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Graduate Certificate in Neuroethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Certificate in Neuroethics provides training valuable to both clinicians and researchers; as the ever-advancing fields of neuroscience and neurotechnology posit new challenges, there is an increased demand for thoughtful consideration by individuals with a strong foundation in brain science as well as an expertise in ethical analysis and policy development.

  • Credits: 12
  • Type: Online
  • Student Status: Full or Part-Time

Doctorate of Pubic Health Program at MCW

Message from the Director

Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA

Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA

Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Director, Graduate Program in Bioethics
(414) 955-8451

Over the years, MCW's bioethics programs have been recognized for their intellectual rigor and leadership in bioethics and research ethics education. As the director of the Certificate in Neuroethics, I am committed to promoting this tradition of academic excellence and fostering a student-centered learning environment. If you have any questions about the Neuroethics Certificate or the application process, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Certificate in Neuroethics

About the Program

About the Program

Progress in neuroscience and neurotechnology is often portrayed as the next step toward addressing intractable issues in research and medicine, as well as in society more broadly. Neuroethics is a field of investigation that examines the implications of neuroscience research for human self-understanding, ethics, and policy, and engages in public discourse on a variety of topics through education, research, and scholarship. To this end and under the leadership of Dr. Jotterand, the Program in Neuroethics was established as a resource to advance the mission of the Medical College of Wisconsin and expand the activities of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities into a unique and comprehensive resource for conceptual, ethical and policy issues in brain science and mental health research, policy, and practice. In addition to the Certificate in Neuroethics the Program also includes activities such as conferences and workshops, and research projects. Dr. Jotterand is the founding co-editor of the book series Advances in Neuroethics (Springer).


Applying to the Certificate in Neuroethics Program

Individuals interested in the Certificate program must apply through the Medical College of Wisconsin’s School of Graduate Studies. 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 and professional experience, commitment to the field of neuroethics, and promise in the program’s academic areas.

All applications are reviewed by the Program’s Graduate Admissions Committee. The outcome of the committee review is forwarded to the Dean as a recommendation for admission or rejection.

Application priority deadlines are July 1 for Fall admission and November 1 for Spring admission.



Students in the Certificate program are required to complete a total of four three-credit online courses (total of twelve credits). All four of the courses are required.

The program consists of the following four required courses:

  • Philosophical Bioethics (3 credits)
  • Law and Bioethics (3 credits)
  • Philosophical Neuroethics (3 credits)
  • Clinical Neuroethics (3 credits)

These required courses provide students with the necessary legal, philosophical, and clinical perspectives necessary and valuable to researchers and clinicians interested in neuroethics.

This certification program will enroll about two students per year. Two of the courses will be offered in the fall semester, and the other two will be offered in the spring semester. Enrolled students have the choice to take one class per semester and finish the certificate in four semesters or take two classes per semester and finish in two semesters.

All of the courses of the certificate program are offered online. The technical requirements are minimal, i.e., ability to use a Web-browser and email. Class discussions and additional work are conducted primarily in non-real time, so students can participate at their convenience during each week. However, students are paced on a week-to-week basis just as in a face-to-face course. Moreover, the pedagogical capabilities of the online environment enhance the class discussions and allow for individualized instructor feedback, which empowers the learners and makes the courses truly student-centered.

Participants receive a Certificate in Neuroethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s School of Graduate Studies upon completion of the four courses. Each course is also worth graduate credit which may be applicable to the Bioethics MA degree.  

Core Curriculum (Required) Courses

Law and Bioethics, Bioethics 10223 (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to legal principles and legal precedent relevant to issues in bioethics, aimed at providing the foundation for understanding relevant law concerning these issues.

Philosophical Bioethics, Bioethics 10210 (3 credits)
This course provides the critical basis for the ethical analysis of biomedical issues. It consists of lectures, seminar presentations, and class discussion of the foundations of moral philosophy, including the concept of morality, moral relativism, classical ethical theories, contemporary methods in bioethics, rights, justice, and the justification of moral beliefs.

Philosophical Neuroethics, Bioethics 10245 (3 credits)
This course focuses on the historical, philosophical, ethical issues arising from advances in neuroscience in the broader social milieu. Topics will include: cognitive neuroenhancement, alteration of personhood, mind-reading technologies, brain-computer interfaces, morality and the brain, etc. This course provides training through leading and participating in online discussions, listening to online lectures, completing readings, composing essays, and developing a research paper to curate familiarity with philosophical implications surrounding neuroethics.

Clinical Neuroethics, Bioethics 10248 (3 credits)
This course provides training in identifying the philosophical, moral, and sociopolitical contentious points in neuroethics. This course focuses on developing skills in applying moral theories to critically assess positions/arguments around neuroethics and follow those assessments with analyses of their ethical implications in clinical settings. Through leading and participating in online discussions, online lectures, readings, essays, and a research paper, a critical understanding of neuroethics in the clinical setting is fostered.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or Please refer to the All Student Handbook (PDF) for tuition payment policies and information.

PhD Students
All full-time PhD students receive a full tuition remission, health insurance and stipend. 

Masters, Certificate & Non-Degree Students
Students seeking financial aid for MPH, MS or MA degree programs, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

Current MCW Employees
Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)

Late Fees

There is a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the All Student Handbook (PDF).

Learn More

Contact Us

Graduate School
Suite H2200
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 955-8218

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