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Minor Requirements

Bioethics is the study of the ethical dimensions inherent in medical and scientific research, the delivery and practice of health care, the training and conduct of clinical providers, and the creation of national and global health policy.  In addition to normative analysis, the study of these important topics requires critical examination of the philosophical underpinnings, history, social and political context, and cultural variables and representations that shape and transform medicine and the life sciences.  Therefore, by its nature, bioethics is an inter-disciplinary field that brings different methodological and conceptual analyses to a core set of concerns that includes: the doctor-patient relationship, the allocation of scarce medical resources, scientific and medical experimentation, reproductive rights, access to healthcare, patient and surrogate decision-making, assisted dying and end-of-life care, genetic engineering and enhancement, conflict of interest, and advances in biotechnology, genetics, reproductive technologies, and neuroscience.

To become a minor:

  1. Visit Path@Penn and submit the minor declaration form under "Declare/Update Field of Study."
  2. Fill out the Bioethics Planning Grid, take a screen shot, and email it with your declaration request to Dr. Muller at
  3. Once your planning grid has been received and approved, your minor declaration request will be processed in Path@Penn.

Overview of the BIOE Minor

  • Six courses
  • All courses must come from these six departments only: ANTH, BIOE, HSOC, PHIL, PSCI, and SOCI
  • All courses must be listed on the matrix--the official list of courses and requirements (see below to download)
  • Courses not on the matrix cannot be used for the minor
  • Students may not take more than three courses from one of the six departments
  • BIOE courses (except for 4010/4020) are graduate level and undergraduates require permission to register. Students should take BIOE 4010 and 4020 before taking (or concurrently with) higher-level BIOE courses. Contact the instructor of the course for permission to register for the course. If you are unable to contact the instructor, then contact Dr. Sinderbrand for assistance.
  1. Foundation Requirement

    Students must complete one course in each of three foundation areas:

  2. Content Requirement

    Students must complete one course in each of three content areas:

    A course may count toward both a foundation and the content requirement, but one course cannot count for more than one foundation requirement or more than one content requirement)

  3. Interdisciplinary Requirement

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field, and departments represent different approaches. Courses, though cross-listed, have homes in certain departments

Download a planning grid, the current matrix and a course list for the upcoming semester: