Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for the program?
Do I need to have a background or previous experience in bioethics to apply to the program?
What materials are required for application and what is the deadline?
Can I customize the program according to my interests?
Are scholarships available?
How do I apply for financial aid?
What is the Harvard community like?
Do I need to take the GRE?
Do I need to interview?
I still have additional questions, is there someone in the program I can speak to?
Can international students apply to the bioethics program? How can I apply?
Is there financial aid or scholarship options available to international students?
Do I have to take the TOEFL?
The minimum requirement for entry into the Master of Bioethics Degree Program is a bachelor’s degree and demonstrated interest in the field of bioethics. The program is aimed primarily toward mid-career professionals interested in ethical issues related broadly to health care practice, industry, research, and policy. Our students include (but are not necessarily be limited to) physicians, nurses, social workers, health care administrators, chaplains, attorneys, journalists and writers, scientists and medical researchers, psychologists and therapists. A limited number of bachelor's-level applicants with strong academic records and demonstrated interest in bioethics will be considered for admission.
No. Previous study or experience in bioethics is helpful, but not necessary. You will have the opportunity to describe your interest in bioethics in your personal statement and other application materials.
Refer to the apply page for detailed information about the application process and deadlines.
Yes. Students will be required to complete a core course of study in the foundations of bioethics and major areas in bioethics. With the guidance and approval of the academic advisor, students will have opportunities to tailor their experience to their interests with elective coursework, through the capstone project, and by drawing on the vast resources of the Center for Bioethics and Harvard University.
Full-time students will complete the master’s program in one year by completing a total of 36 credits, including a 4-credit capstone project. Classes offered through the Center for Bioethics will primarily occur in the late afternoons.
Part-time alternatives are possible with the expectation that students would complete the degree in two years. The maximum time from enrollment to completion is three years, however extension of studies beyond two years would require a petition for extension and is granted only in extenuating individual circumstances. Additional costs for extended time will be applied.
Detailed schedules of the full- and part-time program options are available on the Curriculum page.
We offer only in-person classes at the Harvard Medical School campus in Boston, Massachusetts. There are no plans to offer on-line courses for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Tuition, fees, and expenses comprise the cost of attendance for master’s programs at HMS. Get detailed information here.
No. At this time, the program is unable to offer any scholarship support. Many of our students do receive financial assistance through their employers or through their home government. Information about financial aid through Harvard Medical School is available here.
Harvard Medical School is a vibrant and diverse community consisting of the Longwood Campus and 12 affiliated teaching hospitals in the greater Boston area. HMS is a leader in academic medicine through its teaching, research, and clinical resources.
No. The only required standardized test score for admission is the TOEFL exam for applicants whose native language is not English, with the exception of non-native English speakers who earned a bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction. If you have taken the GRE and wish to have your scores considered by the admissions committee, you may submit scores to Institution Code 0550.
Decisions on some applications may be made without interviews. If offered, interviews typically occur via Skype.
Please email Amanda Chieco, the Education Coordinator, with additional questions.
International students may apply with the same materials as U.S. students. International students will be responsible for working with Harvard International Office to secure visas permitting study prior to beginning the program.
At this time, the program is unable to offer any scholarship support.
The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required of applicants whose native language is not English. Exemption from this requirement may be granted for those who earned a bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction. The TOEFL Code for Harvard Medical School Graduate Education Master’s Programs is 3151.