Master of Science in Bioethics

Through an online MS in Bioethics, you will gain career-changing skills that will allow you to guide ethical decision-making in a variety of fields.

Health care is at its best when the dignity of the human person is the guiding principle. Offered in partnership with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), our Master of Science in Bioethics will provide you with an ethical framework—and the ability to apply that framework—to fields including medicine, law, business, and public affairs. For more details regarding NCBC Seminars, please see the information below. With an MS in Bioethics, advance your career while advancing ethical decision-making.

Take the First Step
Get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission.
After acceptance to the university as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Average annual salary for medical scientist.

Program Length

2 years


  • Online with three visits to our main campus in Bismarck, ND and one 2-day in-person NCBC seminar in Bismarck

Tuition per Credit


Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Professionals in fields including medicine, law, business, and public affairs
  • Healthcare professionals concerned with bioethical medicine
  • Anyone interested in ethical decision-making

Career Paths

  • Healthcare Leader
  • Church Leader
  • Ethics Committee Member (Policy Analysis & Development)
  • Education Leader
  • Research Leader
  • Compliance Officer
  • Policymaker

What You’ll Learn

Through our MS in Bioethics, you’ll gain a deep understanding of Christian principles and the ability to integrate those principles in a wide range of clinical, research, educational, and policy settings. Once you graduate, you’ll be prepared to:

  • Integrate the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of faith and reason into a framework for ethical decision making.
  • Apply the ethical decision-making framework to areas of clinical practice, education, and research including but not limited to the following topics:
    • Informed consent in research and treatment
    • Confidentiality and the healthcare provider-patient relationship
    • Cultural and religious diversity among patients and practitioners
    • Suffering, death, and dying
    • Experimentation and new technologies in healthcare and science
    • Reproductive technologies
    • Access to and allocation of medical resources
    • Fraud and abuse
    • Intellectual property
    • Regulatory affairs

Program Details

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. After acceptance to the University as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

Online with three visits to our main campus in Bismarck, ND and one 2-day in-person NCBC seminar in Bismarck

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services (1 credit)

Explore the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” which serves as a guide and reference point for all Catholic bioethical thought, ranging from end-of-life issues to partnerships with non-Catholic institutions.

Catholic Bioethics, the Dignity of the Person, and the Gift of Human Life (5 credits)

Investigate the major areas of modern bioethics and consider the key ethical concerns surrounding these issues. These investigations will include areas where ethical ambiguity may still exist from the vantage point of Catholic teaching such as embryo adoption and Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer. Students will learn to articulate a reasoned position and coherent approach to dealing with such questions in the practical sphere.

Bioethics: Faith and Reason (4 credits)

Dive into the philosophical and theological underpinnings of bioethics and apply them to the topics of moral courage and moral relativism. Other prominent ethical theories – such as situational ethics, consequentialism, and Kantian Fundamentalism – will be addressed in relation to Natural Law.

Law and Bioethics (3 credits)

Examine bioethical principles and topics in light of their relationship to modern legal realities, discussing relevant legal issues and how they relate to the ways courts, policy makers, and scholars approach them in both federal and state governments.

Medicine and Bioethics (3 credits)

Explore the philosophical, theological, and physiological concepts of bioethics as the relate to clinical decision-making in medicine, considering how microcosmic and macrocosmic ethical issues affect every-day practice in the realm of medicine.

Health Policy and Bioethics (3 credits)

Survey health policy and its development with an emphasis on social justice and human rights in order to establish a moral and ethical basis for existing and potential policies. Concepts such as political and ethical principles, distributive justice, and competing goals will be analyzed in terms of how they contribute to and compete with each other in policy development.

Bioethics Practicum and Capstone Project (4 credits)

Participate in the experience of ethical clinical decision making by developing and disseminating an original scholarly paper, utilizing both compassion and moral courage. This practicum is an integration and synthesis of content from all previous courses in the program and requires the application of scholar methods and composition.

For a list of courses for the Loading..., please visit the catalog.

August 7-8, 2020
University of Mary, Lumen Vitae University Center
Bismarck, ND 

September 11-12, 2020
St. Agnes Parish Center, Rockville Centre, NY
Diocese of Rockville Centre

October 30-31, 2020
Pastoral Care, Philadelphia, PA
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

January 15-16, 2021
Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, LA
Archdiocese of New Orleans


To register for a two-day NCBC seminar, along with the NCBC certification program, click here.

If you are serving or have served our country, we sincerely thank you. Our military services office is here to work closely with active duty, retired, reserve, and eligible family members qualified for military benefits. Learn how we can help you with the application process and review the benefits you have earned.

  • Tuition: $670/credit
  • Application fee: $45
  • NCBC Transcripting fee: $840
  • Technology fee: $43 per credit

For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The following will be needed when you have applied for admission so we can get you accepted into the graduate program:

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree or have completed at least 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have graduated with a bachelor’s degree by the end of the Health Care Ethics Certification Program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics
  • Letter grade no lower than a “C” on any individual National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics course
  • Official transcripts
    • Graduated from the University of Mary? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
    • At most other schools, you can request transcripts by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office. 
    • Have your transcripts sent to:
      Office of Admissions
      University of Mary
      7500 University Drive
      Bismarck, ND 58504
    • Or request to send electronic transcripts to [email protected]
  • Resume
  • Professional Goals Statement (2-3 paragraphs describing your career goals)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

Applications are accepted online beginning in mid-May until early January for each June start. However, students submitting applications prior to July 1 will receive priority consideration.

Currently enrolled or successful completion of the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. In the first year, the student enrolls in the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. Upon successful completion, the student may transfer up to 10 graduate credits through the University of Mary. The second year, completed within three consecutive semesters, begins directly after completion of the National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics in June and will include bioethics courses in faith and reason, law, health care, biomedical industries, medicine, and health policy. The degree program includes a practicum and capstone project.

Get Started Today

Apply Online