Frequently Asked Questions
Bioethics is a field of scholarly endeavor that addresses ethical and policy issues raised by the life sciences and their human applications. It reaches from the laboratory to health care delivery to industry and government, affecting not only individuals but also the wider society. Bioethics is thus broadly interdisciplinary – both a theoretical enterprise and a practical competence.
Bioethics is fundamentally multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Thus, our students come from many different academic and professional backgrounds.
Graduate bioethics education enhances work, service, and scholarship in a number of areas. In order to heighten the value of the learning process, we seek a broad and diverse community of students, including current and future health care providers, researcher in biomedicine and the life sciences, lawyers, and professionals in religion, health and research administration, and the biotechnology industry.
The Graduate Program in Bioethics equips graduates to practice, teach, and conduct research about bioethics, and is an excellent complement to other advanced degrees. People already employed in health-related fields have found that the master’s degree or graduate certificate enhances careers by creating opportunities within their professions or allowing them to branch out into other areas. For graduates entering the workforce, graduate-level educations in bioethics is relevant to a variety of jobs, including health administration, clinical care, and research, law, and public policy.
A majority of students are mid-career professionals in fields as diverse as biotechnology, business, consulting, clinical research, journalism, law, life sciences, nursing, medicine, ministry, pharmaceuticals, physician’s assistant practice, public health, public service, etc. We also enroll a number of post-baccalaureate students and dual degree students (JD/MA, MD/MA, MDiv/MA). Student profiles may be seen here.
The MA requires a total of 30 credit hours: 24 hours of course work (~8 courses) and 6 hours of thesis work. The Graduate Certificate requires 12 credit hours of course work (~4 courses), including at least 9 hours of required courses.
Yes. Joint degrees facilitate an interdisciplinary and comparative study of another discipline and bioethics and prepare students whose academic or career interests require gaining scholarly expertise in both. Joint degrees are currently available with the Wake Forest Schools of Divinity, Law, and Medicine. You can find more information here.
There is the option of a dual degree - BA or BS plus the MA in Bioethics - that allows qualified Wake Forest undergraduates to begin early graduate studies that advance career interests in many disciplines and professions related to bioethics, see dual degree program.
How long does it take to complete the MA?
Full-Time students typically enroll for three semesters (e.g. fall, spring, fall OR spring, fall, spring), though they only enroll with full-time tuition for 2 semesters. It is also possible to complete an accelerated program in approx. 11 1/2 months. Please contact the Program Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions about this. Part-Time students have up to 6 years to complete the degree and can take as little as 1 and as many as 3 courses per semester.
Yes. Students are welcome to take a class without enrolling in a degree or certificate program.
Based on program and instructor permission, students may take up to 6 credit hours (~ 2 courses) in the exploratory status. If a student applies and is accepted to a program of study, then the earned course credit counts toward the degree or certificate.
Students may start the program in either the fall (August) or the spring (January) semester.
Not at this time.
There are a number of undergraduate courses in bioethics offered on the Reynolda campus. Please check the course schedule for more information. Prospective graduate students are welcome to sit in on graduate class meetings.
There is also the option of the dual degree, BA/BS & MA in Bioethics, that allows qualified Wake Forest undergraduates to begin early graduate studies that advance career interests in many disciplines and professions related to bioethics, see dual degree program.
Prospective graduate students are welcome to sit in on graduate class meetings.
Most courses meet once a week in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate work schedules. Small class sizes and versatile curricular and research options enable students to tailor the program to individual interests and passions. Courses are usually dependent upon facilitated discussion and student engagement.
The curriculum for MA in Bioethics students consists of required courses and elective courses. All MA students must take Bioethics Theory, Bioethics Seminar, and Thesis Research. Students are required to take 2 of 3 courses: Clinical Ethics; Biomedical Research Ethics; and Public Policy, Medicine and Justice. All MA students must also complete 12 credit hours of electives. Course descriptions may be found here.
Wake Forest has a national focus and a strong sense of ethics and public mission. Bioethics is necessarily collaborative and interdisciplinary, forming natural bridges among the sciences, the humanities, and the professions. Wake Forest University’s unique scale and composition and its highly collegial atmosphere create an ideal environment for students of bioethics to flourish.
In addition to its renowned and accessible faculty and its diversity of engaged students, the program is uniquely customizable, flexible, and personal. The small class sizes and versatile curricular offerings enable students to tailor the program to individual interests and passions. Evening and once-a-week classes ensure that the program can change with a student’s evolving needs. Our intentionally small program emphasizes face-to-face interaction, promotes essential scholarly and interpersonal communicative capabilities, and fosters close relationships among faculty and students.
A list of our faculty members can be found here.
Financial support for the Bioethics Program is available through institutional and federal sources. Most students receive substantial financial support. The tuition rates set for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences form the cost basis for the program and can be found here.
Wake Forest University and Wake Forest University Health Sciences employees also may be eligible for tuition concession. Prospective students are encouraged to apply to the program so that their eligibility for financial support can be determined. For more information, see here.
Financial support for the Bioetihcs Program is available through institutional and federal sources. Prospective students are encouraged to apply to the program so that their eligibility for financial support can be determined. For more information, see here.
The availability of research assistant positions varies per year and is based on a number of factors. Please check with the program for available positions. There are no teaching assistant positions.
The Graduate School does not offer on-campus housing. The Wake Forest University housing office does offer some off-campus housing information here.
Students are encouraged to observe a class, talk with current students, and meet with the Associate Director. For more information or to set up a tour, e-mail email@example.com
or call 336-716-1499.
The MA in Bioethics program begins review of applications for fall enrollment on January 15 and accepts application after this date on a rolling basis. There is a priority deadline of November 1 for spring enrollment.
Applicants to the Graduate School are ordinarily required to have taken the GRE within the past 5 years.
The GRE requirement may be waived for Master of Arts in Bioethics applicants who meet certain criteria. Please see Application Procedures for more information.
Determination of eligibility for waiver is made by the Bioethics Program Admissions Committee. Applicants seeking waiver of the GRE requirement should send a request along with a current curriculum vitae or resume to Vicky Zickmund, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Admissions Committee may request more information before making a decision. Waiver requests should be submitted in time for prospective students to take the GRE if necessary.
Waiver of the GRE requirement does not guarantee admission to the program.
Instructions on how to submit GRE scores can be found here.
For instructions on the submission of other standardized test scores (e.g. MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, etc.), please contact email@example.com
The application requirement checklist can be found here.
The online application can be found here.
As well as printable applications.
Dean of the Graduate School
Wake Forest University
1834 Wake Forest Road
Room 6, Reynolda Hall
PO Box 7487 Reynolda Station
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7487
An interview is not required for admission; however the Admissions Committee may request an interview.
Applicants will be notified as soon as possible once all application materials have been received. Timing of notification is dependent upon time of application.
The Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will notify applicants periodically if application materials have been received or are outstanding.
Instructions for letters of recommendation may be found here.
The tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
Vicky L. Zickmund, MBA, MHS
Associate Director, Master of Arts in Bioethics
Division of Public Health Sciences
Wells Fargo Center13th Floor
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
p 336 716 1499
f 336 716 7554