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Undergraduate Programs

BA in Bioethics

This major requires 13 courses. Prerequisites do not add any additional courses. The bioethics major leads to a bachelor of arts degree and satisfies the humanities requirement of the Rochester Curriculum.

Key goals for this major:

  • Provide students with the tools to think about the major ethical and related legal questions that arise in medicine and public health
  • Understand the frameworks in which individual moral decisions should be made
  • Understand the frameworks in which social and political moral decisions should be made
  • Understand the most important controversies in bioethics
  • Develop the tools to analyze moral arguments in bioethics
  • Develop the tools to construct arguments that contribute to some of these debates

Major Requirements

Some of these courses require prerequisites. These prerequisites are not counted toward the major. Prerequisites can be found on the courses page or in the CDCS

Public Health General Core (Five Courses)

PH 101: Introduction to Public Health I
PH 102: Introduction to Public Health II
PH 103: Concepts of Epidemiology
STT 212: Appl. Stat. for the Biological and Physical Sciences I or STT 211: Appl. Stat. for Social Sciences
PHL 228: Public Health Ethics or PHL 225: Ethical Decisions in Medicine

Specific Core Requirements (Five Courses)

PHL 102: General Ethics or PHL 103: Contemporary Moral Problems
PHL 223/223W: Social and Political Philosophy (PHL 102)
PH/PSC 236: Health Care and Law
PH 300W (H): Seminar for Bioethics Majors
PHL 228/228W: Public Health Ethics or PHL 225/225W: Ethical Decisions in Medicine*

*One can count toward the common core and the other toward the major-specific core

Electives (Three Courses)

I. Philosophy and Ethics

Choose two of the following:

  • PHL 102: General Ethics*
  • PHL 103: Contemporary Moral Problems*
  • PHL 220/220W: Recent Ethical Theory
  • PHL 226/226W: Philosophy of Law
  • PHL 230/230W: Environmental Justice
  • MHB 210: Bioethics at the Bedside

*The same course cannot be used as both a required core course and an elective course

II. History, Sociology, and Anthropology

  • ANT 216: Medical Anthropology
  • HIS 202/202W: Medicine, History and Social Reform
  • HIS 203/203W: Changing Concepts of Health and Illness
  • HIS 204/204W: History of International and Global Health
  • MHB 240: History of the Body
  • PH 116: Introduction to the U.S. Health System
  • PH 215: Public Health Anthropology
  • PH 265: Global Anthropology
  • PH 397W: Community Engagement Internship*

*Open to juniors, seniors, Take 5, e5, and public health majors

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Students are required to register for two upper-level writing courses within this major, one of which is PH 300W: Seminar for Bioethics Majors.

Overlapping Major Courses

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the public health-related programs, no more than two courses may overlap between a public health major and another major.

Transfer Credit

Students are permitted (with the approval of their public health faculty advisor) to use up to two transfer courses towards their public health program.