Bioethics and Medical Humanities/Social Work

A socialwork student in the hospital with a patient
Master of Arts/Master of Social Work

About the Program

As the number and complexity of ethical dilemmas in healthcare, aging, mental health and social work continue to increase, there is a growing need for advanced practice social workers who are knowledgeable about the principles and problem-resolution techniques that are fundamental to bioethics.

In Case Western Reserve University’s Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities and Master of Social Work dual-degree program, you’ll learn from faculty of our No. 9 Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and No. 25 School of Medicine. They’ll prepare you for a rewarding career in which you can counsel healthcare providers, organizations and clients on difficult decisions; create and shape policy at all levels; and teach others about the ethical issues that are increasingly prevalent in social work today.

What to Expect

You can complete our MA/MSW dual degree in as few as 16 months, though we offer flexible learning options to meet your busy lifestyle.

Our “side-by-side” MA/MSW program offers you the chance to study both areas simultaneously, with the curriculum of each program designed to enhance the other. You’ll complete 61 credit hours in social work and 31 in bioethics—though 16 credit hours “count double”—meaning you’ll pay less and complete your degrees faster as part of a dual-degree program than if done separately.

Cross-disciplinary courses include Intercultural Issues in Bioethics and Social Work, electives and a culminating one-credit capstone that integrates the entire program’s learnings.

Each MA/MSW student has a faculty advisor and a field advisor in the social work program as well as a faculty advisor in the Department of Bioethics—all of whom team up to provide you personalized support on your path to success.

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Beyond the Classroom

Your learning isn’t limited to the lecture hall. You’ll get hands-on experience through social work field placements as well as a Clinical Ethics Rotation, in which you’ll use real-life clinical cases to gain a deeper understanding of hospital ethics committees, institutional review boards, and hospital policies on topics such as “do not resuscitate” orders, advance directives, organ procurement and transplantation, and so much more.

And you’ll do it all in the healthcare hub of Cleveland, completing your rotations in renowned hospitals such as Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals.

Well, maybe not all in Cleveland: You can expand your global understanding of ethics and social work through study abroad offerings to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, South Africa, Spain and many more.

By the Numbers


Master of Social Work program in the country, U.S. News & World Report


medical school for research, U.S. News & World Report



student:faculty ratio in the social work school—among the nation’s lowest


advisors dedicated to your success in the program


years to complete

Admission Details

Students must apply separately to the Mandel School and the Department of Bioethics for admission into each program. Admission to one program is not a guarantee that the student will gain admission to the other, and application to both programs should be made simultaneously.

Though each program may have its own application requirements, typically the process includes:

  • Online application, including a statement of purpose and personal statement
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Test scores for GRE (required) and MAT, MCAT, LSAT, DAT or GMAT (optional)
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS or PTE

Contact Us

Richard Sigg
Richard Sigg
Director for Recruitment and Enrollment
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Leah Jeunnette
Leah Jeunnette, PhD
Director, MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities Program
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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