Master of Arts in

Bioethics & Science Policy

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A distinctive feature of Duke’s MA in Bioethics & Science Policy is the opportunity to concentrate in a specific area to allow students to focus on an existing or emerging area that poses fundamental questions about the relationship between science, ethics, and society. However, you are not obligated to select from these choices and are free to explore custom concentrations tailored to your interests (see the 4th choice below).

A concentration consists of four electives:

  • Background course in concentration area *
  • Two electives in concentration area
  • One general elective




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

This concentration 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 Concentration

Students may design a concentration with the guidance of the Curriculum Advisor or their mentor. Suggested options 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.

* May be replaced with another concentration elective for students with relevant professional experience or coursework.