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Bioethics & Science Policy Concentration

The Duke Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy program teaches students how to identify, analyze, and propose solutions to myriad complex issues at the intersection of science, technology, ethics, and policy. Hear from Students Join an Online Info Session

Our graduate program is one-of-a-kind in the country in its focus on bioethics, technology and science policy. We broaden your education by examining the ethical and policy implications of science and technology to prepare you to take on some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Is it ever ethical to clone all or part of a human being? Should we use technology that enhances or alters our brain? How should we use genetic information in law enforcement?

The ability to focus on specific existing or emerging topics is a distinctive feature of Duke’s MA in Bioethics & Science Policy. Our students begin with a foundation in practical ethics by examining fundamental questions about the relationship between science, ethics, policy, and society and then diverge according to their specific interests.

Students are not required to adhere to strict concentrations in the Duke Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy. Below are just a few examples of bioscience paths our students might follow. We encourage our students to customize their education by selecting electives from the many multi-disciplinary course offerings made available throughout most Duke schools, institutes, and departments. Those students who are more interested in technology ethics and policy are not limited to the biosciences.


View Core Courses View Tech Ethics & Policy Opportunities



Possible Areas of Study



As genomics moves from the era of research sequencing to an era of clinical translation, we can expect new challenges to definitions of disease, race, behavior and health. This concentration offers students a survey of the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding the rise of genomic technologies.



Scientists are gaining an increased understanding of the human brain and developing new technologies to “look inside” it. What does this mean for our concepts of free will, criminal intent and culpability, decision making, and social behavior?


Public Impact & Engagement

Public impact and engagement enables students to bring the tools and understandings of investigative journalism, humanities scholarship, and community engagement/citizen science to bear on ethical and policy questions in science and health policy.


Independent Interest

The Bioethics & Science Policy Masters program is highly flexible and you are not limited to the areas mentioned above. Students are encouraged to explore the areas of interest most meaningful to their personal goals. Additional options might include Environmental Ethics, Engineering and Society, Divinity and Medical Ethics, Global Bioethics and Clinical Bioethics and Health Policy. We encourage you to explore the issues most relevant to your specific interests and invite you to take advantage of all the opportunities available through Duke University.


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