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The MPH/Masters in Bioethics (MBE) is a dual degree program sponsored by the Master of Public Health Program and the Medical Ethics and Health Policy Department within the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The aim of the dual degree program is to prepare students to be leaders in public health and bioethics-related research-based programs and policy venues. This dual degree program blends the like missions and values of public health and bioethics and will prepare students with a depth of training and expertise to address the moral challenges facing the public health community today and tomorrow.

Students will have the opportunity to earn both degrees on either a full-time or part-time schedule. This program is intended to:

  • Provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the cultural contexts and moral issues in the field of public health.
  • Train students to be capable of providing in-depth analysis of ethical issues to enhance and inform public health practice and research.
  • Optimally position students to enter the public health field as bioethicists in health departments and public policy and administration areas.

Application Process

Students apply first to the MPH, and only upon acceptance to the Penn MPH program should students apply for the MPH/MBE dual degree. Students applying to the MBE may use the same letters of recommendation used for the MPH application. The MBE degree requires no GRE or other standardized test scores. The MBE application fee is waived for dual degree applicants.

Degree Completion Requirements

In order for a student to receive both degrees, he or she must complete the independent degree requirements of each program. For Public Health students must complete 14 CUs for the MPH portion of the degree: PUBH 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508 (2 cu), 2 PUBH electives, BIOE 601, BIOE 602, and an approved  BIOE elective.

For the MBE  program Students must complete 9 CUs toward the MBE portion of the degree.  Of these, students take six course units in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy (BIOE 601, 602, 580 OR 565, and 3 electives) and three course units of MPH coursework (PUBH 504, 505, and 1 CU of 508).

The 17 cu joint degree is earned in two years for full time students and 4 years for half time students, as follows:

Sample Study Plan #1 for Full-time MPH-MBE Students

Year 1

Fall

PUBH 502

PUBH 505

Bioe 601

Bioe xxx

Spring

PUBH 501

PUBH 504

Bioe 602

PUBH xxx

Summer

RFE =125

Bioe xxx

Year

2

Fall

PUBH 506

PUBH 503

PUBH 507

PUBH 508-1

Spring

Bioe580 or 565

PUBH 508-2

PUBH xxx

Bioe xxx

Sample Study Plan #2 for Part-time MBE-MPH Students

Year 1

Fall

PUBH 501

PUBH 503

Spring

PUBH 502

PUBH xxx

Summer

RFE =125 ?

Year 2

Fall

Bioe 601

PUBH 504

Spring

Bioe 602

PUBH 506

Summer

Bioe xxx

Year 3

Fall

PUBH 507

PUBH 505

Spring

Bioe 580

PUBH 508-1

Summer

Year 4

Fall

Bioe xxx

PUBH 508-2

Spring

PUBH 508-2

PUBH xxx

Tuition and Financial Aid

The MPH Program will be the home school for the duration of the dual degree, with one exception: If a student is only registered for BIOE courses in any given semester, the primary program will be switched to BIOE primary for that semester. The MPH Program offers limited tuition scholarship support for students with demonstrated need and merit and these decisions are made by the MPH alone. The scholarship announcements are released each spring term and the awardees are announced by the end of the spring term. This tuition support may only be applied to PUBH prefix courses in the following fall or spring terms. The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy does not offer any financial aid, grants, or scholarships.

Scheduling Courses

Students register for courses in one program in that program's registration period and according to that program’s registration rules and procedures. The timing and location of course scheduling must also be considered so that students are best able to attend all classes.

Communication Issues

Students with questions about the MPH/MBE program can address them to the following persons:
Prospective and current students with questions about the MPH program
: Rosemary Frasso, Director of Education at 215.746.8554 or rofrasso@mail.med.upenn.edu.
Prospective and current students with question about the MBE Program: Autumn Fiester, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Each year, this document will be reviewed and re-approved by representatives of both departments. Currently, that review will be handled by: For the MPH Program: Rosemary Frasso, Director of Education. For MBE: Autumn Fiester, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Issues Particular to the Program

Students in the joint degree program may have particular career interests and goals. They are encouraged to contact Dr Pinto-Martin or their academic advisor in the MPH Program and with either Dr. Fiester or their faculty advisor at the Department of Medical Ethics.