Emily Esmaili
Emily Esmaili

Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy

MD/MA Program

Broaden your perspective and become a voice in future discussions surrounding the ethics and policy of healthcare with Duke’s joint MD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy Receive more info Apply Now

Shape Healthcare Policy & Make Your Medicine Personal

The Duke Master in Bioethics & Science Policy teaches students how to thoughtfully identify, analyze, and propose solutions to address cutting edge and historical developments in science, medicine, technology, and policy. The program provides a foundation in the history, philosophy, legal, social, and theoretical approaches to bioethical analysis, as well as an introduction to science and health policy. Our curriculum is distinct from other bioethics degrees in its focus on bioethics and science policy, rather than bioethics or medical ethics alone.


All Duke second-year medical students are eligible to apply.

Length of Program

Students usually take a year before or after their third year of medical school. The program is typically completed by undertaking the course work full time during the fall and spring semesters, followed by a practicum or thesis during the following summer term. The program is, however, highly flexible in the scheduling of degree requirements, especially in the case of joint degree students.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition for the MA degree, as set by Duke Graduate School for 2018-2019 is $80,310.

profile-list-stephanie-verebAll Duke Medical School students will be eligible for a 50% merit scholarship from Science & Society, reducing the tuition to $40,155. In addition, MD students will be eligible to receive a $10-15,000 tuition subsidy from the Medical School for third year studies.

Science & Society also grants substantial scholarships as Leadership Awards to applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential to become leaders in making scientific advancements more accessible, just and better integrated into society. Applications for the Leadership Awards are due January 31st.


  • Jan. 31 – Application for Leadership Award
  • March 31 – Priority admission deadline
  • May 31 – Final deadline for fall admission

Application Procedure/Requirements

In addition to our standard application requirements medical students may substitute their MCAT scores used for admission to the Duke Medical School.

Curriculum & Research Experience

Required core courses (12 credits): Science Law & Policy; Clinical Bioethics and Policy; Law Research and Bioethics; Contemporary Issues; Colloquium.

Electives (15 credits): courses selected from across Duke schools and departments. View electives here.

Practicum or Masters Thesis (9 credits): Students have the option to either spend 10 weeks with a host organization engaged in work related to bioethics or science policy or to write a masters thesis

Contact/Study Program Director

Michael B. Waitzkin, JD, LLM
MA Director of Graduate Studies
Email: michael.waitzkin@duke.edu
Phone: (202) 528-1684

Margaret Humphreys, MD PhD
Study Program Director for the Humanities Track
Email: meh@duke.edu
Phone: (919) 684-2285