Masters Program

NYU’s Master of Arts degree in Bioethics is a major focus of the NYU Center for Bioethics, which is one of the first programs in the world to promote a broad conception of bioethics encompassing both medical and environmental ethics. Based in the Faculty of Arts and Science, the MA Program has its own core faculty, who are all full-time and have extensive experience in the field of bioethics; and draws on renowned faculty affiliates throughout the university from top-ranked Departments of Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, and Environmental Medicine, as well as from the School of Medicine, the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Global Institute of Public Health and the School of Law, reflecting the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary expertise and concerns of the Bioethics MA Program.

Through our unique, one-one advising for all students from our core faculty and our small class size, students develop concepts and analytical skills that enable them to think critically about pressing bioethical and environmental issues and their implications for biomedical, public health, and environmental policy and practice. Topics include:

  • Clinical Ethics: the doctor/patient relationship, conscientious objection, management of the beginning and end of life, fair allocation of scarce medical resources
  • Research Ethics: the ethics of using placebos, conflicts of interest and clinical trials, ethics consultations in health care, ethics of randomized controlled trials, research on children and the cognitively disabled, research in developing countries
  • Global Ethics: local and global distribution of disease and public health, global pandemics, duties of ancillary care, global disparities in health, human rights to health and health care, foreign aid and its critics
  • Ethics of New Biotechnologies: embryonic stem cells, cloning, assisted reproductive technology, genetic engineering, synthetic biology
  • Neuroethics: cognitive and mood enhancements, addiction and criminal responsibility, borderline consciousness,neuroscience of moral decision making, using brain imaging technologies to understand, diagnose, and treat psychiatric and neurological syndromes from depression to epilepsy
  • Animal Ethics: the use and misuse of animals and natural resources, the ethics of agriculture and food production
  • Population Ethics: population growth and quality of life
  • Environmental and Climate Ethics: climate change, ecological threats, preservation of wilderness, species, biodiversity, and ecosystem services

As a culmination, students complete a practicum in health and environmental organizations and projects in the greater New York area and abroad. Students have worked at the President's Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, the American Medical Association, the National Institute of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, and Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital.