Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

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Medical College of Wisconsin
Certificate in Clinical Bioethics Program

Program Objectives
Program Description
Requirements for the Certificate Program
Technical Requirements for the Certificate Program
Applying to the Certificate Program
Frequently Asked Questions


Program Objectives
The Certificate in Clinical Bioethics program is designed to provide a basic introduction to the philosophical, legal, and clinical foundations of health care ethics. This program is designed to enhance the clinical practice of health care professionals or to provide a foundation for further study of bioethics for professionals and students in any discipline. The Certificate program is Internet-based in order to be available to participants from across the nation and worldwide.

Program Description
The bioethics Certificate program has two components:

1. Core Curriculum
A core curriculum made up of three required courses in philosophical bioethics, clinical topics in bioethics, and issues in law and bioethics.

2. Elective Course
An elective course chosen by the student to meet his or her individual needs and/or interests.

All courses of the Certificate program are delivered in an online format. Class discussions and case analyses are conducted in non-real time, so students can participate at their convenience during each week of the course. Students are, however, paced on a week-to-week basis just as in a traditional course on campus. Moreover, the pedagogical capabilities of the online environment enhance the course discussions and allow for more individualized instructor feedback. This program empowers the learners to find resources and make the courses truly student-centered.

Requirements for the Certificate Program
Students in the Certificate program are required to complete a total of four three-credit online courses (total of twelve credits). Three of these courses are required and one course is of the student's choosing.

The required courses are:

Philosophical Bioethics (3 credits)
Clinical Topics in Bioethics (3 credits)
Law and Bioethics (3 credits)

These required courses provide students with knowledge of the necessary philosophical, clinical and legal foundations of clinical bioethics.

For the elective course, students choose one course from among the following selection of approved and offered courses, with the guidance of an advisor:

Justice & Healthcare (3 credits)
Introduction to Research Ethics (3 credits)
Issues in Pediatric Ethics (3 credits)
Ethics and Human Reproduction (3 credits)
The History and Meaning of Ethics and Professionalism in Medicine (3 credits)
Special Topics in Bioethics (3 credits)

Students may take one or two courses per semester as fits their scheduling needs. For more information on these courses, please see the course descriptions under the traditional MA program section.

Students receive a Certificate in Clinical Bioethics upon completion of all four courses. Graduate credits accumulated in this program may be applicable toward the Master of Arts degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin, which can be pursued either through the executive-style or the traditional format.

Technical Requirements for the Certificate Program
The minimal technical requirements for the program include:

1. Personal computer (PC with Windows XP, Vista or 7; Mac with OS X).
2. Internet Explorer 7 (or higher) or Firefox 3 (or higher) for accessing ANGEL. Mac users should use Firefox.
3. Microsoft Office 2003 or newer.
4. Adobe Acrobat Reader.
5. CD-ROM drive.
6. Sound card with speakers or head-set.
7. Email accessibility.
8. Internet connection (broadband highly recommended).
9. Printer.

In additional to the technical requirements above, students must know how to:

1. Access and use the Internet, email, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and instant messenger;
2. Work with email attachments;
3. Contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for technical assistance on Internet connection and tools.

Applying to the Certificate Program
Individuals interested in the Certificate program must apply through the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The application process consists of: (1) completing and submitting the online application form with a $50 application fee; (2) providing official transcript for an earned baccalaureate degree; and (3) providing letters of recommendation with recommendation forms from at least two references who can comment on the applicant’s ability to succeed in the program.

Criteria for admission include academic training, professional experience, college and, if applicable, graduate or professional school grades, commitment to the field of bioethics, and promise in the program’s academic areas.

All applications are reviewed by the Bioethics Program’s Graduate Admissions Committee. The outcome of the committee review is forwarded to the Dean as a recommendation for admission or rejection. The Admissions Committee is comprised of the Director of Graduate Studies and at least two other members of the program’s graduate faculty. Final action on each application is carried out by the Dean, who signs all letters of acceptance or rejection on behalf of the academic program and MCW.

Application deadlines are July 1 for Fall admission, November 1 for Spring admission, and April 1 for Summer admission.

A link to the online application form and more information on applying to the program can be found on the Graduate School's Web site.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Certificate Program

1. Who can enroll in the program?

The program is open to anyone interested in bioethics that holds at least a bachelor's degree. The program is designed to enhance the clinical practice of health care professionals or to provide a foundation for further study of bioethics for professionals and students in any discipline

2. Is the program accredited?

The bioethics graduate program is a program in the Medical College of Wisconsin's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Medical College of Wisconsin's Graduate School is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, 800-621-7440.

3. Do I have to take the GRE?

No. The application process for admission to the Certificate program does not require GRE or any other graduate admission test scores.

4. How long will it take for me to complete the program?

Students can complete the program in just two semesters by taking two courses per semester. Taking just one course per semester is also an option which would result in completing the program in four semesters.  Students are allowed two years to complete the program.

5. Do I have to be in front of my computer on a particular day and time in order to participate in the online courses?

No. Online class discussions are conducted in non-real time through threaded discussion forums so students can participate at their convenience each week. Students are paced, however, on a week to week schedule, just as in a traditional on-campus course.

6. What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is $765 per credit.  More information on tuition and fees is available here.

7. When is the application deadline?

Application deadlines are July 1 for Fall admission, November 1 for Spring admission, and April 1 for Summer admission.

8. Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact Kristen Tym, Program Manager by e-mail or phone at 414-955-4299.

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Page Updated 03/27/2014