Master of Divinity / MA in Bioethics

The goal of the Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Bioethics (MDiv/MA) joint degree program is to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation between theology and bioethics and to provide resources for students whose vocational aims require knowledge and/or competence in both disciplines.

Plan of Study and Requirements

A student typically will first complete two and one-half years of work (five semesters, 68 credit hours) primarily in the School of Divinity. This joint degree is designed to be completed in seven semesters. The final two semesters will be completed in the bioethics program but with some electives taken in the School of Divinity. Shared courses will be joint degree appropriate, selected from a list of courses agreed upon by the School of Divinity and the bioethics program.

In other words, students will complete a total of 96 credit hours in order to earn the joint degree:

  • 54 required credit hours from the MDiv program.
  • 18 required credit hours in bioethics, including the 6-credit hour thesis.
  • Six divinity credit hours from the following:
    • MIN 635a, b: Multicultural CPE
    • Any Pastoral Care elective
    • Any Theology elective
  • Six divinity ethics elective credit hours
  • Eight bioethics elective credit hours
  • Four additional elective credit hours to be chosen by the student from either program.

Joint Degree Program Outline

Year Fall Spring
One Divinity (15 credit hours) Divinity (15)
Two Mainly Divinity (15) Mainly Divinity (15)
Three Mainly Divinity (15) Mainly Bioethics (15)
Four Bioethics (12)


A student in the joint degree program divide her or his time between the School of Divinity and the bioethics program, and benefits not only from an array of course offerings from both curricula, but also from the social and general intellectual life of both academic programs.

The joint degree program utilizes the current courses offered through both the bioethics program  and the School of Divinity.

Policies and Procedures

Student Advising

Every student in the joint program will be assigned a faculty advisor from each school with whom they are expected to meet regularly throughout the duration of the program.

Continuing eligibility in the Graduate School

To continue in the program, the Graduate School requires that a student maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5. This requirement applies to the MA component of the joint degree program. A student who fails to satisfy this requirement will be placed on academic probation and will have one semester to bring his/her GPA to 2.5 or greater; otherwise, the student may be dismissed from the program. The minimum grade point average required for successful completion of the MA portion of the degree is 3.0. Continuing eligibility in the Master of Divinity program is outlined in the School of Divinity’s Continuation Policy.

How to Apply

Candidates for the joint degree must apply both to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Divinity, following the admissions’ requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each program in order to pursue a joint degree.