Program director, Bioethics, School of Religion

Whitny Braun de Lobatón

Program coordinators, School of Dentistry

Mark Estey


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


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

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 and its 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, two-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 eight 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. In addition, 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 two-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 545Bioethics Case Conference I1
RELG 510Christian Service1
Second Year
Spring Quarter
RELE 566History of Health-Care Ethics3
Third Year
Summer Quarter
RELE 524Bioethics and Society3
Autumn Quarter
RELE 564Ethics and Health Disparities3
RELE 554Clinical Ethics Practicum I3
Winter Quarter
RELE 555Clinical Ethics Practicum II3
RELE 568Bioethics and the Law3
Spring Quarter
RELE 567World Religions and Bioethics3
RELE 556Clinical Practicum III3
Fourth Year
Summer Quarter
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
Winter Quarter
RELE 598Master's Seminar I3
RELE 556Clinical Practicum III3
Spring Quarter
RELE 599Master's Seminar II2
RELE 565Aesthetics and Ethics3
 Total Units: 40

To be taken concurrently with RELE 524 Bioethics and Society.  Contact program director for details.