About the Program

The Bioethics Program is unique at Puget Sound, and rare among liberal arts colleges. This program encompasses work in the fields of biology, natural science, neuroscience, religion, philosophy, literature, sociology, psychology, politics, economics, and business. It enables students to study topics at the intersection of the life sciences and the humanities (broadly conceived) such as: regenerative medicine and human stem cell research, global health, race, culture, gender and health care, human and animal experimentation, genetic screening and gene therapy, human population growth, genetics, embryology, reproduction, death and dying, disability studies, neuroscience, and animal rights. The program prepares students for analyzing and understanding the ethical, social, cultural and historical dimensions of problems at the nexus of these topics. Faculty drawn from several disciplines and departments provide the unique interdisciplinary perspective that is the hallmark of this concentration.

The Bioethics Program at Puget Sound helps students to analyze, understand, and integrate the challenging issues facing society as a result of advances in medicine, health and science. In keeping with its interdisciplinary nature, the Bioethics Program highlights the following University of Puget Sound curricular goals: An understanding of the interrelationship of knowledge; familiarity with diverse fields of knowledge; the ability to think logically and analytically; the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing; informed appreciation of self and others as part of a broader humanity in the world environment; an acknowledged set of personal values.

The Bioethics Program helps to prepare students for a broad range of future careers or advanced study in medicine and the health professions, the sciences, research, teaching, law, journalism, public policy, environmental health, hospital chaplaincy, biotechnology, social work, clinical ethics consultation, genetic counseling, and Master’s programs in Bioethics or Public Health. Students who successfully complete the program receive a designation on the transcript of “Emphasis in Bioethics.”

How to Declare the Bioethics Emphasis

In order to sign up for the Bioethics Emphasis, students should complete the declaration form and deliver it to Academic Advising. In the current remote learning environment students may fill out the form, either scan or take a picture of the form, and email it to Academic Advising. If you also require a new advisor, please copy the advisor on the email when you send along the completed form. If unable to access the form, students may also email Academic Advising with student's full name, ID, and specifics about which major/minor/emphasis they want, copying in any new advisor.

Professor Suzanne Holland with graduates Rutie MacKenzie-Margulies and Katie Handick
Bioethics Program Graduation Spring 2020

Although we couldn't be together for our usual Bioethics Program Grad Reception, graduates Rutie MacKenzie-Margulies '20 and Katie Handick '20 paid a socially-distanced visit to Professor Suzanne Holland on campus to celebrate.

2019 Ethics Bowl team members

Puget Sound Students competed in the 2019 National Bioethics Bowl, a college-level collaborative presentation and debate about pressing ethical issues in biomedicine and technology.