Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I earn my MS at Tulane?

The MS Degree at Tulane provides outstanding education in medical ethics and medical humanities, working with an exemplary faculty in all areas of bioethics, humanities, and healthcare. You will collaborate with fellow students who will be future leaders in ethics and humanities while working with some of the leaders in this field. You will be prepared for a future career in which you can utilize that part of your mind that values questioning anything and examining everything.

New Orleans’ hospitals have national reputations in critical fields and conduct many research studies involving human subjects. New Orleans has specific health care needs for its population, reflective of its recent catastrophic history, as well as enduring, historical quandaries related to healthcare inequity and its need to be redressed. The presence of an advanced degree program in medical ethics and medical humanities furthers the training of health practitioners in the New Orleans area to help benefit its patient population as well as to help solve healthcare system problems.

Why are there two tracks to the MS degree?

The MS degree with a bioethics concentration provides added value for those students seriously considering a future enhanced through hospital ethics committee and institutional review board service, teaching others in all health care settings, and conducting normative and empirical research in healthcare ethics issues. The MS degree with a medical humanities concentration focuses on those aspects of narrative, reflective writing, fine arts, and history as applied to healthcare. Those interested in these areas will be uniquely positioned to teach or conduct research in the medical humanities upon completion of this program.

Why should MDs complete an MS in Bioethics and Medical Humanities?

Bioethics and medical humanities are inherently interdisciplinary fields, located principally at the intersection of philosophy, history, art, narrative and literature, law, and the health care professions (such as clinical medicine and nursing), but drawing as well from social science disciplines as diverse as sociology, clinical psychology, and social work. The MS degree helps the physician develop critical thinking skills in analyzing problems related to the physician-patient encounter, the healthcare system, as well as policy-related considerations and to develop a richer conception of herself as a physician and her relationship to her patients.

What career opportunities are available to MS degree holders?

After completing an MS, physicians will possess knowledge about medical ethics, medical humanities, practical aspects of professionalism and humanism, and methods related to scholarship and research. Potential Career Paths

  • Education in medical schools and hospitals
  • Academic research in bioethics and medical humanities
  • Service on hospital ethics committees and institutional review boards
  • Healthcare ethics policy development
  • Pursing future Law (JD), Social Work (MPH OR PhD) or Humanities PhD degrees of study
How will the MD-MS Dual Degree program impact my residency applications?

Students who have received MD/MS degrees nationally have excelled both in medical school leadership and residency placement.

How is the MD-MS Dual Degree program structured?

Students participate in coursework during the first and second years of medical school with a concentration, based on student interest, in bioethics or medical humanities. All work is completed prior to entry into your clinical years. Also, students not enrolled in the M.D. program will also be able to complete the program in two years. Education is entirely taught through seminar style classes culminating in a capstone project based upon a collaborative educational or policy-based product by the graduating class. The Capstone Course is designed to foster the reflective integration of all the program courses with students’ actual and future experience in the health care professions, with a concentrated project in the areas of either education or policy that would then benefit a hospital ethics committee, a clinical staff set of learners, or a patient care group.

How is the program and degree relevant to Tulane University’s Mission?

The Tulane University Mission Statement is: “Tulane's purpose is to create, communicate and conserve knowledge in order to enrich the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to think, to learn and to act and lead with integrity and wisdom.” This Master of Science degree program fosters the development and maturation of critical thinking skills for its learners to apply to the healthcare environment. Through the enhancement of knowledge and skills in medical ethics and humanities, degree recipients are better prepared for their duties in clinical service, scholarship, and education that will ultimately result in improved patient care. This degree program enriches the overall educational climate of Tulane University as well as of New Orleans by enhancing sensitivity to patient care issues and ethical healthcare practices in the University community and the lay community.

Can I talk to a faculty member in the program?

Yes, we strongly recommend you do so and are happy to connect you with current faculty. Please contact us at

How do I apply and who do I contact with questions?

Our application is available online, and we are always available to answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process at

When can I start the program?

MS students normally begin in the Fall and MD/MS dual degree students begin in the Summer. Feel free to contact us with any special circumstances.

How much does the program cost and is there scholarship funding available?

Tuition is currently $1,818 per credit hour for the 2024-2025 academic year, or $29,995 per year.

Besides the customary avenue of financial aid for Tulane students, our program will also offer partial scholarships for highly qualified students.

Can Tulane undergraduates take courses without enrolling in the MS program?

Select courses are open to undergraduates in limited numbers, based on student demand. These courses will be listed by the School of Liberal Arts Registrar when available.