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Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics (Single Degree)

Our 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. Graduates will be able to use their multidisciplinary understanding of medicine in their teaching, advising, and ethical decision making.


This program is designed around a typical work schedule. The core courses (MHB 401-406) meet in the evening, typically once weekly from 6 to 9pm. The Special Topics course meets every Thursday from noon to 12:45pm, and the lectures are typically recorded for those unable to attend. All classes meet on Northwestern's Chicago campus.


Our curriculum consists of ten courses, including an MA capstone project. Below is a graphical representation of the curriculum, as it is commonly taken. Each course consists of one-unit, but some are divided across multiple quarters. Hover over a course's title for its description. It is possible to compress the curriculum into five quarters.


This program was designed for students who already have a professional degree, for example an MD, an RN, or a JD. A Master of Arts degree is not considered a terminal degree in this field and will likely not provide many opportunities for those with no further education. However, we do not require that applicants have a degree beyond a bachelor's degree. If you plan to continue your education or otherwise think that the program fits your interests and goals, we would welcome your application.

In addition to the online application and application fee (currently $95), applicants must provide transcripts of past coursework, letters of recommendation from two faculty members or employers who can address their interest in medical humanities and bioethics and ability to do graduate level work, a one-page statement of purpose describing why they're seeking an MA in Medical Humanities and Bioethics, and a writing sample. The GRE is not required but may bolster your 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. This will be verified by your transcripts.

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

Entering quarter Application deadline
Summer 2022 Monday, May 2, 2022
Fall 2022 Monday, June 27, 2022

Apply to our program via The Graduate School Admissions page.


Tuition is set annually by The Graduate School. The 2021-2022 tuition is $7,123 per course. Annual increases should be expected. Our program provides some financial aid depending on need as determined by the FAFSA. You must submit a FAFSA to receive aid through the program. Financial aid in the form of loans is available to part-time students who enroll in at least two courses per quarter (more about loans). Some students receive tuition reimbursement through their employers; employed students should check with their employers about the availability of tuition benefits. Faculty and staff at Northwestern University may be eligible for tuition assistance.

Contact Us

Contact Bryan Morrison for additional information or assistance.