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Alden March Bioethics Institute

Frequently Asked Questions


Application and Admission Questions

How can I apply?
Please visit https://apply.amc.edu to apply to any of our graduate programs.

Who should apply for this program?
We have students of all types in our Master of Science in Bioethics, Doctorate of Professional Studies, and Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ethics programs.  Most of our graduate certificate students are mid-career professionals working in a clinical ethics setting at a hospital, and hoping to gain more knowledge and expertise within the field of clinical ethics. Our MS students are very diverse, from students straight out of undergraduate college to medical students to lawyers, nurses, physicians, and even those simply with a deep personal interest in the field of bioethics. Our DPS students are those who already have a Masters in Bioethics and are looking to further their education and career in the field of bioethics. We encourage students from all background to apply to our program, as it offers a unique diversity not found in all graduate programs. If you are unsure about how you would fit, please feel free to contact us at (518) 262-2639 or bioethics@mail.amc.edu.

Do I still have time to apply for the upcoming term?
We have rolling admission, and thus can admit students at any term throughout the year. It takes less than 2 weeks once we receive all application materials to process an application and make a decision about acceptance. Registration for the upcoming term starts approximately 1 month prior to classes beginning, thus applicants should try to get their applications in about 1 month before the term begins. A term calendar can be found by clicking here. If there is less time available and you wish to seek admission, please give us a call at (518) 262-2639. We will try to work with you as much as we can.

What are the minimum degree and GPA requirements for the programs?
You must have an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree to participate in any of our graduate level programs that we offer. We do not have specific GPA requirements, but they are looked at on a case by case basis along with other accomplishments and experience.

Can the GRE be waived? Do you accept other test scores as well?
Graduate entrance exam scores [GRE] are required only for prospective students without a terminal degree (e. g. J.D., M.D., M.P.H., M.S.W., Ph.D.). Applicants with undergraduate degrees and significant work experience are considered on a case by case basis for GRE waiver. Applicants coming directly out of undergraduate school are expected to take the GRE. Other graduate or professional exams, such as MCAT or LSAT, can indeed substitute for the GRE. Exam scores are NOT required for students applying to the Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics program.

 

General Program Questions

Is it all online?
All courses are online except the on-site capstone which is a required course for the Graduate Certificate program and the on-site Facilitation and Conflict Resolution course, which is a required course for the Doctorate of Professional Studies program. These allow for practical training in clinical ethics and mediation skills.

How many terms do you offer per year?
Our academic year is made up of four quarters: fall, winter, spring, and summer. We offer core courses as well as electives during each of these terms. As we have rolling admission, you may begin in the program at any term.

How many total credits are required to graduate?
The Masters of Science in Bioethics program requires 30 total credits to graduate. This consists of 18 core course credits (6 courses), 9 elective credits (3 courses), and the 3-credit Master’s project.

The Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics program requires 30 credits past a Masters in Bioethics to graduate. The Health Ethics & Policy concentration consists of 12 core course credits (4 courses), 15 elective credits (5 courses), and the 3-credit Doctoral Project. The Clinical Ethics Consultation concentration of the DPS also requires 30 credits to graduate and consists of 15 core course credits (5 courses), 12 elective credits (4 courses), and the 3-credit Doctoral Project.

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ethics requires 12 credits to graduate.  It is made up of 4 specific courses. The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ethics Consultation is comprised of 5 specific courses, or 15 credits.

How long will it take me to complete the program?
Students typically take 2-2.5 years to complete the program, if they are mainly taking 1 course/term. However, we have full-time students complete the program in 1 calendar year, if that is your goal. We can work with you to help you complete the program in as short or long of a time as you would like.

What kinds of jobs are available to me with this degree?
The urgency of bioethical issues in health care, scientific research, public policy and academic inquiry in the humanities and social sciences continues to fuel the need for more professionals working in the field of bioethics. Thus, there are many possibilities to use a bioethics education as a way to launch or enhance a professional career. However, particular job opportunities often require the applicant to have an additional professional degree or credential beyond the MS in Bioethics.

Since the inception of the AMBI MS in Bioethics program many of our students have used their degrees to assume new bioethics related roles and responsibilities within their current work environment. AMBI students from professional areas such as nursing, medicine, science, social work and pastoral care have become leaders and change agents in hospitals and health care settings, especially in the area of hospital clinical ethics. For example, they work as members or chairs of hospital ethics committees, hospital ethics consultants, in research ethics, and bioethics educators for students and staff.  Other students from professional areas such health care administration, law and public policy have also transitioned into new bioethics related roles and career options. Some serve on or chair ethics committees or IRB's in hospitals and for pharmaceutical companies, serve as policy advisors related to bioethics, teach bioethics courses, work as hospital health care attorneys, and more. A student who went on to complete a PhD has a new academic appointment in a major academic healthcare institution. Yet another is an AMBI Fellow in clinical ethics and training to be an ethics consultant.

For those who are considering pursuing an MD, JD or PhD, the AMBI MS in Bioethics may be a useful way to broaden one’s career horizons. Students who take this route develop their approach to bioethics within a discipline as a practicing physician, lawyer or a scholar from a particular academic area such as philosophy.

Most importantly, if you are interested in pursuing a career path in bioethics you need to assess where you are and your particular interests. At the outset of the MS in Bioethics program you will be assigned a faculty advisor to help you tailor and execute a plan that will provide you the best chances of accomplishing your career goals. If you would like to speak to one of our faculty members about career possibilities and are considering applying to the MS in Bioethics Program, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at (518) 262-2639 or by email at bioethics@mail.amc.edu.

 

Course Questions

What courses are being offered in the upcoming term?
An up to date course rotation schedule can be found here.

How many courses should I take per term?
You are allowed to take as many courses as are offered each quarter. Most of our students work full-time, and thus take 1 course/term. However, we have full-time students who take 3 courses/term. Your advisor will work with you on an individual basis to help you determine how many courses you should take depending on your external work load.

Can I transfer any course credit into the programs?
We do accept transfer credits for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Bioethics program. This is determined on a case by case basis. However, the maximum number of credits we can transfer into our program is 9.

 

Financial Questions

How much does it cost?
All courses currently cost $2,500 per 3-credit course. For the graduate certificate program, the total cost is $10,000. For the MS and DPS programs, the total cost is $25,000. Starting in the fall 2014 term, tuition will be increased to $2,575 per 3-credit course, which will increase the certificate program to $10,300 and the MS and DPS programs to a total of $25,750.

Is financial aid offered?
Full financial aid loans are available for students taking at least one course per term.  Please take a look at the Financial Aid guide here. The Financial Aid office can also be contacted at (518) 262-5435.

Are there any scholarships offered?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any scholarships, except those students who are doing a dual MD/MS or PhD/MS at Albany Medical College.

 

Logistical Questions for Current Students

Where can I find the various forms for students?
Please click here for access to all forms and resources for students.

What if I need help with Sakai, iTunes University, or Citrix?
Tutorials and orientations are listed online here.  If you are still having difficulty, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at (518) 262-2639 or bioethics@mail.amc.edu.  If you are having technical difficulties with Sakai, such as logging in, please call the AMC IS Help Desk at (518) 262-5000.