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Minor Requirements


Bioethics is the study of the ethical dimensions inherent in medical and scientific research, the delivery and practice of health care, the training and conduct of clinical providers, and the creation of national and global health policy.  In addition to normative analysis, the study of these important topics requires critical examination of the philosophical underpinnings, history, social and political context, and cultural variables and representations that shape and transform medicine and the life sciences.  Therefore, by its nature, bioethics is an inter-disciplinary field that brings different methodological and conceptual analyses to a core set of concerns that includes: the doctor-patient relationship, the allocation of scarce medical resources, scientific and medical experimentation, reproductive rights, access to healthcare, patient and surrogate decision-making, assisted dying and end-of-life care, genetic engineering and enhancement, conflict of interest, and advances in biotechnology, genetics, reproductive technologies, and neuroscience.

Six courses are required for the bioethics minor, all of which must come from the six departments that have joined to offer this minor (ANTH, BIOE, HSOC, PHIL, PSCI, SOCI) and which must be listed on the course matrix.   Courses from other departments cannot be petitioned or included.  Students may have no more than three courses from any one department.

To become a minor, contact Dr. Ann Greene or Dr. Harald Schmidt, the advisers for the minor.  

ABOUT BIOE COURSES: BIOE courses are graduate-level courses (except for 401/402) and undergraduates require permission to register. Contact the instructor of the course you want to take in order to get permission to register for the course.  If you are unable to contact the instructor, then contact Dr. McCoy for assistance.

  1. Foundation Requirement

    Students must complete one course in each of three foundation areas:

  2. Content Requirement

    Students must also complete one course in each of three content areas:

    A course may count toward both the foundation and the content requirement, but not for two or more foundation requirements or 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 foundation course and any content course may also fulfill the comparative or seminar requirement.

  4. Interdisciplinary Requirement

    Departments represent different communities. Courses, though cross-listed, have homes in certain departments. Because bioethics is an interdisciplinary field

    • Students must select courses from at least three different departments
    • Students cannot count more than three courses from one department
    • HSOC majors may only double-count 3 cu between HSOC and the BIOE minor (and HBS concentrators may not minor in BIOE)

Download information about courses and a planning grid: