Urban Bioethics, M.A.

LEWIS KATZ SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

About the Program

Urban Bioethics is a new and growing field that points a critical lens on the extreme inequalities of health and access to medical, legal, and other resources that leave many urban dwellers and communities distinctly disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and vulnerable. With its abundance of academic medical centers, Philadelphia should be one of the healthiest cities in the nation—yet health disparities persist in the city at levels surpassing national averages. Health status is especially troubling in North Philadelphia, where a disproportionately high number of residents suffer from preventable and treatable health conditions—and many battle chronic illnesses without health insurance. The interdisciplinary membership of Temple University’s Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy (CBUHP) includes community residents, faculty, students, and staff representing numerous schools within Temple University and the Temple University Health System, all working to improve health status for vulnerable urban populations and to position Temple University as a nationally recognized expert in the field of urban health and bioethics.

CBUHP is committed to defining and addressing the ethical challenges of urban health care, public health status, and policy. The M.A. in Urban Bioethics, offered through CBUHP, trains students in the ethics and values of health, health care delivery, and health law and policy underlying the urban context of density, diversity, and inequalities. Coursework is practical, methodological, and theoretical. The degree is designed for Temple graduate students and area professionals who face, or will soon face, the complexities and disparities of urban health, and want specialized training in the ethics, values, and politics of health care in our increasingly multi-dimensionally diverse society.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Health Sciences

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: The degree is designed for Temple graduate students and area professionals who face, or will soon face, the complexities and disparities of urban health, and want specialized training in the ethics, values, and politics of health care in our increasingly multidimensionally diverse society. Dual-degree students can take advantage of the inherent interdisciplinary nature of a dual degree, while stand-alone M.A. students must take 15 credits of coursework from outside the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Four dual-degree programs are currently offered:

  • M.D./M.A. in Urban Bioethics within the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • D.P.T. in Physical Therapy/M.A. in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Public Health
  • M.A. in Philosophy/M.A. in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy/M.A. in Urban Bioethics with the Temple University College of Liberal Arts

Job Prospects: Students graduating with the M.A. in Urban Bioethics have the practical skills, including grant writing experience, and theoretical and methodological training to advance in their existing careers and compete more competitively for residencies, job placements, or other advanced graduate training programs.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may register for courses after an interview with the Director, at which time they should present academic transcripts. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to 9 credits, unless the student enrolls in the Urban Bioethics graduate certificate program. All 14 credits required to complete the certificate are applicable to the Urban Bioethics M.A.

Financing Opportunities: Limited support is available for M.A. students concurrently enrolled in the M.D. program at Temple University.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: March 15

Late applications may be considered for admission, even as late as up to two weeks prior to the term's start date.

Dual-degree applicants should note that application deadlines for companion programs may be earlier than the deadlines for the Urban Bioethics, M.A. Please visit the companion program's description in the Graduate Bulletin for details.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2-3

Students applying to the Urban Bioethics M.A. program must submit 3 letters of reference and original transcripts from all post-high school institutions attended. However, students already matriculated into a graduate program at Temple University who are applying for a dual degree may:

  • upon permission of their recommenders and their home school, use their home school letters of recommendation for the Urban Bioethics M.A. application; and
  • ask the Urban Bioethics program administrators to request a transcript from the home school.

From Whom:  Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with your academic performance and/or from professional supervisors familiar with your professional experience, accomplishments, and potential for success in a graduate program.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: While a baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the M.A. program, the major studied for the undergraduate degree is not specified.

Statement of Goals: Two to three double-spaced pages should address how you see the M.A. in Urban Bioethics as integral to your current educational goals and current/future career development.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Required for applicants graduating from traditional undergraduate programs. Applicants for the dual degree and those already holding an advanced degree are not required to submit GRE scores. Other applicants should contact the Director of Education or the Program Coordinator for clarification about their need to submit GRE scores as part of the application.

TOEFL: 79 iBT or 550 PBT minimum

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses:

Core Courses
UBTH 5001Urban Bioethics 1 (Professional Students)3
UBTH 5002Urban Bioethics 2 (Professional Students)3
UBTH 5022Community Engagement I (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5023Community Engagement II (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5031The Values, Ethics, & Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (Professional Students)2
UBTH 5041Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (Professional Students)2
UBTH 9996MA in Urban Bioethics Thesis (Graduate Students)3
Electives15
Total Credit Hours32

Culminating Events:
Thesis:
The thesis should make a novel contribution to the field. Toward this end, the student conducts an original research project, empirical or non-empirical, and produces a publishable paper. The research is undertaken with guidance from an approved thesis advisor from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine; the Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy; or a dual-degree student’s home department.

Courses

UBTH 5001. Urban Bioethics 1 (Professional Students). 3 Credit Hours.

In a seminar format, this course introduces students to the field of urban bioethics. Topics to be covered include: the history and theoretical foundations of bioethics; the role of values and ethics in health, health care, law, and policy; the role of values and ethics in understanding the social determinants of health and health disparities and inequities. The course features guest lectures from CBUHP faculty fellows. UBTH 5001 is the number of the course for MD, JD or other Professional students. UBTH 5101 is the number of the course for University Graduate Students.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5002. Urban Bioethics 2 (Professional Students). 3 Credit Hours.

In a seminar format, this course introduces students to the field of urban bioethics. Topics to be covered include: health policy, the ethics of research with vulnerable populations, clinical ethics, theories of cultural competency/humility, and critical epidemiology. The course features guest lectures from CBUHP faculty fellows. UBTH 5002 is the course number for Urban Bioethics 2 for MD, JD, and other Professional students. UBTH 5102 is the number of the course for other graduate students.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5022. Community Engagement I (Professional Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This is the first of a two-course series that incorporates a hands-on, community-based approach that takes a holistic look at a community, analyzing both its strengths and challenges. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams and with a faculty advisor and community representative in different neighborhoods within the city of Philadelphia. Students will work in and with the community to learn how to identify the values underlying the community’s strengths and challenges, and then use those that value-orientation to: perform a medical urban map, perform a needs assessment, analyze the bioethics dimensions and the social determinants of health and illness in the community, write a pretend grant to study health issues in the community, conduct oral histories with community members, and conduct photojournalism assignments, among other things.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5023. Community Engagement II (Professional Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This is the second of a two-course series that incorporates a hands-on, community-based approach that takes a holistic look at a community, analyzing both its strengths and challenges. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams and with a faculty advisor and community representative in different neighborhoods within the city of Philadelphia. Students will work in and with the community to learn how to identify the values underlying the community's strengths and challenges, and then use those that value-orientation to: perform a medical urban map, perform a needs assessment, analyze the bioethics dimensions and the social determinants of health and illness in the community, write a pretend grant to study health issues in the community, conduct oral histories with community members, and conduct photojournalism assignments, among other things.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits

Pre-requisites:
UBTH 5022|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

UBTH 5031. The Values, Ethics, & Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (Professional Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on the values, organization, funding, and logistics of community based health care delivery. Students will be introduced to the various agencies involved in urban health care deliver - FQHC, HRSA, NIH, and others. In addition, an introduction to grant writing in the area of urban bioethics and health delivery in urban communities will be provided.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5041. Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (Professional Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of critical social science, such as critical medical anthropology (CMA). Students will gain an appreciation for the role and importance of political, religious, economic, and social lenses, and of understanding disease and illness as biocultural phenomena.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5082. Independent Study 1 (Professional Students). 3 Credit Hours.

Working in conjunction with an advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUHP, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will craft and complete an independent study course on a topic/area of interest relevant to professional development. This is the first of two independent studies allowed for MA in Urban Bioethics credit. Please see the MA in Urban Bioethics Handbook for the most recent description of allowable approaches to the independent study.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5101. Urban Bioethics 1 (Graduate Students). 3 Credit Hours.

In a seminar format, this course introduces students to the field of urban bioethics. Topics to be covered include: the history and theoretical foundations of bioethics; the role of values and ethics in health, health care, law, and policy; the role of values and ethics in understanding the social determinants of health and health disparities and inequities. The course features guest lectures from CBUHP faculty fellows. UBTH 5101 is the number of the course for University Graduate Students. UBTH 5001 is the number of the course for MD, JD or other Professional students.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5102. Urban Bioethics 2 (Graduate Students). 3 Credit Hours.

In a seminar format, this course introduces students to the field of urban bioethics. Topics to be covered include: health policy, the ethics of research with vulnerable populations, clinical ethics, theories of cultural competency/humility, and critical epidemiology. The course features guest lectures from CBUHP faculty fellows. UBTH 5102 is the course number for Urban Bioethics 2 for Temple Graduate students. UBTH 5002 is the number of the course for MD, JD, and other Professional students.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5122. Community Engagement I (Graduate Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This is the first of a two-course series that incorporates a hands-on, community-based approach that takes a holistic look at a community, analyzing both its strengths and challenges. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams and with a faculty advisor and community representative in different neighborhoods within the city of Philadelphia. Students will work in and with the community to learn how to identify the values underlying the community's strengths and challenges, and then use those that value-orientation to: perform a medical urban map, perform a needs assessment, analyze the bioethics dimensions and the social determinants of health and illness in the community, write a pretend grant to study health issues in the community, conduct oral histories with community members, and conduct photojournalism assignments, among other things.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5123. Community Engagement II (Graduate Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This is the second of a two-course series that incorporates a hands-on, community-based approach that takes a holistic look at a community, analyzing both its strengths and challenges. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams and with a faculty advisor and community representative in different neighborhoods within the city of Philadelphia. Students will work in and with the community to learn how to identify the values underlying the community's strengths and challenges, and then use those that value-orientation to: perform a medical urban map, perform a needs assessment, analyze the bioethics dimensions and the social determinants of health and illness in the community, write a pretend grant to study health issues in the community, conduct oral histories with community members, and conduct photojournalism assignments, among other things.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits

Pre-requisites:
UBTH 5122|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

UBTH 5131. The Values, Ethics, & Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (Graduate Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on the values, organization, funding, and logistics of community based health care delivery. Students will be introduced to the various agencies involved in urban health care deliver - FQHC, HRSA, NIH, and others. In addition, an introduction to grant writing in the area of urban bioethics and health delivery in urban communities will be provided.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5141. Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (Graduate Students). 2 Credit Hours.

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of critical social science, such as critical medical anthropology (CMA). Students will gain an appreciation for the role and importance of political, religious, economic, and social lenses, and of understanding disease and illness as biocultural phenomena.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5182. Independent Study 1 (Graduate Students). 3 Credit Hours.

Working in conjunction with an advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUHP, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will craft and complete an independent study course on a topic/area of interest that is relevant to professional development. This is the first of two independent studies allowed for MA in Urban Bioethics credit. Please see the MA in Urban Bioethics Handbook for the most recent description of allowable approaches to the independent study.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

UBTH 5189. Urban Bioethics Field Study 1. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

The student will identify a specific urban problem evident in North Philadelphia and collaborate with academic, medical, and community mentors to develop and begin implementation of an innovative intervention with the goal of improving health in a fiscally sustainable way.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 5210. Special Topics: Social Science Approaches to Urban Bioethics. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This course features a rotating set of topics related to the intersections of the social sciences and urban bioethics. Offerings are not part of the regular course listings. Examples include 'cultural competency and humility'; 'health, illness, and the urban body', and 'public images of urban health and illness'. Please contact the listed Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy faculty member for more details on the current offering.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 5220. Special Topics: Urban Bioethics at the Bedside. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This course features a rotating set of topics related to the clinical urban bioethics. Offerings are not part of the regular course listings. Examples include 'general clinical ethics in the urban environment', 'navigating clinical disagreements', and 'pediatric urban bioethics'. Please contact the listed Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy faculty member for more details on the current offering.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 5230. Special Topics: Current Topics in Urban Bioethics. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This course features a rotating set of topics related to current events in urban bioethics. Offerings are not part of the regular course listings. Examples include bioethics and political discourse; navigating the Ebola fear response; and public policies affecting violence and health. Please contact the listed Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy faculty member for more details on the current offering.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 5240. Special Topics: Research and Urban Bioethics. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This course features a rotating set of topics related to urban bioethics and research. Offerings are not part of the regular course listings. Examples include the social determinants of health in urban research and establishing and maintaining trust of community partners. Please contact the listed Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy faculty member for more details on the current offering.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 9082. Independent Study 2 (Professional Students). 3 Credit Hours.

Working in conjunction with an advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUHP, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will craft and complete an independent study course on a topic/area of interest relevant to professional development. This is the second of two independent studies allowed for MA in Urban Bioethics credit. Please see the MA in Urban Bioethics Handbook for the most recent description of allowable approaches to the independent study.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits

Pre-requisites:
UBTH 5082|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

UBTH 9182. Independent Study 2 (Graduate Students). 3 Credit Hours.

Working in conjunction with an advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUHP, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will craft and complete an independent study course on a topic/area of interest that is relevant to professional development. This is the second of two independent studies allowed for MA in Urban Bioethics credit. Please see the MA in Urban Bioethics Handbook for the most recent description of allowable approaches to the independent study.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits

Pre-requisites:
UBTH 5182|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

UBTH 9189. Urban Bioethics Field Study 2. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

This course continues its companion course, UBTH 5189: Urban Bioethics Field Study 1. The student, having identified a specific urban problem evident in North Philadelphia, and having developed and initiated the intervention, will continue to work with academic, medical, and community mentors to evaluate the intervention. This course also charges the student with laying the groundwork for future sustainability.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

Pre-requisites:
UBTH 5189|Minimum Grade of B-|May not be taken concurrently.

UBTH 9995. MA in Urban Bioethics Thesis (Professional Students). 3 Credit Hours.

Working in conjunction with a thesis advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUH&P, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will conduct an original research project (empirical or non-empirical) and produce a publishable quality paper. The thesis should be a novel contribution to the field.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Law, Medicine

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

UBTH 9996. MA in Urban Bioethics Thesis (Graduate Students). 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

Working in conjunction with a thesis advisor, who upon approval can be from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the CBUH&P, or a dual-degree student's home department, the student will conduct an original research project (empirical or non-empirical) and produce a publishable quality paper. The thesis should be a novel contribution to the field.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate, Law Graduate

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit..

Contacts

Program Web Address:

https://medicine.temple.edu/departments-centers/research-centers/center-bioethics-urban-health-and-policy/educational-programs

Department Information:

Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

3440 N. Broad Street, Kresge Science Hall, Suite 200

Philadelphia, PA 19140

nora.jones@temple.edu

215-707-7178

Mailing Address for Application Materials:

Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

3440 N. Broad Street, Kresge Science Hall, Suite 200

Philadelphia, PA 19140

Department Contacts:

Director of Education:

Dr. Nora Jones

nora.jones@temple.edu

215-707-7178

Program Manager:

Dr. Matthew S. Lucas

matthew.lucas@temple.edu

215-707-9963