Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Bioethics

Trinity Graduate School and Trinity College offer a dual Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts Degree that pairs an MA in bioethics with an undergraduate degree in any major. This opportunity is open to qualified students in any undergraduate major but may have special appeal for students with the following majors or interests: premedical, pre-health, psychology, philosophy, law, public policy, communications, theology, business, Christian ministries, and education.

In this program, an undergraduate student may earn a graduate degree as early as the summer following the senior year by taking graduate-level courses beginning the junior year. Nine hours of coursework from the MA count toward the BA. These 9 overlapping hours are taken as part of the undergraduate load. (See the dual degree curriculum) Students begin graduate coursework in the summer after their junior year, so it is possible for them to complete both the BA and the MA as early as the following summer.

Qualified applicants must have a minimum cumulative Trinity GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, 70 hours of undergraduate coursework, and a positive recommendation from their academic advisor. Students may apply for acceptance to the dual degree program through Trinity Graduate School. Transfer students may apply to the program if they have 70 hours of undergraduate coursework, a positive recommendation from a former professor or their academic advisor, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all transferred college work, and a minimum cumulative Trinity GPA of 3.0. Students interested in the dual degree are advised to notify their advisor(s) and the dual degree program advisor as early as possible to allow for expedient course planning and to assure that overlapping course requirements can be planned and scheduled.

Model Curricular Plan for the Dual Degree

 The following is a sample course plan for the dual degree. Plans may vary for individual students. Students are expected to consult with their undergraduate and graduate advisors to make individual adjustments to the curricular plan as necessary. During the fall and spring semesters, as students complete their course requirements for general education and major and take graduate coursework toward the MA, they are reminded that a full academic course load must include at least 12 hours of combined graduate and undergraduate courses per semester.

Recommended undergraduate courses to be completed before starting the MA coursework:

BI 105Understanding the Old Testament 13
or BI 115 Understanding the New Testament
Ethics and the Bible
PH 180Introduction to Philosophy3
BIO 111General Biology4
or BIO 103 Introductory Biology
Other general education courses and required major courses

Undergraduate general education requirements that will be fulfilled by graduate-level courses and need not be duplicated with undergraduate work

  • BI 105 or BI 115: BE 5001 replaces either BI 105 or BI 115 in general education category Thinking and Living Biblically in the World.
  • Diversity, Traditions, and Culture: BE 5002 replaces one course in the Diversity, Traditions, and Culture category in "Chapter Two: Exploring."
  • BE 5000 or BE 5100 replaces BE 474X in the World of Contemporary Social and Political Life category in "Chapter Two: Exploring."

Students should note that BE courses are offered in several formats: traditional (15 week), modular (meets two weekends in a semester), online, summer conference associated courses, and independent study courses.

At least two courses must be taken in residency at the Bannockburn, IL campus:

BE 5100Intensive Bioethics Institute3
BE 6500Advanced Bioethics Institute3-4

BE 5100 and BE 6500 are offered during the summer at the time of the annual National Bioethics Conference on the Bannockburn campus. BE 5100 can be replaced by BE 5000 – a 15-week course offered in the fall semester on the Bannockburn campus.

Each spring semester, students are invited to participate in a series of three evening bioethics colloquia. The Bioethics Colloquium course (BE 6100) can also be taken for elective credit toward the MA in Bioethics.

Service Learning Requirement

Students can fulfill Trinity College’s service learning requirement by working with the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD) during the summer National Bioethics Conference, with optional free attendance at the conference in the summers following the freshman and sophomore years.

Application to the Dual Degree Program

Upon completion of 70 hours with a 3.0 GPA, students must submit an application and letter of recommendation to Trinity Graduate School Admissions to be accepted into the Dual Degree program.

First Summer
BE 5100Intensive Bioethics Institute3
BE 5900Bioethics National Conference (elective)2-3
Fall Semester
BE 5001Foundations for Integrative Thought in Bioethics3
BE 5002Foundations for Cultural Engagement in Bioethics3
BE 5200Research Ethics2
BE 5499The Public Policy Context (optional) 11
BE 5500Bioethics and Public Policy2
Spring Semester
BE 5299The Clinical Context (optional) 11
BE 5300Clinical Issues in Bioethics2
BE 6200Ethical Theory3
Second Summer
BE 5900Bioethics National Conference2-3
BE 6500Advanced Bioethics Institute3-4
(0-4 hours of the following)
BE 7476Bioethics Capstone Exam0
BE 7478Bioethics Capstone Project0-3
BE 7480Bioethics Capstone Integrative or Major Paper0-3
BE 7485MA Thesis 20-4
Total Hours30