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Department of Midwifery Degree Programs

After more than 30 years of educating leaders in the childbirth professions, Seattle Midwifery School merged with Bastyr University in 2009 to offer the only master of science degree in direct-entry midwifery that is regionally accredited, and MEAC-accredited .

Now the Department of Midwifery offers two degree programs:  The Master of Science in Midwifery (MSMW), a three-year direct-entry clinical training program leading to licensure and certification and a Master of Arts in Maternal-Child Health Systems (MA MCHS), a one-year specialized graduate curriculum for experienced midwives and other qualified maternal-child health professionals who seek training in education, policy work or research, that encourages innovation in maternal-child health care systems.

MS in Midwifery candidates entering the program with at least two years of undergraduate coursework (including our prerequisites) can exit with a Master of Science in Midwifery. This rigorous three-year program combines coursework in evidence-based midwifery care with high-quality clinical training in a variety of clinics, home-birth settings, birth centers and hospitals in the United States and Canada. We are proud to see our graduates in leadership roles throughout the U.S. and Canada.

MA in Maternal-Child Health Systems program is primarly online with two on campus weekend instensives, one at the beginning of the program and one a year later right before commenemcentm. This allows maternal shcile health professionals to gain a Master's degree while staying in their home communities.

Department of Midwifery class sizes are small, averaging 18-20 students in each cohort in the MS program and 7-12 in the MA program. Both programs utilize  blended curriculums combining online learning with face-to-face intensives, many of our students live outside of the Seattle area.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Midwifery is to educate and inspire leaders in midwifery and maternal health systems.

Anti-Racist Goal

A learning environment free from institutionalized racism, dedicated to social justice and a culturally versatile approach to maternal health care provision

Equity Statement

The Bastyr Department of Midwifery recognizes that systemic inequity results in poor pregnancy and birth outcomes, including higher rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and deaths of mothers and babies, in addition to many other adverse health outcomes. Individuals, families and communities experience discrimination and systemic oppression based on race, ethnicity, economic status, formal education, ability, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, citizenship status and other identities.

We also recognize that midwives have always been an integral part of the fabric of the human community. We believe in the strength of the community midwife model and believe that midwives from the community are most often the best maternity care providers for the community. Regrettably, the midwifery profession as it stands in the U.S. today does not adequately serve the whole human community.

To that end, the Bastyr Department of Midwifery affirms our responsibility to all families to participate in the ongoing work of creating an inclusive learning environment where student midwives feel welcomed, represented, supported and safe; where students learn to care for all families in a way that is culturally affirming and respectful; and where our commitment to social justice is woven into every facet of our program.

We demonstrate these commitments by engaging in anti-racism training for all faculty and staff in the Department of Midwifery and committing to the ongoing, lifelong work of dismantling racism in the personal, institutional and systemic realms. Our students also receive in-depth coursework to prepare them to engage in anti-racism work, and they build upon this further through an examination of their own cultural beliefs and values in learning to serve effectively across social differences. We continue to integrate and teach the histories of midwives from many cultures and communities. Our students receive training in health disparities and the social determinants of health. We strive to provide a learning environment that is gender-inclusive by providing faculty development resources and curriculum content that aims to teach about the interplay between sexual identity, gender identity, pregnancy and birth.

We commit to this work through ongoing examination of our institutional practices for equity in recruitment of students, admissions and hiring of faculty. We seek to remain accountable to marginalized communities through involvement in equitable curriculum development, content, delivery and assessment of learning outcomes of our graduates. We work to support organizations led by underrepresented groups in our community with our time and financial resources. Our mission is to educate and inspire leaders in midwifery and maternal health systems, and we do this within a social justice framework.

We also adhere to the relevant non-discrimination and harassment policies of Bastyr University.