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MA in Bioethics/DPT

Why pursue an MA-Bioethics/DPT dual degree?

The purpose of the program is to prepare physical therapists not only to enhance the care they provide to patients in a changing healthcare environment, but also to prepare them to work on issues of public and institutional policy as it relates to the provision of clinical care, to serve on ethics committees, or to conduct education on the ethical foundations of clinical practice.

As physical therapists’ roles and responsibilities have increased, so have their educational needs and desires.  The combined MA-Bioethics/DPT degree will provide future physical therapists with the opportunity to develop unique perspectives and skills.  This new combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities will enable Emory dual degree graduates to influence ethical dimension of healthcare policy and to serve in an expert capacity on panels in healthcare settings that deal with ethical dilemmas.

Degree Information

Students will apply to each program for admission separately, and if accepted to both programs will fulfill the requirements of the programs in parallel. Evaluation criteria for admission to the Division of Physical Therapy for students in the dual-degree program are the same as those for the DPT program alone; similarly, evaluation criteria for admission to Laney Graduate School for students in the dual-degree program are the same as those for the MA-Bioethics Program alone. Students accepted into the dual-degree program will be notified of acceptance by both schools. If students are accepted into one school but not the other, they may enroll in the school that has accepted them, but not as a dual-degree student. Upon admission to the dual-degree program, students should consult with the appropriate program director of each school to plan their courses of study.

Students will complete their first and second years of coursework in the DPT Program, start the one-year MA-Bioethics Program in the Fall semester of the 3rd year, and then return to the DPT Program in the Fall semester of the fourth year. 

In addition, in order to ensure maximal integration, students will “share” two electives during the program: one 3-credit elective in the DPT program taught by Bruce Greenfield, and one 3-credit elective from the LGS/Center for Ethics. These electives, which will be completed in the final year of study, will ensure that students apply the methodologies and content of both programs to issues that affect the ethical practice of physical therapy.

DPT dual degree students will be slated to take the examination rather than write a thesis in order to ensure they will be able to return to the DPT program with no delay in time to degree.

MA in Bioethics/DPT Curriculum

Typical student schedule

  Summer

  Fall

  Spring

  Year 1:
  DPT

  DPT classes
  (on campus)

  DPT classes
  (on campus)

  DPT classes
  (on campus)

  Year 2:
  DPT

  DPT classes
  (on campus)

  DPT classes
  (on campus)

 January-March Internship I
 (10 weeks)

  March-June
  Internship II (10 weeks)

  Year 3:
  MAB/DPT

  Internship III
  (10 weeks)

  MAB Classes
 (on campus)

   MAB Classes
  (on campus)

  Year 4:
  MAB/DPT

   MAB Classes
  (on campus)

  DPT classes
  (on campus),
  including
  shared elective

  DPT classes (on campus),
  including shared elective

MA-Bioethics Program

  Semester

  Class (credits)

  Fall

  Foundations in Bioethics I (3)
  Foundations in Bioethics II (3)
  Bioethics Seminar (1)
  Elective (3)

  Spring

  Foundations in Bioethics III (3)
  Bioethics Seminar (1)
  Elective (3)
  Elective (3)

  Summer

  Practicum (4)
  Elective (3)

*Shared elective in Year 4 will complete the 30 hours needed to fulfill the MA-Bioethics requirements.

Financial Implications

During their residency in the School of Medicine (where the Division of Physical Therapy is housed), students will be charged the current rate of tuition in the School of Medicine. When enrolled in the Laney Graduate School, the student will be charged the current rate of tuition for the MA-Bioethics Program. School-sponsored scholarships and grants are applicable only to those semesters in which the student is in residency at the respective schools.