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2023 Bioethics/Medical Ethics Degree Guide

A career in bioethics or medical ethics can have far-reaching implications. Working in the medical ethics field, you will be responsible for setting policy on medical procedures and processes, often stemming from new technology. This may involve the topics of death and dying, organ transplant, the use of human and animal subjects and reproduction and fertility. Is physician-assisted death for terminal patients morally acceptable? Should fertility drugs be used to support at-risk patients? These questions and more need to be answered and policies need to be created to support these decisions.

You may work in a hospital setting, a biology company or sit on an oversight board helping make decisions related to medical ethics. You may also work in an educational setting teaching new medical students the importance of ethics in their careers.

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field with people starting in undergraduate programs in the sciences or medicine with a minor or specialization in ethics. At the graduate level, students can focus solely on bioethics and can earn a master's or doctorate degree.

A Recent Jump in Bioethics/Medical Ethics Degrees

#133 Most Popular Major
5.1k Degrees Awarded
17.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, bioethics/medical ethics was the 133rd most popular major nationwide with 5,115 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 896 over the prior year, a growth of 17.5%.

This year's Best Bioethics/Medical Ethics Schools ranking compares 38 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom medical ethics rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Bioethics/Medical Ethics
2023 Overall Best Bioethics/Medical Ethics Colleges >

Best Bioethics/Medical Ethics Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Bioethics/Medical Ethics
Bachelor's Degrees in Bioethics/Medical Ethics
Master's Degrees in Bioethics/Medical Ethics
Doctorate Degrees in Bioethics/Medical Ethics

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Bioethics/Medical Ethics

Students attending a bioethics program can expect to have courses in medical sociology, policy analysis, decision theory, and spirituality. You will need to have a strong moral compass and a good understanding of the underlying medicine you will be making decisions on. If you plan on going into an educational setting, you will need to enjoy working with students and have an aptitude for teaching.

Prior Education for a Medical Ethics Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific medical ethics careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Bioethics/Medical Ethics Degrees

There are various different levels of medical ethics degrees. Bioethics/Medical Ethics programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest medical ethics degree you can get. Bioethics/Medical Ethics programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Medical Ethics Graduate

$27.3k Average Starting Salary

In order to teach ethics, you will need an undergraduate degree in a related field along with a Master of Bioethics. Some careers will require a Doctor of Medicine degree in addition to a master's degree in ethics.

How Much Money Do Medical Ethics Grads Make?

Bioethics/Medical Ethics graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $27,334 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $23,712 to as high as $34,264. As you might expect, salaries for medical ethics graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Study Areas in Bioethics/Medical Ethics

One of 30 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Bioethics/Medical Ethics has other similar majors worth exploring.

Medical Ethics Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 663
Medical/Health Humanities 281
Health Professions Education 29
Health Professions Education, Ethics, and Humanities (Other) 3

View All Medical Ethics Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 322,592
Health & Medical Administrative Services 89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 84,274
Allied Health Professions 82,308

View All Medical Ethics Related Majors >


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