Division of Community Health and Humanities

Graduate Programs - Master of Health Ethics

Master of Health Ethics

Program Contacts:

Dr. Chris Kaposy

Program Chair
Associate Professor of Health Care Ethics

Tel: 709-864-3375

General Admission Inquiries:

Shannon Steeves
Academic Program Administrator (Interim}

Application Deadline Date:

February 1 (Fall Admission only)

All application documentation must be received by the School of Graduate Studies by this date.

Note: there is only one intake of students each year.

How to apply to this program?

Application is made through the School of Graduate Studies. Visit their application page for full details about applying to a graduate program at Memorial University.

The Master of Health Ethics degree program will help students develop the skills needed to identify and analyze ethical issues in heatlh care and in the life sciences, and to propose solutions to these issues as they arise in the clinical, research, and policy contexts.  Students will gain a basic knowledge of the functioning of the health system and will have the opportunity to design and carry out a research project.

The Master of Health Ethics program is available on a part-time or a full-time basis. It consists of 6 courses, a practicum, and either a thesis, capstone project, or 3 research papers. Full-time students in the non-thesis stream can complete the program in 4 semesters.

The program commences in the Fall semester each year. The following timeline shows the general schedule of courses for students who wish to complete the program in 4 semesters (see below for more detailed program requirements):
  1. First Semester: 2 required courses; 1 elective
  2. Second Semester: 1 required course, 2 electives
  3. Third Semester: practicum; begin final project
  4. Fourth Semester: Complete final project
This program may be attractive to people who wish to pursue a career in the health system as an ethics consultant. Further training may be necessary to realize this goal. The Master of Health Ethics could also help one's career advancement in the health care field, or could be a spring board to the study of health ethics at the PhD level.

Please note: The Master of Health Ethics is an on-site program.

Program Requirements:
  • MED6800 Health Ethics Theory
  • MED6801 Important Cases in Health Ethics
  • MED6806 Introduction to the Canadian Health System
  • 3 elective courses (9 credit hours) chosen in consultant with the supervisor/advisor
  • MED6815 Health Ethics Practicum
  • A final project - either:
    • A thesis
    • A capstone project - MED6825 Health Ethics Capstone Project
    • Three health ethics research papers - MED6820 Health Ethics Research Papers
There are special requirements for full-time students who intend to research and write a thesis as a final project. Applicants pursuing the thesis route must secure funding (if wishing to have fulltime status). See below for funding information. Should funding not be available, the student may choose to study part-time. Please visit the Office of Research and Graduate Studies website for details on part-time versus full-time status.

Admission Requirements:
  • To have an undergraduate degree from a university of recognized standing with at least a "B+” (75%) average.
  • To meet the Memorial University English proficiency requirements (the completion of an undergraduate degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English or the possession of satisfactory English testing scores).
  • To complete a pre-requisite course: An undergraduate philosophy course with substantial emphasis on moral theory (e.g. an introductory course in moral philosophy).
  • To provide satisfactory appraisals from two referees.
  • To include a sample of written work in moral theory, bioethics, or ethics more generally construed. This should be a paper submitted for your prerequisite course (described above). This can be inserted into the online application under question 6.
Admission to the Master of Health Ethics program is competitive and not all qualifying applicants are admitted. The Division of Community Health and Humanities reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant.

Application Process:

All applicants must complete an on-line application available from the School of Graduate Studies website. For information on how to apply to this program, please visit the Application Procedures webpage. Applicants to the Master of Health Ethics program must submit a representative sample of their written work.

Once you submit your web application, you can check your graduate application status by going back to the web application site and signing in under the previously selected login ID and PIN used to create your web application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all supporting documentation is received by the application deadline date; checking the application status can help applicants monitor their graduate application. For more details, visit:

Normally, applicants are notified about their admission status 6 to 8 weeks after the application deadline date.

Program Costs (effective Fall 2019):
Program Fee
Per Semester
No. of
Semesters Fee
must be Paid
Tuition for Newfoundland & Labrador Students:
Plan A
Plan B
Plan C
Tuition for Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents:
Plan A
Plan B
Plan C
Tuition for International Students:
Plan A
Plan B
Plan C

Students not completing their program by the number of semesters listed will be required to pay a continuance fee for each additional semester required.  Students are also responsible for a number of other fees, such as student union fees, recreation fees, and health and dental insurance. For a comprehensive list, please refer to the Minimum Expense Form found on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Cost of Living:

The estimated cost of living for students attending Memorial University and living on or near campus can be found here.

Funding Information:

Thesis-based students entering this program as a full-time student must secure funding. Funding may come in the form of faculty research grants, scholarships, or fellowships. A number of funding sources can be found on the following Memorial University websites: School of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Medicine’s Research and Graduate Studies Office.

The Master of Health Ethics program is able to offer two scholarships per year to incoming full-time students, each with a value of $6,000 per year for two years.

These scholarships are awarded by the MHE admissions committee upon admission to the program. The admissions committee awards these scholarships to the full-time incoming students who, in the judgment of the committee, have the strongeest applications for admission based on:
  • Grades
  • Writing sample
  • Letters of appraisal
  • Statement of interest
Full-time incoming students are eligible for these scholarships regardless of stream (thesis, research papers, or capstone project). However, students who enter the program intending to write a thesis as their final project may be awarded an additional $6,000 per year in matched funding from the Faculty of Medicine.

For more information about the Master of Health Ethics program, please go to www.mun.ca/bioethics/mhe