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Combined Degree Programs

The philosophy department is pleased to offer three combined degree programs: a J.D./M.A., an M.D./M.A., and an M.P.H./M.A. These programs allow students pursuing other advanced degrees to combine their degree program with an M.A. in Philosophy that concentrates in Bioethics. Each program permits double-counting a number of units toward both degrees, which saves time and money, while providing an interdisciplinary experience that deepens the student’s understanding of both subjects.

See the tabs above for more information about these programs.



Combined Degrees in Law (J.D.) and Philosophy (M.A.)

In combining the philosophical study of bioethics with the study of law, students will acquire the perspective, knowledge, and expertise that will equip them to provide leadership concerning the bioethical issues faced by institutions such as state and federal agencies, healthcare organizations, research and educational institutions, corporations (national and multinational), human rights organizations, medical insurers, and religious bodies.

The Robert H. McKinney School of Law has a nationally recognized Center for Law and Health and a program in health law that is ranked among the top ten in the nation.

Students completing the program will receive a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in Law and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in Bioethics.

Through the combined degrees program, the two degrees can be obtained with a total of 108 earned credits, as compared with the 120 credits required if the degrees are obtained separately.

Up to six credits of health law courses can be counted toward both the 90 credits required for the J.D. in Law and the 30 credits required for the M.A. in Philosophy.

Additionally, if a student successfully petitions to complete a 6 cr. thesis or research project addressing legal and philosophical aspects of a bioethical issue, it may also count for the senior law paper requirement unless one is electing to submit a law review note. Students who complete the combined degrees program will also receive 6 credits toward the 90 credits required for the JD in Law.

For the curricular requirements for each degree, please click J.D., M.A. (Bioethics). Below is a sample schedule that shows how the curricular requirements for both degrees can be met in the combined degrees program for the Bioethics concentration:

Sample Schedule

(Italicized courses are counted toward both degrees)

First Year

Law Program: 31 credits

  • Civil Procedure I-II 
  • Contracts and Sales I-II 
  • Legal Writing I-II
  • Property
  • Torts 
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law

Summer

Law Program: 6 credits

  • LAW selections

Second Year & Summer

Philosophy M.A. Program: 14 credits; Law Program: 13 credits

  • PHIL P547 Foundations of Bioethics (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P540 Contemporary Ethical Theories (3 cr.)
  • MHHS M504 Introduction to Research Ethics (3 cr.)
  • LAW Bioethics and Law (2 cr.)
  • LAW Financing & Regulating Health Care (3 cr.)
  • LAW Legal Writing III (2 cr.)
  • LAW Evidence (4 cr.)
  • LAW Professional Responsibility (2 cr.)


Third Year & Summer

Philosophy M.A. Program: 11 credits; Law program: 18 credits

  • PHIL P553 Philosophy of Science (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P600 Topics in Philosophy (3 cr.)
  • SOC R515 Sociology of Health and Illness (3 cr.)
  • LAW Law and Public Health Care (2 cr.)
  • Other LAW selections (16 cr.)

Fourth Year

Philosophy M.A. Program: 6 credits; Law Program: 16 credits

  • PHIL P555 Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research (3 cr.)
  • PHIL P696 Topics in Biomedical Ethics (3 cr.)
  • LAW selections (16 cr.)

Courses in Law (J.D.) That May Count as Specialized Electives for Philosophy (M.A.)

AIDS: Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues (2 cr.) DN696 examines the social and legal response to the AIDS pandemic, as well as ethical issues raised by various measures implemented to limit the spread of the disease. Among other topics, the course will explore the law and ethics of contact tracing and the potential conflict of health care workers between duties of confidentiality to the patient and duties of disclosure to affected third parties. The course will also survey the potential tort and criminal liability of those who expose others to the disease.

Concepts in Sexuality for the Clinician (3 cr.) 93ZH890 addresses the often delicate issue of human sexuality as it relates to clinical medicine in particular, and being human and involved in human relationship in general. Experts in their field, faculty members will present lectures, lead discussions, and enable students to better understand the complex interplay between sex, culture, and gender, while gaining confidence in dealing with the social and medical implication of sexuality.

Financing and Regulating Health Care (3 cr.) DN845 covers selected legal issues in financing and regulation of the American health care system. The course emphasizes chief policy issues facing the American health care system today—cost, access, and equality of health care services for all Americans.

Issues in Death and Dying (2 cr.) DN694 examines the ethical, legal and medical issues concerning the refusal, removal and/or withdrawal of life-sustaining medical procedures, and assisted suicide. The course will consider whether there is a morally relevant distinction that should be reflected in our legal norms between passive measures, such as the refusal or removal of life support, and more active measures that bring about death. The course will survey legal issues such as treatment of the unconscious or non-competent patient, including infants, a discussion of living wills and durable powers of attorney, and recent constitutional developments relevant to the patient’s right to refuse medical treatment.

Law and Public Health (2 cr.) DN761 covers the law governing the practice of public health by state, local, and federal agencies, as well as health care professionals and institutions. Topics addressed include legal mandates on public health agencies, physicians, and other health practitioners regarding testing, reporting, and contact tracing with respect to specific diseases, as well as laws for the imposition of quarantine, civil commitment, and mandatory treatment. Also covered are public health aspects of the regulation of health care institutions, legal issues associated with risk assessment and cost benefit analysis, along with the environment.

Research on Human and Non-Human Subjects (2 cr.) DN693 surveys issues arising out of experimentation on human subjects and the treatment of animals in research. Topics for discussion will include an exploration of the philosophical nature of informed consent, coercion and exploitation in the human context, to the moral significance of sentience as a consideration in animal research, to an examination of the differences between therapeutic and non-therapeutic research.

Social Regulation of the Body and Its Processes (2 cr.) DN691 examines problems related to the social allocation of the body and its products such as the extent to which individuals have an ethically and legally protectable interest in their bodies and body processes. Topics for consideration will include the legal status of human ova and sperm, frozen embryos, and the products of medical research developed from materials taken from the bodies of interested subjects. The course will also consider the ethics and the legal regulation of organ allocation.

Topics in Health Law (2 or 3 cr.) DN763 examines specialized topics in health law not addressed in depth by other courses. Possible topics include health care fraud and abuse law, the regulation of long term care, the law of payment of health care providers, biotechnology and the law, genetics and the law, reproductive rights, end-of-life decision making, and privacy issues in health law. Prerequisites will vary according to the subject of the course as announced.

Combined Degrees in Medicine (M.D.) and Philosophy (M.A.)

Bioethics, the ethics of the life sciences, is a field of rapidly growing importance, both nationally and internationally. The development, delivery, financing, and regulation of healthcare products and services is a major economic and social endeavor. Bioethical issues - social, legal, and philosophical - confront a diverse array of institutions, including state and federal agencies, healthcare organizations, research and educational institutions, corporations (national and multinational), human rights organizations, medical insurers, and religious bodies. In combining the philosophical study of bioethics with the study of medicine, students will acquire the perspective, knowledge, and expertise that will equip them to provide leadership concerning the bioethical issues faced by such institutions, as well as to implement ethical principles in their own practice.

IUPUI is home to one of the nation’s largest health-profession complexes, one that boasts the nation’s second largest school of medicine. The IU School of Medicine is the only medical school in the nation’s thirteenth largest state, and is home to the state’s only residency programs in a variety of medical specialties.

Students completing the program will receive a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in bioethics.

Through the combined degrees program, the two degrees can be obtained with a total of 181 credits of coursework rather than the 194 credits required if the two degrees are obtained independently. Furthermore, the IU School of Medicine requires students to achieve a level 3 (the mastery level of competence) in three of the nine competencies that comprise the IUSM curriculum in order to be eligible for graduation. The combined degrees program provides participating students with the opportunity to achieve a level 3 in the Moral Reasoning and Ethical Judgment competency.

During their fifth year of study, students will choose two electives from a list of courses in Medicine (see below). While completion of these electives will earn the students 8 cr. towards the 164 cr. required for the M.D. degree, they may also count up to 6 of these credits towards the 30 cr. required for the M.A. in philosophy. Furthermore, students who successfully petition to complete a thesis/research project (P803) will be able to count 6 cr. for both degrees; however, students who elect the non-thesis option for the M.A. will still be able to receive a 6 cr. deduction for the total number of credits required for the M.D. degree

For the curricular requirements for each degree, please click M.D. or M.A. (Bioethics). Below is a sample schedule that shows how the curricular requirements for both degrees can be met in the combined degrees program:

Sample Schedule

First Year

Medicine Program: 40 credits

  • Fall: Fall semester of MS1 year.
  • Spring: Spring semester of MS1 year.

Summer

Philosophy Program: 3 credits

  • Students will be offered one 3 cr. course from the list of courses in the M.A. (Bioethics) curriculum.

Second Year

Medicine Program: 40 credits

  • Fall: Fall semester of MS2 year.
  • Spring: Spring semester of MS2 year.

Third Year

Philosophy Program: 21 credits

  • Fall: Students will choose three or four 3 cr. courses from the list of courses in the M.A. (Bioethics) curriculum (9-12 cr. total).
  • Spring: Students will choose three or four 3 cr. courses from the list of courses in the M.A. (Bioethics) curriculum (9-12 cr. total).

Fourth Year

Medicine Program: 44 credits

  • MS3 year: Students may choose one course from the list below as an elective; up to 6 cr. from this list may be counted towards the M.A.

Fifth Year

Medicine Program: 40 credits; Philosophy Program: 12 credits

  • MS4 year: Students will have three required clinical rotations, a minimum of seven elective rotations (four of which must be established electives from Elective Program Catalog, and the required capstone course).
  • Students will choose two elective courses from the list shown below, one if they have already taken an elective from this list the previous year (8 cr. towards M.D. and 6 cr. towards M.A.).

Courses in Medicine (M.D.) That May Count as Specialized Electives for Philosophy (M.A.)

93ZP700 Medicinal Ethics & Professionalism (4 cr.) Students will be assigned readings in important current topics and discuss these in seminars with faculty. They will also participate in ethics consultations and have opportunities to participate in research.

93ZP710 Leadership in Medicine (4 cr.) The curricula of most U.S. medical schools provide little or no opportunity for medical students to study leadership. Physicians are trained to view medicine in terms of the physician-patient relationship, yet many of the greatest opportunities to treat disease and promote health lie in the organizational and social contexts of healthcare. The future of medicine and the patients we serve depends on cultivating responsible and effective physician leaders. This course introduces medical students to the key traits and skills of effective leaders and provides them an opportunity to study these broader contexts of healthcare.

93MI697 Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care (4 cr.) A pulmonary medicine rotation with some critical care, including long-term acute care involvement with good exposure to ventilator management. Experience with good history taking, physical diagnosis, cardiopulmonary disease, diagnostic pulmonary laboratory testing, critical care, problem-oriented medical records and care and treatment. Emphasis also on moral reasoning and ethical judgment. Also: 49MP714, 49MP716, 49MP726, 49MP708, 93MP710, 93MP730, 02MP711

93MI860 Palliative Medicine (4 cr.) This course will offer an exposure to end of life care in a palliative care setting. The student will learn interdisciplinary approach to patient care, the value of expert emotional, social, and spiritual support, and the importance of bio-psycho-social factors in patient care. The student will be expected to make rounds with the palliative care team (social worker, chaplain, nurses, and physicians) and will also make home visits. The student will be exposed to ethical scenarios related to end of life care. Also: 49MI746, 49MI756

93PS890 Forensic Psychiatry (4 cr.) This elective is designed to give students exposure to forensic psychiatric evaluations of defendants in jail and office settings, the management and assessment of long-term forensic inpatients, and custody evaluations of families as part of divorce proceedings, with a background of readings on forensic psychiatry topics. Consideration of forensic psychiatry issues from moral/ethical perspectives will be emphasized, as will the social and policy implications of the practice of forensic psychiatry.

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

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.

Students will learn about ethical issues in population health practice, research and policy. For example, they will examine questions related to individual and community responsibilities during infectious disease outbreaks and man-made or natural disasters. They 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).

Students 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.)