Education: Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics
Director: Barbara Secker, PhD
The MHSc deadline for applications has been extended to April 1, 2013 for domestic applicants and is March 1, 2013 for international applicants.
Bioethics examines the ethical issues that arise in the biosciences. Interdisciplinary in nature, bioethics draws from areas such as medicine, nursing, philosophy, theology, and law. The MHSc in Bioethics program strives to reflect this interdisciplinary makeup, making it an exemplary model of post-professional education.
The MHSc in Bioethics, offered through the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) and administered by the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, is designed for clinical practitioners and health care administrators who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in bioethics. The program is offered on a modular basis to accommodate the needs of those who wish to continue clinical practice yet engage in full-time graduate bioethics study. The program attracts students not only locally but also throughout the province, across Canada, and internationally. MHSc in Bioethics is a professional master's degree program that does not require a thesis. The goals of the program include: (1) To provide qualified students with an interprofessional education in the theory and practice relevant to bioethics; (2) To provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge in health care settings; and (3) To foster the development of character and attitudes suitable for individuals practicing in bioethics.
This unique program is a leading developer of practitioners engaged in education, consultation, policy, research and leadership activities. MHSc graduates have an impressive publication record as contributors of articles to peer-reviewed major academic and professional journals--over 85% of MHSc graduates students have published at least one article based on their graduate studies. Numerous MHSc graduates are now leaders in bioethics research, education, policy and practice, in both academia, health care and research institutes, government and industry. In 2007, an external review of the MHSc in Bioethics by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies concluded that “the masters program at the University of Toronto has been and continues to be among the best available anywhere in the world."
Normally, entry into the MHSc in Bioethics program will require four years of undergraduate study and a recognized degree in one of the health care sciences (for example, MD, BScN, BScOT, BScPT, BSW) or equivalent. Applicants from other disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of space and the ability to meet School of Graduate Studies and IMS standards . Suitable preparation for entry into the MHSc in Bioethics (including equivalency of undergraduate education) is the decision of the Director(s) of the program.
Who should apply?
- Health Practitioners
- Healthcare Administrators
- Ethics Committee Members
- Research Ethics Administrators
- Research Ethics Board Members
- Lawyers, Journalists, and Researchers focusing on health care
The MHSc in Bioethics program requires successful completion of nine (9) full-course equivalents for domestic and non-Fogarty international students, and ten (10) full-course equivalents for the Fogarty International Fellows. Most domestic students chose to complete the program in the two-year period. International students normally complete the program in one year. All course work and the practicum should normally be completed in these time frames. In accordance with SGS policy, all requirements for the professional degree must be completed within six years.
First-year courses concentrate on theoretical foundations of health care sciences, key topics in bioethics, philosophical bioethics, legal bioethics, and resource allocation ethics. The application of theory to practice in clinical and research settings is emphasized.
Second-year courses focus on core knowledge and applied skills, including: teaching bioethics; conflict resolution and managing differences in culture, gender, and religion; clinical and organizational ethics; research ethics; bioethics scholarship (including the preparation of a major paper in publishable form covering an area or issue of the student's choice); an applied bioethics learning experience or practicum; and a practical bioethics course that aims to support the student in preparing a "capstone" project that, ideally, builds on the practicum experience and the core knowledge and skills gained throughout the MHSc program.
HAD 5771H - Resource Allocation Ethics (Course Director: Jennifer Gibson)
MSC 3001Y - Foundations Seminar I (Course Directors: Martin McKneally, Doreen Ouellet)
MSC 3003Y - Empirical Approaches in Bioethics (Course Directors: Ross Upshur, Elizabeth Peter, Kevin Reel)
MSC3005H - Legal Approaches to Bioethics (Course Director: Maria McDonald)
PHL 2146Y - Topics in Bioethics (Course Director: Barbara Secker)
MSC 1051H - Research Ethics (Course Director: Trudo Lemmens )
MSC 1052H - Practical Bioethics (Course Directors: Martin McKneally, Sue MacRae)
MSC 3002Y - Foundations Seminar II – Teaching Bioethics (Course Directors: Jonathan Hellmann, Rebecca Greenberg)
MSC 3004Y - Ethics Committees and Consultation (Course Director: Jennifer Gibson)
MSC 3006Y - Independent Study (Course Directors: Jerome Singh, Michael Szego)
MSC 3008Y - Practicum (Course Directors: Barbara Secker, Doreen Ouellet, Rosanna Macri)
* MSC 3010Y - International Research Ethics (not offered in 2013)
How to Apply to the MHSc in Bioethics Program:
Your application can now be completed online with the exception of your transcripts which must be sent to the Institute of Medical Science as per directions provided on the online application process. Please note your application will not be processed unless the fee has been submitted. Unfortunately, the application fee is non-refundable.
If you do not have access to a computer, please call Carmen Alfred, Academic Secretary, Joint Centre for Bioethics (416) 978-0871, Fax: (416) 978-1911.
Summary of what you will need to apply to the School of Graduate Studies:
- Complete the on-line applications from the School of Graduate Studies and the Joint Centre for Bioethics (MHSc Application Supplement Form )
- Current Curriculum Vitae (1 copy)
- One set of complete current and original university academic transcripts in sealed and signed envelope sent to the Institute of Medical Science
- A letter of intent or professional goals, no longer than 1000 words, in which you:
- Outline your reasons for pursuing admission into the Master's of Health Science in Bioethics
- Briefly explain how your background has prepared you for work in bioethics
- Provide an estimate of any remaining background preparation that you may need to undertake this course of study (eg., what courses, program, etc. you will complete - and where - before the September session meets)
- Identify your main area(s)of bioethical interest
- Explain how you will put your graduate education in bioethics to use in your home institution
The application deadline for the September 2013 incoming MHSc in Bioethics class has been extended to April 1, 2013 for domestic applicants and is March 1, 2013 for international applicants.
All documents must be received online by the deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Meeting the minimal requirements is mandatory but does not guarantee acceptance. Enrollment is limited. Normally a class of 20 students will be accepted.
Interviews of applicants whose pre-applications have been accepted are normally held in late March, early April. The University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS) will then notify successful applicants upon acceptance by the Joint Centre for Bioethics, SGS and IMS.
Have Questions or Need More Information?
Inquires about the MHSc in Bioethics at the University of Toronto, Joint Centre for Bioethics should be directed to:
Carmen Alfred, Academic Secretary
University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics
155 College Street, Suite 754
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (416) 978-0871
Fax: (416) 978-1911