March 12, 2007

Mandel School and bioethics team up at Case for new MSSA/MA degree program

Responding to an increasingly complex world where situations may exist that require the help a social worker and bioethicist, Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences has teamed up with the department of bioethics in the Case School of Medicine to offer graduate students a unique "side-by-side" dual degree program towards a master's of social science administration (MSSA) and master of art degree in bioethics (MA).

"A growing need exists for advanced practice social workers who are knowledgeable about the principles and problem resolution techniques that are fundamental to bioethics," said Sarah Andrews, assistant dean for academic affairs at the Mandel School.

Students interested in pursuing this new degree program must apply separately to both programs. A joint committee from both schools will review applications to determine who will be accepted for the new program.

Beginning in the fall, graduate students interested in the fields of social work and bioethics will begin training with the goal of helping patients, families and policy makers understand the ethical implications involved in situation such as end-of-life decisions, organ donations, or special medical treatments.

The new 24-month, full-time degree program requires an additional 10 hours of course work beyond the traditional graduate social work program to meld the offerings of two nationally recognized programs into the new program.

According to Mark Aulisio, Case assistant professor of bioethics and director of the Clinical Bioethics Program at MetroHealth Medical Center, students will spend most of their first year in social work, with the second year focused on bioethics. The program is completed with a one-credit capstone course where both disciplines are integrated.

To learn more, contact the program advisors—Andrews at or Aulisio in the department of bioethics at

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 12, 2007 09:43 AM | News Topics: Ethics, HeadlinesMain, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Provost Initiatives, School of Medicine

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