Skip to main content

Combined MD/MA

Our Master of Arts in Medical Humanities and Bioethic program emphasizes the interdisciplinary study of bioethics through the humanities and the values-oriented social sciences. The goal of the program is a rigorous master's level education in the legal, historical, philosophical, and cultural contexts of medicine. When combined with the Feinberg medical degree, graduates will be able to use their multidisciplinary understanding of medicine in their teaching, advising, and ethical decision making.


This program is designed to fit around Feinberg's medical curriculum. There are two options for completing the MA coursework (illustrated below). Both options allow time to study for the boards and to complete your clinical rotations. The core courses (MHB 401-406) meet from 6 to 9 p.m. once weekly. The Special Topics lectures meet every Thursday from noon to 12:45 p.m., and the lectures are typically recorded and made available for download for those unable to attend. All classes meet on Northwestern University's Chicago campus.


Our curriculum consists of eight courses, two tutorials, and a capstone project. The two most common ways to complete curriculum are illustrated below. Courses can be completed in any order. Hover over a course's title for its description.

Four-year, Part-time Plan (Typical)

Five-year, Full-time Plan (Secondary Option)


The tuition for the MA portion of the combined MD/MA program is approximately $45,000 (versus approximately $78,000 for the MA as a freestanding student). Your MA tuition follows the same billing cycle as the medical tuition, with the first half of each year's tuition in the summer and the second in the winter. This amount is set by the medical school and increases should be expected in each new academic year.

Substantial financial aid is available. Medical students with high financial need can expect over half of their MA tuition to be covered by financial aid provided by the MHB graduate program.


Applications to the combined medical and master of arts program (combined MD/MA program) begin with an application for admission to Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. There is a separate application for the master's degree portion of the program, because this degree is provided by the Graduate School. Since our application deadline is much later than the medical school's, we recommend that you wait to hear that you have been accepted into the MD program before completing the second application.

In addition to the application and an application fee of $95, you must provide a one-page statement of purpose describing why you are seeking a combined-degree program, as well as a writing sample. We require two letters of recommendation from a faculty member or employer. You may reuse one letter that was written for your medical school application, but at least one letter must address your interest in bioethics or the medical humanities and your ability to do graduate-level work. MCAT scores will be accepted in place of GRE scores. Uploading unofficial transcripts is sufficient for the application.

If English is not your native language, you must provide official scores from the TOEFL or IELTS standardized test that fulfill the requirements defined by The Graduate School. You are exempt from this requirement if you have previously completed a degree from an accredited institution where the primary language of instruction is English.

Applications and all supplemental materials must be received by the application deadline—see below.

Entering quarter Application deadline
Fall 2024 Monday, July 1, 2024
Apply Via The Graduate School Admissions Page



Contact Us

Please email Bryan Morrison for additional information or assistance.