The UPenn bioethics minor is designed to give students a broad overview of the methods, core content areas and central ethical questions in the field of bioethics. The bioethics minor is a cross-school, interdisciplinary educational program created through a collaboration of the Departments of Anthropology, History and Sociology of Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Medical Ethics & Health Policy. Students of any major are eligible for the bioethics minor.
The bioethics minor will begin enrolling students in Fall 2013.
The curriculum for the bioethics minor is drawn from existing courses across several collaborating departments within the University.
The bioethics minor includes three approaches to the study of bioethics that are considered in the field to be foundational: historical, normative, and policy & culture. Students must complete coursework in each of these three categories.
Students earning a bioethics minor must also have exposure to the three core content areas of bioethics: research ethics, clinical ethics, and resource allocation.
Students must also have at least one course that is comparative in nature, and one course that is a seminar (rather than a large lecture course).
Six courses are required for the bioethics minor.
1. Foundation Requirement
All students must complete one course in each of the three foundation areas: one course in the "historical" category, one course in the "normative” category, and one in the category of "policy & culture." Courses fulfilling these foundational requirements can be found in multiple departments. For example, it is possible to fulfill the “normative” requirement by taking PHIL 2, PHIL 72, HSOC 51, HSOC 342, HSOC 351, BIOE 565, BIOE 590, BIOE 601, OR BIOE 602.
2. Content Requirement
Students must also complete one course in three content areas: research ethics, clinical ethics, and resource allocation. If any of the three foundations courses also covers a central content area (i.e., research ethics, clinical ethics, or allocation), the foundation course may also count as a content requirement. Individual courses may count toward both the foundation requirement and content requirement, but not as two or more foundation requirements, nor as two or more content requirements.
3. Format Requirement
One course in the minor must be a seminar course and one course must be a comparative course. Any foundations course and any content course may additionally count towards fulfilling the comparative course requirement or seminar requirement.
4. Interdisciplinary Requirement
Additionally, because bioethics is an interdisciplinary field, students must select courses from at least three different departments, and students will not be permitted to take more than 3 three courses in a single department.
A worksheet is available to assist with course planning.
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