48

Normal time to complete the program

1.33 years (five [5] academic quarters) — based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted

Certificate

Certificate in Bioethics is not accepting applications for 2020/2021.

Required
RELE 524Bioethics and Society3
RELE 588Philosophical Ethics3
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
RELG 510Christian Service1,2
Standard electives
Choose required units from the following:18
Ethics for Scientists
Ethical Issues in Public Health
Christian Social Ethics
Clinical Ethics Practicum I
Clinical Ethics Practicum II
Ethics and Health Disparities
Aesthetics and Ethics
History of Health-Care Ethics
World Religions and Bioethics
Bioethics and the Law
Total Units28

Normal time to complete the program

One (1) year (three [3] academic quarters) — based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted