Philosophy and Bioethics

Albany is a great place to do graduate work in philosophy with a specialization in bioethics. The philosophy department faculty includes Monika Piotrowska, who works on ethical and conceptual issues in biotechnology, and Kristen Hessler, who has active research interests in healthcare and public health ethics. Other members (Marcus Adams, Rachel Cohon, and Ron McClamrock) have also published research in bioethics. Still others (Jason D'Cruz, P.D. Magnus, Jon Mandle) have interests that are related to bioethics.

Beyond the philosophy department, several of the University's other schools and departments offer opportunities for interdisciplinary work in bioethics, including biology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, the School of Public Health, and the Department of Public Administration and Policy (ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 10 in the country). Faculty from all of these departments, as well as The Alden March Bioethics Institute and the Albany Law School, are available to our students for consultation, and to act as external members of dissertation committees, making it possible to combine genuinely interdisciplinary work with rigorous training in philosophy.

The Dual Degree Program

The philosophy department has joined with the Bioethics Program of Clarkson University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to offer a dual degree program. The program offers students an opportunity to earn a PhD in Philosophy and an MS in Bioethics with fewer course credits than would be required to complete each degree separately. The total number of credit hours normally required to complete both programs is 96. The dual degree program requires 79 credit hours: 52 credits in the PhD in Philosophy program and 27 credits in the MS in Bioethics.

Students must apply to each program separately and each program must accept them through its own admissions process. Any financial aid awarded is institution-specific. Thus, for example, a student who receives an assistantship from the University at Albany to pursue a PhD in Philosophy can only use the tuition scholarship for University at Albany courses.

It is not necessary to begin both programs at the same time. A student can choose to first apply to the PhD in Philosophy program and later apply to the MS in Bioethics program.

More information on how to apply to the MS in Bioethics program can be found here.