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Applying to Our Program

Who should apply?

The Master of Bioethics is designed for the following types of students:

  • Professionals with 3 or more years of experience in bioethics-related fields, including medicine, nursing, law, dentistry, social work, health care administration, industry, public policy, regulatory affairs, and other allied health professions, or,
  • Students pursuing another bioethics-related graduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania or other area professional schools.

We do admit a very limited number of post-bacclaureate students (those who have recently completed a BA or a BS), and we require a 3.5 GPA for these applicants. The MBE degree is not considered a "terminal degree;" further academic work is needed for most positions in the field of bioethics.


Admissions Criteria

Professional applicants will be evaluated on the applicant's professional record and on the extent to which the MBE degree complements the applicant's career and future professional growth.

For those students already matriculated in another graduate program who are applying for a dual degree, applicants are considered based on their academic record and on the extent to which the MBE degree complements the applicant's interests and educational goals.

Post-bacclaureate students must have a 3.5 GPA. We do not require any standardized tests.


Application Instructions

MBE APPLICATION (downloadable PDF)

1. Applicants should complete the application and send it to: Admissions, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3319.

    2. Include a non-refundable $70 application fee made payable to: "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania". The application fee is waived for dual degree applicants.

    3. Include a current resume/CV.

    4. Arrange to have all transcripts of previous post-secondary work sent to the address above.

    Note: We do not require the GRE or any other test scores.

    5. Arrange to have 3 letters of recommendation from close professional colleagues or academic instructors sent to the address above.

    Note: There are no recommendation forms included in the application packet.

      6. Please follow this link if your answer to Question 14 on the application is "yes".


      Dual Degree Applicants

      Special Instructions for Dual Degree Students here.


      International Students

      International Students should apply as described above. For important information for international students, please see the Penn Office of International Programs website.


      Non-matriculated Students

      Students can take courses at the University of Pennsylvania without officially enrolling in the Master of Bioethics Program. Consider taking a course with us if:

      • You are working in a bioethics-related field and we are offering a course that would enhance your career goals or that matches your personal interests
      • You are working in a bioethics-related field and you want to see if this is the right program for you
      • You are a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania who needs or wants a bioethics-related elective
      • You have a general interest in bioethics and want to learn more about the field

      A bachelor's degree is required to take a course with us. As a non-matriculated student, you can take up to 3 courses without formal admission to our program (subject to Director's approval). Any courses taken on a non-matriculated basis will count toward the MBE degree if you later are accepted into the program. Current tuition and fees can be found here. Please contact if you have additional questions or would like to arrange to sit in on a class.

      For more information on how to apply as a Non-Matriculated Student, and to download the Take a Course application, see our Take a Course With Us page. See our current course listings here.


      Application/Admissions Cycle

      All applications are considered on a rolling basis. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot send notices upon receipt of application.

      If accepted, the student chooses the semester in which s/he would like to begin taking courses. We offer a full Spring, Summer and Fall semester.


      Nondiscrimination

      The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).