Bioethics and Medical Humanities/Genetics

A scientist looking at a DNA sequence
Master of Arts/PhD

About the Program

The rapid pace of human genetic research has led to an ever-increasing number of complex ethical issues. Accordingly, the need for combined training in genetic, bioethics and medical humanities is becoming obvious. Become a leader in the field with a dual PhD in Genetics and Master of Arts (MA) in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

As the #1 medical school in Ohio, we’re proud to be home to one of the first bioethics programs of its kind in the U.S. Here, you’ll explore the ways in which bioethical scholarship uses concepts and methods from the humanities, social sciences, clinical research, law and health policy to solve pressing issues.

Your combined training across these fields will prepare you for careers in teaching, clinical laboratory research, or genetic research.

What to Expect

In your five years in this program, you’ll learn from nationally and internationally renowned multidisciplinary faculty with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, philosophy, law, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, public health and history. They’ll help you hone your skills in our program’s five core areas: 

  • Normative and social science theory and methods
  • Research ethics
  • Clinical ethics
  • Medical humanities and social medicine 
  • Public health ethics  

Plus, you can choose additional concentrations based on your research interests, including problems in genetics and genomics; stem cell research and regenerative medicine; research ethics and public health ethics; clinical ethics; or medicine, society and culture. 

In our program, you’ll also learn how to better prepare both professional presentations and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and how to compete for academic positions as well as funding from sources such as the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Alumna Olivia Corradin (’15) was recently selected to be a Whitehead Fellow, a highly selective and prestigious position at the Whitehead Institute and MIT; the program provides support for independent research immediately after her graduate studies without furthering her postdoctoral training.

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Beyond the Classroom

In our MA/PhD program, you’ll live and study in Cleveland, one of the top medical communities in the U.S. Our city is home to Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals—renowned medical institutions where you’ll have opportunities to experience unique clinical rotations to better understand applied bioethics in hospitals and at the bedside. 

You can also receive additional research and training opportunities through several affiliated programs, including the Center for Human Genetics at University Hospitals and the Genomics Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Better yet, you don’t even have to venture outside of Case Western Reserve to find opportunities. Our School of Medicine is home to the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law, funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and its team works to address some of the most pressing ethical, legal and social questions raised by recent advances in genetic and genomic research.

By the Numbers


credits for two degrees


medical school in Ohio, U.S. News & World Report


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

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

You must apply and be accepted to each program to qualify. The application typically requires:

  • Online application, including a letter or intent or statement of objectives as well as a writing sample and a short essay
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Test scores for GRE (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

Contact Us

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

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