Graduate Studies in Bioethics at ISU

Regardless of the department in which they are pursuing their major degree, all ISU graduate students can take existing bioethics courses for graduate credit. While it is not possible, at the present time, to pursue a graduate minor in bioethics, members of the Bioethics Program are working to make this option available.

Masters in Bioethics

Students interested in pursuing graduate work in Bioethics can do so through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) Program at Iowa State University. The IGS program makes it possible for students to design their own graduate major tailored to their individual interests. The Bioethics Program is committed to providing assistance to any student who wishes to pursue research and training that focuses on ethical issues in science, agriculture, environmental policy, biotechnology, or other topics in Bioethics. Interested students should contact Clark Wolf, program director, or the Bioethics Office for more information.

Who Should Pursue Graduate Work in Bioethics?

Bioethics is a broad field that is critically important to scientists working in the area of biotechnology, agriculture, veterinary medicine, animal science, ecology, environmental policy, and many other areas. Some students may wish to pursue graduate work in bioethics to complement their work in other disciplines, or as preparation for Doctoral level graduate work in philosophy or bioethics. The program has been designed with several different audiences in mind:

  • Undergraduate students interested to continue studies in Bioethics at ISU.
  • Students who view work toward an IGS degree in Bioethics as preparation for graduate work in another discipline, or in preparation for employment in bioethics.
  • Graduate students pursuing a graduate degree in another field who would like special training in bioethics to complement their graduate work.


To pursue graduate work in Bioethics students should make out their application for graduate study to the IGS program. To do this, students should assemble the following materials for submission to the Graduate College:

  • General Application for Graduate Study at ISU. Application materials are available at the following site web location: Graduate Admissions Application (pdf file)
  • Official transcripts and certification of bachelor’s degree at an accredited university.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose letter. A statement of purpose letter should indicate three different areas of study from which the student will choose the courses that will constitute their program of study. Students pursuing an IGS major in Bioethics will need to take course work in three related areas of study. For example, one might identify courses in restoration ecology, environmental history, and philosophy as constituting an appropriate program of study for an IGS major in bioethics with a research focus in Bioethics and Restoration Ecology.
  • TOEFL scores for international students (minimum 550)
  • GRE scores (recommended but not required)

Bioethics Related Courses

A list of bioethics related courses taught at ISU is available here. In consultation with an advisor from the Bioethics program, students may develop a program of study that meets their objectives by choosing from among these courses or any others taught at ISU