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About the Center

Bioethics and CBUHP


About the MA in Urban Bioethics

Core Curriculum

Dual Degrees

Certificate and Non-Matriculated Students

Information for Applicants


Summer Intern Program


MA in Urban Bioethics


The MA in Urban Bioethics, offered through the 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.


The MA in Urban Bioethics can be earned as a stand alone- or dual-degree, and can be completed on a part- or full-time basis.


The MA program is led by Dr. Nora Jones (nora.jones@temple.edu), Director of Education for the CBUHP, and supported by Dr. Matthew Lucas (matthew.lucas@temple.edu). Please contact either with any questions about the degree requirements, structure, or other dual-degree options.


What is Urban Bioethics?

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 leaves many urban dwellers and communities
distinctly disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and vulnerable.


Why an MA in Urban Bioethics?

This degree is designed for individuals who confront, or who
anticipate confronting, such inequities in their work and are seeking
specialized training in understanding and analyzing the ethics,
values, and value conflicts relevant to the urban setting.
Students in the MA in Urban Bioethics program will graduate with the
practical skills, theoretical orientation, and resources to deliver
better care, be innovators in research, care delivery, and policy and
advocacy work; and be better positioned in the ever more competitive
job market.


How can I do both the MA and my MD, JD, medical residency, or other graduate degree or professional life?

Easily! The MA in Urban Bioethics is designed around the schedules and
needs of dual degree students and working professionals. Courses are
either once weekly on-site in the late afternoon, off-site at flexible
and accommodating times, or on-line. Dr. Jones (nora.jones@temple.edu) can help you in coordinating the curriculum to your particular schedule and address any logistical or other questions you may have.



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Core Curriculum (for ALL MA students)


The MA is a 32-credit degree. Dual degree students will complete 15 of those credits in the course of earning their primary degree. MA students not enrolled in a dual degree program must take additional credits of approved electives from other departments across the University.



UBTH 5001/5101 and 5002/5102: Urban Bioethics 1 and 2 (3 credits each). Seminars are held in the Kresge Building, 3440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140.

  • In a weekly 2.5-hour seminar format these courses introduce students to the field of urban bioethics. Topics include: the history and theoretical foundations of bioethics; the role of values and ethics in health, health care, law, and policy; social determinants of health, health disparities and inequities, research ethics, clinical ethics, cultural humility, critical epidemiology, and more. Each unit will introduce students to the foundations of the area, classic readings, and current consensus and/or controversies. Attention will then turn to if, and if so, how, mainstream bioethics’ approach to these issues must be adapted for patients and practitioners in the urban setting.
  • Workload: Each week there will be 30-60 pages of assigned readings (ranging from patient narratives, fiction, social science literature, medical literature). Over the course of the semester there will be approximately 20 pages of writing. This will NOT be a 20-page research paper due at the end of the semester, but will be smaller assignments spread out over the course of the semester. 

UBTH 5022/5122 and 5023/5123: Community Engagement 1 and 2 (2 credits each)

  • This is a hands-on, community-based course that takes a holistic look at a community, analyzing both its strengths and challenges. Over the course of a Fall/Spring academic year, 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: 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.
  • Class meeting times and specific team workload and requirements will be team-determined within the first month of the course.

UBTH 5031/5131: The Values, Ethics, and Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (online) (2 credits)

  • 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 delivery –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.

UBTH 5041/5141: Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (online) (2 credits)

  • 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.

UBTH 9995/9996: Thesis (3 credits)

  • Working in conjunction with a thesis advisor, who upon approval can be from the Medical School, the CBUHP, 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 article-length paper. The thesis does not have to be completed in 1 semester. There are many ways to complete the thesis requirement, and if you are working on a research project elsewhere in your home-school curriculum (for dual degree students) you should talk with Dr. Jones about how to work this project into your thesis.



The MA in Urban Bioethics core-curriculum is designed to be completed over the course of 2 years, although students may have different paths through the courses. Please contact Dr. Jones (nora.jones@temple.edu) with any questions about scheduling specific to your particular coursework, program, and/or concerns.






UBTH 5001/5101: Urban Bioethics I

UBTH 5002/5102: Urban Bioethics II

UBTH 5031/5131: The Values, Ethics, and Economics of Health Care Delivery in Urban Communities (online)






UBTH 5022/5122:

Community Engagement I

UBTH 5023/5123:


Engagement II


UBTH 5041/5141: Critical Social Science and Urban Bioethics (online)

UBTH 9995/9996: Thesis




Per credit tuition and fees for Urban Bioethics courses are currently (2014) $1,706. Non-urban bioethics elective courses carry the tuition of the school offering the course.


MD/MA students are eligible for a scholarship to offset the cost of the MA portion of the degree. Contact Dr. Jones for more information on the scholarship.


Unfortunately at this time there is no other financial aid available through the Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy. There may be other outside sources of grants/funding, and we would be happy to explore those with you.



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Dual Degrees

MD/MA Urban Bioethics


Accepted and matriculated MD students may apply to the MD/MA program. Students who will be completing the third and fourth year at Crozer Chester Medical Center, Geisinger Health System, or West Penn Allegheny Health System can complete the program during the first and second year of medical school. Students enrolled in the St. Luke's Regional Campus cannot participate in the MD/MA in Urban Bioethics.


DPT/MA Urban Bioethics


A student in the DPT program who has completed his or her spring semester of the first year of DPT study without any coursework grades below a B (3.0) may apply to the MA program. DPT students interested in applying to the MA should also secure a letter of support from either the Director of the DPT program or their primary faculty advisor.


The DPT/MA degree places Temple University on the forefront of health professions education that integrates the supplemental masters level bioethics degree. As PT continues to become more established as an autonomous profession and PT practitioners take on greater roles as primary health service providers, a foundation in the field of bioethics will become increasingly important. The MA in Urban Bioethics will not only offer DPT students advanced education and exposure to the intangible aspects of the ethics of clinical practice (such as strategies for care in environments of diversity, disparity, and inequities), but also will better position graduates in their post-graduation employment searches in specialized leadership roles or post-doctoral education.


The MA in Urban Bioethics degree will be conferred upon successful completion of the Core Curriculum as well as the following DPT courses:

• PHTH 8536: Teaching, Learning, and Group Dynamics (3 credits)
• PHTH 8518: Psychosocial Aspects (2 credits)
• PHTH 8546: Bioethics (2 credits)
• PHTH 8547: Management and Health Care Systems (3 credits)
• PHTH 9585: Clinical Internship I 5 credits will be counted, with the additional requirement of a supplemental paper addressing the bioethical conflicts, considerations, and perspectives on the experience. The supplemental paper will be read and graded by the Director of the MA in Urban Bioethics program.


Other Dual Degrees


We are in the process of exploring other dual degree options. If you are a matriculated graduate student at Temple University interested in discussing the possibility of a dual degree, please email nora.jones@temple.edu.



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Certificate and Non-Matriculated Students


The Certificate in Urban Bioethics is for individuals with at least a Bachelor’s degree and/or a minimum of 3 years of work experience in a related field. The certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the 14 credit Core Curriculum (all diadactic courses minus the thesis). Students who earn the certificate have one year after the awarding of the certificate to apply for the MA program and if accepted the certificate credits can be applied to the MA. The certificate program will be a viable option for those who are seeking additional bioethics training but are unable to make the full commitment to the MA or those who wish to explore this area before applying to the MA program. For more information, please contact nora.jones@temple.edu, or 215.707.7178.


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Information for Applicants

For the MA Program:

  • Go to http://bulletin.temple.edu/graduate/scd/medicine/urban-bioethics-ma/ to access the online application link.
  • Indicate whether you are a US citizen/permanent resident or international applicant.
  • Click on "Graduate Application". Your application type is "MA in Urban Bioethics".
  • Please complete all the required sections of the application, as well as the optional section of prior colleges/universities attended.
  • Two to three 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. These should be sent directly to either Dr. Jones or Dr. Lucas.
  • The GRE is required for some, but not all, applicants. Dual degree applicants and those with an advanced degree do not need to provide GRE scores. Students graduating from traditional undergraduate programs must submit GRE scores with their applications. Other applicants should contact either Dr. Jones or Dr. Lucas for clarification about the need for GRE scores with their applications.
  • Click agree, if you do, to the admissions agreement page.
  • You will be directed to the payment page, where you can pay the $60 application fee by echeck or credit card.

Please note that there are separate instructions for Temple University dual degree applicants.


Dual Degree Applicants:


Please note that you must already be admitted to Temple University and matriculated into your primary school before you may apply for the MA.

Upon permission of your home school, the MA program can access your original letters of recommendation and official transcripts. You should email either Dr. Lucas or Dr. Jones, giving the CBUHP permission to contact your home school for these materials.


MD/MA students do NOT need to send official transcripts.


Other dual degree students may need to have official transcripts sent to the CBUHP. Please inquire for details.


On the online application, you do not need to complete the optional questions.


In addition to uploading your personal statement online, please also email it to either nora.jones@temple.edu or matthew.lucas@temple.edu

  • Click agree, if you do, to the admissions agreement page.
  • You will be directed to the payment page, where you can pay the $60 application fee by echeck or credit card.

Certificate Applicants:


Contact Dr. Jones (nora.jones@temple.edu) or Dr. Lucas (matthew.lucas@temple.edu) for the certificate application.




The MA Program has rolling deadlines. If you are applying after a deadline posted on the Temple University Graduate School page, please email Dr. Nora Jones at nora.jones@temple.edu or Dr. Matthew Lucas at matthew.lucas@temple.edu.




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Summer Intern Program


The Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy has stopped accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Intern Program. Please check back in early 2016 for information about the 2016 Summer Intern Program. Please read more about it here (apply through link).


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Nora Jones, PhD

Director, MAUB Program




Matthew S. Lucas, PhD, MBE, RN

Program Coordinator, MAUB




Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy

Kresge Building, 3440 N. Broad Street, Suite 200

Philadelphia, PA 19140