Graduate Minor in Bioethics

UM campus from image libraryThe Graduate Minor is administered by the Center for Bioethics and is designed for University of Minnesota students interested in deepening their knowledge of the ethical issues surrounding health and the life sciences. Explore your interests in bioethics while also earning a degree in your home discipline. 


The minor is open to students in many of the University’s Master’s or Doctoral degree programs. Some professional degree-seeking students may elect a minor as well. The University’s policy states that MEd, MPH, MBA, MHA, MN, DNP, MOT, MPSE, MDH, MDT, MPS students may be eligible to pursue a minor. To be eligible, the degree program must offer the option to pursue a minor; please consult with your Director of Graduate Studies in your major field to determine if this option is open for you. At this time, students in first-professional programs (JD, MD, PharmD, DVM, DDS, and LLM) are not eligible for minors.

Enrollment is contingent upon approval by the Director of Graduate Studies in Bioethics. Students work with the Director of Graduate Studies to tailor their minor program to their individual needs and interests.


Doctoral students: a minimum of 14 graduate credits in bioethics
Masters students: a minimum of 8 graduate credits in bioethics

All students must take:

BTHX 5010 Bioethics Proseminar (2 cr) AND
BTHX 5300: Foundations of Bioethics (3 cr) OR 
3 credits of ethical theory (5xxx or 8xxx) from the Philosophy Graduate Program

Doctoral students must also take an additional 9 credits of ethics courses, at least 3 credits of which must be BTHX courses.

Masters students must also take an additional 3 credits of ethics courses.

Courses must be chosen in consultation with the Bioethics Director of Graduate Studies.

Philosophy students are expected to have successfully completed at least one course in ethical theory at the 5xxx or 8xxx level prior to undertaking coursework in the Minor.

Students may not double count coursework toward both their minor and their degree in their major field.

Students must include a member of their Graduate Faculty for the Minor in Bioethics on their thesis/capstone committee.

How to Apply

  1. Admission to either a masters or a doctorate degree is required prior to enrollment in the Graduate Minor in Bioethics.
  2. Fill out the Intent to Enroll form and submit to There is no specific deadline for applying.
  3. If you have questions, contact Margie O’Neill at