Bioethics and Medical Humanities, MA/Social Work, MSW

Degree: Master of Arts (MA)
Field of Study: Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Program Information:

Degree: Master of Social Work (MSW)
Program Information:

Program Overview

A dual degree established by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Department of Bioethics in the university's School of Medicine makes it possible for selected students to pursue an integrated program of studies to earn the Master of  Social Work (MSW) and the Master of Arts (MA) in Bioethics. In a full-time format both degrees may be earned in two years plus one summer semester.

As the number and complexity of ethical dilemmas continue to increase, there is a growing need for social workers knowledgeable of the principles and practices fundamental to bioethics.  Graduates of this program may help counsel clients and care providers as well as pursuing careers related to policy and practice. 

This program joins two well-known academic programs to offer students an interdisciplinary experience blending the similar values of social work and medicine. This is a "side-by-side" program composed of existing elements of ongoing programs provided by the faculty usually engaged in these efforts. These new elements will be supplemented by an integrative experience designed to make the interdisciplinary character of the program concrete.

Dual-degree students must receive the MSW and MA degrees simultaneously to be granted credit for specific courses taken in the other program. The dual degree program offered by Case Western Reserve's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Department of Bioethics is unlike other programs in the United States. 

In healthcare settings, ethical consultations are often requested on decisions having to do with end-of-life, organ donation, or initiation or withdrawal of medical treatments. In addition, graduates of this program will be able to help counsel health care providers, organizations, and clients, participate in setting policy and teach others about these issues.


Students must apply separately to the Mandel School and the Department of Bioethics for admission into each program. Admission to one program is not a guarantee that the student will gain admission to the other, and application to both programs should be made simultaneously. A joint committee of the two programs will meet and review the joint degree applications.