Dual-Title Ph.D. in Bioethics

Join the first interdisciplinary graduate bioethics program of its kind

We are proud to offer our novel graduate program in bioethics. In the Fall Semester of 2011, we began offering a dual-title Ph.D. program in bioethics.  It is the first program of its kind in the country—the only one that enables and requires students to combine bioethics with one of a variety of other disciplines in their doctoral dissertation. We launched the program with three collaborating partners: the departments of Anthropology, and Communication Arts and Sciences (both in the College of the Liberal Arts); and the department of Biobehavioral Health (in the College of Health and Human Development). We have since added College of Nursing and the Kinesiology Department, and we hope to add other collaborating units across the University as the program continues to grow.

This dual-title program will produce a new cadre of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners who will enrich both their primary disciplines as well as the burgeoning field of bioethics. Our graduates will have skill sets that will help us address what one scholar has termed the "wicked problems" that society faces—in medicine, public health, and the environment, to name just a few. Importantly, they will also be better equipped to help us address the serious social and ethical implications of these problems, and of the proposed solutions.

Just as important in this tight economy, the graduates of the program should be highly competitive on the job market. Their interdisciplinary training will make them eligible for positions in their primary discipline, centers for bioethics, and for joint hires. They will similarly be competitive for jobs in the private sector, and when applying for research grants. 

The program is housed in the College of the Liberal Arts, and administered by the Rock Ethics Institute.  Students must first be admitted to their primary program before they can be considered for the bioethics dual-title.  However, when they apply to their primary program, they should indicate that they would like to be considered for the bioethics dual-title Ph.D.

To download the brochure for our new dual-title Ph.D. in bioethics, please click here.

Students do not need to be admitted to the dual-title Ph.D. to register for these courses.


We currently offer dual-title Ph.D. programs in:

We also offer a graduate minor in Bioethics at both the master's and doctoral levels.

For further details, please contact the Assistant Director of Bioethics, Michele Mekel, at mjm8065@psu.edu.