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Dual Degree Program MD/Health Care Ethics MA

Through a joint program with Saint Joseph's University, Drexel medical students can receive a master's degree in health care ethics. During this one-year program, students take classes full time at St. Joseph's University, usually after their second year of medical school.

This program teaches medical students how to handle the complex ethical dilemmas encountered by physicians and how to apply those principles to their decision-making process.

The program is managed by Rev. Mark C. Aita, SJ, MD, who has over 30 years of experience in clinical practice and specializes in internal medicine and health care ethics. Many faculty members serve as ethics consultants to hospitals local to the Philadelphia area, making Saint Joseph's University's graduate program one of the few in the country that combines theoretical and clinical elements in practice settings.


College of Medicine students receive two course credits toward the master's degree from their medical school coursework during years one and two.

While attending Saint Joseph's University's for their master's degree, medical students must complete the following 10 (three credit) courses:


HCE 550 - Topics in Bioethics
HAD 554 - Health Care Law


HCE 553 - Philosophical Issues in Bioethics
HAD 559 - Health Care Policy
HAD 600 - Ethics of Healthcare
HCE 573 - Death and Dying: End of Life Decision Making


HCE 551 - Methodological Issues in Bioethics
HCE 552 - Theological Issues in Bioethics
HCE 600 - Fieldwork in Clinical Bioethics
HCE 700 - Integrative Capstone in Bioethics

Tuition information for the master's coursework can be found on the Saint Joseph's University website.

Career Opportunities

The goal of the MD/Health care ethics MA program is to fast track our graduates into physician leadership positions. Some potential career paths are:

  • Hospital ethicist and ethics consultation
  • Leadership of hospital ethics committees
  • Clinical bioethics faculty
  • Health policy

How to Apply

Once accepted to the College of Medicine, students can apply online for the health care ethics master's program at Saint Joseph's University.

Students need the following documents when applying:

  • Letter of approval from the Dean of the College of Medicine
  • Official sealed transcript(s) from the College of Medicine and undergraduate college
  • Current resume (GRE not required)
  • Personal statement- professional and educational goals (500 words)
  • One letter of reference

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Aita at

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Drexel University College of Medicine medical students recieve their white coats at the annual White Coat Ceremony.