Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics

COVID-19 Update

May 21, 2020

Our 2020 Class is now filled. We are no longer accepting applications.  In September, we will begin to accept applications for our 2021 Summer Institute.

Our 2020 participants are students and professionals from all corners, including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, the Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Singapore, and many other locations. Our students are from Yale, Yale-NUS, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, London School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Howard, Morehouse, McGill, Notre Dame, Case Western, Catholic University, medical schools across the globe, Williams, Tuskegee, and many other fine schools. They represent medicine, the humanities, public health, philosophy, the law, religion, and other fields.   We look forward to posting updates about our program on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.

Please visit our new page to see our revised 2020 online program description


The following information reflects our in-person program which will not be offered in 2020.  In 2021, we expect to resume our annual summer program.

Our Summer Institute

Now in its 15th year, the annual Summer Institute is a unique and cherished program. The program is an intensive 7-week summer immersion for U.S. and international professionals and students from varying disciplines. The program offers approximately 150-200 contact hours (depending on student preference).

Recent participants say:

  • “The curriculum is simply unparalleled… this is a program like none other!”
  • “These were the best two months of my life!”
  • “This was simply the best investment to help me fine-tune my career choices.”
  • “The diversity of participants and faculty made this summer truly unforgettable.”
  • “This programme is truly incredible!” 


View images from recent years to learn a bit more about our program.


The 2020 program will occur June 8 through July 24. Our impressive faculty infuse the program with their enthusiasm, energy, and expertise, presenting lectures and seminars on a wide range of topics including gene editing, “a good death,” environmental ethics, social justice, bioethics for policymaking, OneHealth, and patient-centered clinical ethics. 2020 seminars are still being finalized, and a partial list is available here.

This program is distinct in terms of:

  • The breadth, depth, and quality of bioethics topics discussed in lectures and seminars;
  • The faculty-to-participant ratio (our faculty nearly outnumber our participants);
  • The enthusiasm of our faculty;
  • The amount of personal growth one may experience when interacting with people from over 25 countries, from all continents across the globe.

Learning Objectives

The program is attended by those who wish to:

  • Understand how they can use bioethics (or bioethical arguments) in their current careers;
  • Further define their interests in bioethics before or after acquiring a Masters in Bioethics;
  • Expand bioethics in their home country;
  • See if a career in bioethics is right for them;
  • Develop deeper knowledge in bioethics to supplement their current career or studies, often within law, medicine, public health, philosophy, and other disciplines.

Participant Profiles

Our summer program is attended by U.S. and international professionals and graduate students (along with a select number of undergraduates). Participants from recent years are from China, Japan, Australia, Spain, France, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. Participants hail from many different institutions, including Yale, Columbia, William and Mary, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, UCLA, Williams College, The University of Virginia, Rutgers, University of Texas at Austin, Tufts, Case Western, Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Clarkson, Universidad Europea de Madrid, state schools, and many more.

Recent professionals who have attended the program include a biology professor from James Madison, mid-career physicians from Turkey, Japan, France, and the Czech Republic, attorneys and professors from Brazil, and so on. Recent students study philosophy, divinity, law, medicine, clinical social work, and public health (both graduate and undergraduate) from the US, France, Singapore, and more. 

Would you like to learn more about the program, or speak to a recent alum to learn more about the program and how it may benefit you? Contact Lori Bruce, Program Director, at and we would be delighted to connect with you.

Yale University Bioethics students

Submitting Your Application

Please visit this link to submit your application.

Scope and Schedule

The full program offers approximately 150-200 contact hours (depending on student preference).

The 2018 Program Page lists our program seminars, lectures, and faculty. The 2020 program pages will be posted in a few weeks, and will be quite similiar to the 2018 & 2020 program, including these 2019 seminars.

The Program Structure Page describes the main components of our program.

Attendance Options

The majority of participants attend the full 7-week program. However, Summer Institute alumni have the option to return for one 3-week term, and clinicians or clinical students with limited schedules may be considered for Foundations and the first 3-week term (June 10 - July 5).

Credits for Participation

While we do not offer Yale credit (to keep the price low), we do work with students’ sponsoring institutions so that students can receive credit from them. This is dependent upon the students’ university, but we do find that the vast majority of universities do provide this credit. Undergraduate and graduate students typically receive credits for one full course. Upon request, we provide a Program Summary at the end of the program that defines the exact number of contact hours earned, along with a list of all seminars attended and an overall evaluation.

Housing Options

Some students choose to live in Yale dorms, but most choose to sublet from Yale graduate students who are away for the summer months. Many students choose to live with their Summer Institute classmates. Professionals who attend the program tend to find their housing either on the sublet list or via Sabbatical Homes. We provide a list of sublets and connect you to your Summer Institute classmates so that you can make the decision that is best for you. Sublets are approximately $500-$2,000/month and Yale housing is approximately $53/night for a shared room and $70/night for a private room. Yale dorms do not have access to kitchens or other amenities; sublets are within houses or apartments and come furnished.

Application Process & Fees

View details on the application process, funding opportunities, program fees, and deadlines.

Bioethics lecture

Programs by Year

Previous programs and participants are listed below:

2018 Program; 2017 Program; 2016 Program; 2015 Program; 2014 Program;
2013 Program; 2012 Program; 2011 Program;
2010 Program; 2009 Program

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