Dual Degrees in Public Health (M.P.H.) and Philosophy (M.A.)

Complex ethical considerations impacting everyday lives

The many advances in health sciences have resulted in new, complex ethical considerations for individuals, health care professionals, institutions, and other relevant decision-makers. Professionals in public health, prevention sciences, health sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences have relied on the field of bioethics when dealing with controversial issues related to (1) individual vs. community rights, (2) analysis of benefits, harms, risks and costs, and (3) ethical issues in global health research.

Eye shot photoYou will learn about ethical issues in population health practice, research, and policy. For example, you will examine questions related to individual and community responsibilities during infectious disease outbreaks and man-made or natural disasters. You will consider the ethical implications of various public health practices related to human rights, domestic and international research, resource allocations, security, and genetic/health screenings, as well as other relevant areas.

Students completing the program will receive a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in either Bioethics or International Research Ethics.

Through the dual degrees program, the two degrees can be obtained with a total of 60 earned credits, as compared with the 75 credits required if the degrees are obtained separately.

For students enrolled in the M.A. concentration in Bioethics:

  • P602: Public Health Internship (3 credits) will be counted in place of PHIL P548: Clinical Ethics Practicum (3 credits).
  • Students must complete a capstone research project which will be counted for both degrees by receiving 3 credits under P702/704/705 and 3 credits under PHIL P803 (the 6 credits total will be counted toward both degrees).

You may also select up to 6 credits of the following electives from either the M.A. or the M.P.H. curricula (no more than 3 credits from each) which will be counted for both degrees:

M.A. Electives

  • LAW DN761: Law and Public Health
  • LAW DN838: Bioethics and Law
  • SOC R515: Sociology of Health and Illness (Cross-listed course)
  • PHIL P548: Bioethics and Pragmatism
  • PHIL P555: Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research
  • PHIL P696: Topics in Biomedical Ethics

M.P.H. Electives

  • PBHL R515: Sociology of Health and Illness (Cross-listed course)
  • PBHL P611: Policy Development, Implementation and Management
  • PBHL P613: Public Health and Emergency Preparedness
  • PBHL P631: Maternal, Child, and Family Health
  • PBHL P632: History of Public Health

For the curricular requirements for each degree, please click M.P.H., M.A. (Bioethics), Below is a sample schedule that shows how the curricular requirements for both degrees can be met in the dual degrees program for concentrations in Health Policy & Management (M.P.H.) and Bioethics (M.A.):

Sample Schedule

(Italicized courses are counted toward both degrees)

Semester 1 (12 credits)

  • PBHL P500 Social & Behavioral in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P504 U.S. Health Care Systems & Health Policy (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P517 Fund. of Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P540 Contemporary Ethical Theories (3 cr.)

Semester 2 (12 credits)

  • PBHL P519 Environmental Science in PH (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P551 Biostatistics for PH I (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P547 Foundations of Bioethics (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P553 Philosophy of Science (3 cr.)

Semester 3 (12 credits)

  • PBHL P611 Policy Development, Implementation, Management (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P616 Strategic Planning for Health Services Orgs. (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P658 Methods of Health Service & Policy Research (3 cr.)
  • MHHS M504 Intro. to Research Ethics (3 cr.)

Semester 4 (9 credits)

  • PBHL P602 Public Health Internship (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P555 Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P696 Topics in Biomedical Ethics (3 cr.)

Semester 5 (9 credits)

  • PBHL P619 Health Econ. for PH Professionals (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P609 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • PBHL P612 Health Outcomes Research (3 cr.)

Semester 6 (6 credits)

  • PBHL P705 Health Policy/Management Concentration Project (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P803 Research Project (3 cr.)

For more information contact:

Graduate Program Director & Advisor, Professor Chad Carmichael, crcarmic@iupui.edu