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Master of Arts in Urban Bioethics 

Our hallmark educational program, the Master of Arts in Urban Bioethics, is the nation’s only bioethics degree explicitly focused on health equity. The program provides a solid foundation in traditional bioethics along with practical training and resources for understanding and analyzing the ethics, values, and value conflicts that exist in dense, disparate, and diverse urban settings.

Students who pursue the MA in Urban Bioethics learn how to address inequities of health and access to medical, legal, and other resources in disparate, diverse, and dense urban areas. Due to the far-reaching impact of bioethics, we welcome students from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds including medicine, policy, philosophy, research, industry, administration, and law.

The MA in Urban Bioethics can be completed as a stand-alone degree or as a dual degree. We offer dual degree programs with medicine (MD), sociology (MA, PhD), and philosophy (MA, PhD). We also offer specialized tracks for Temple University Health System residents in internal medicine, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology.

Learn more about the MA in Urban Bioethics program 

Pincus Family Foundation Urban Health Fellowship

Generously funded by the Pincus Family Foundation, the Pincus Urban Health Fellowship is a two-year program that provides a targeted cohort of healthcare professionals with a well-rounded education about the state of pediatric health in urban communities – equipping them with the skills to develop and implement  innovative approaches to  address health equity in this population. A goal of the Pincus Urban Health Fellowship is to build a team knowledgeable about, committed to, and embedded in urban communities like North Philadelphia.

Fellows complete the Master of Arts in Urban Bioethics program in year one, which includes the core curriculum and specialized pediatric bioethics and public health electives uniquely crafted to enhance Fellows’ educational experience. This theoretical and methodological groundwork becomes the basis for a year-long project in year two.  Fellows identify a specific pediatric problem  in North Philadelphia and work with academic, medical, and community mentors to develop, implement, and produce a thesis that evaluates an innovative intervention with the goal of improv pediatric health in a fiscally sustainable way. The project becomes the topic of the thesis degree candidates submit.

Please see for more information about our fellowship and the next cycle of applications.

Urban Bioethics throughout Temple

In addition to teaching our in-house Urban Bioethics courses, our faculty lend their expertise and instruction to a variety of other programs throughout Temple University and the Temple University Health System.

Center faculty direct the Katz School of Medicine’s Health System Science and Social & Structural Determinants of Health Threads, which is part of the school’s Doctoring curriculum.

  • The Health System Science Thread gives students a working knowledge of the healthcare system and their place in it – hospitals, health insurance companies, government regulators, and other entities, and how they all interact. Also demonstrated is the importance of physician advocacy. Through a series of activities, students leave the thread having practiced both oral and written advocacy directed at stakeholders who play a key role in healthcare systems and population health.
  • The Social & Structural Determinants of Health Thread centers on a series of didactic and discussion sessions and reflective learning designed to enable students to appreciate the clinical relevance of the “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life” (WHO 2015). Linked with Urban Bioethics, this thread focuses on developing the understanding that health disparities are an ethical problem and that the tools and insights of urban bioethics can be brought to bear on mitigating them.

The Center is also home to the Katz School of Medicine’s Service Learning program for medical students. Service learning is a form of experiential education that centers on both action and reflection. Service learning works to achieve real objectives for the community as well as to deepen self-understanding and professional skills for the student. The Katz School of Medicine Service Learning Program is a longitudinal curriculum that encompasses the service itself, on-site facilitation and support, and post-service reflection and feedback.

Center faculty also teach bioethics courses and contribute guest lectures in the Kornberg School of Dentistry undergraduate dental and dental residency programs, the Katz School of Medicine Physician Assistant and post-baccalaureate programs, and the Beasley School of Law.

Finally, within Temple University Health System, Center faculty are invited to give grand rounds and lead educational conferences throughout the clinical departments of Temple’s health system. Center faculty also sit on the Health System’s Ethics Committee and the Medical School’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).