Dual Degree, Bioethics & Public Health - Matthew

Matthew is a first year student in Bioethics and Public Health. Matthew shares his experience at Case Western Reserve University and his plans to travel abroad to Amsterdam to study euthanasia.

Dual Degree, Bioethics & Public Health - Charley

Charley is earning her Master's in Bioethics and Medical Humanities as well as MA in Public Health. She completed her BA at Michigan State University, before coming to Case Western Reserve University to further her studies in Bioethics.

This program combines the Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities with the Master of Public Health degree. The Master of Public Health Program prepares students to address the broad mission of public health, defined as "enhancing health in human populations, through organized community effort," utilizing education, research, and community service. Public health practitioners must be prepared to identify and assess health needs of different populations, and able to plan, implement and evaluate programs to respond to those needs.

It is the task of the public health practitioner to prevent illness, and to protect and promote the wellness of human-kind. A Master of Public Health degree provides education in public health basics, including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health policy and social and behavioral sciences.

The Department of Bioethics offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities. Advances in health sciences have created new and difficult moral choices for individuals, their families, and the health professionals who work with them. The Department of Bioethics is dedicated to responding to the challenge of health care choices faced in today's society. Professionals from many arenas, including public health, prevention sciences, health sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences have contributed to and drawn from the field of bioethics.

Because of the breadth and scope of the field of public health and the discipline of bioethics, the CWRU MPH and Bioethics Programs are ideally suited to combine in a joint effort. The MPH/Bioethics and Medical Humanities shared degree will enable students to obtain graduate preparation in both fields, contributing to the application of ethics in public health practice and thereby increasing the availability of leadership and scholarship relating to Bioethics in the public health community.

It is anticipated that this collaboration will improve the ethics component of the public health educational experience for all students through closer collaboration between departments, and through peer interactions of dual degree students and their colleagues.

The MPH Degree is a "terminal" degree and persons with the degree may pursue a variety of career paths. The MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities is considered a supplementary degree in that it enhances careers in other fields, e.g. law, medicine, nursing, or in this case, public health.

The joint bioethics-public health degree would fuel careers in every aspect of public health, including international and global health, public health preparedness and function, environmental health sciences, behavioral sciences, health education, health communications and health policy and management.

Bioethics Masters students receive their degree after 27 hours of study over one year. The School of Graduate Studies awards the MPH degree for 36 credit hours over two years. The joint MA/MPH program can be completed in three years of full-time study to complete a minimum of 57 credit hours. It should be noted that in 2007, changes in national education criteria for the Master of Public Health degree will require increasing credit hour requirements to 42 credits.

Options will be available for part-time pursuit of the degree within five years, or for an accelerated plan competed in five semesters. Students will develop individual education plans (IEP) with their advisors and may customize their approach and pace through the program. Each program has a set of core courses that must be completed; 15 core credits in Public Health and 15 core credits in Bioethics for a combined total of 30 required credit hours. The 9-credit Capstone experience is also required of all public health students.

The stand-alone Bioethics program also requires 12 credits taken from a list of approved elective courses. In addition to its 24 required credits, the stand-alone MPH program requires 9 concentration credits and 3 elective credits. Joint MA/MPH candidates will combine their Bioethics electives and Public Health concentration and elective courses to complete a total of 18 credit hours of advanced electives.

For more information about the MPH program, contact Tara Hannum, MPH Administrative Director, 216.368.7567, For more information about the MA program, contact Mark Aulisio, Ph.D., Director, Bioethics and Medical Humanities Master's Program, 216.778.7290,