Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics
If you’re interested in gaining an essential introduction to the philosophical, legal and clinical foundations of bioethics, MCW’s Certificate in Bioethics program was created just for you. Our program, designed to enhance the clinical practice of healthcare professionals, consists of four courses delivered through an innovative, online format. The credits you earn in the program may be applicable to the Master of Arts degree program in Bioethics within one year of completing your certificate.
- Credits: 12
- Type: Online
- Student Status: Full Time & Part Time
Message from the Director
Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA
Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Director, Graduate Program in Bioethics
Over the years, MCW's bioethics programs have been recognized for their intellectual rigor and leadership in bioethics education. As the Director of the Graduate Program in Bioethics, I am committed to promoting this tradition of academic excellence and to foster a student-centered learning environment. If you have any questions about the bioethics programs or the application process, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics
About the Program
The Graduate 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 and/or provide a foundation for further study of bioethics for professionals and students in any discipline. The courses of the program are offered entirely online in order to be available to participants from across the nation and worldwide.
The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics program has two components:
A core curriculum made up of three required courses in philosophical bioethics, clinical topics in bioethics, and issues in law and bioethics.
An elective course chosen by the student to meet his or her individual needs and/or interests.
All courses of the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics 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.
Applying to the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics 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.
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 Core Curriculum is:
- 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)
- The History and Meaning of Ethics and Professionalism in Medicine (3 credits)
- Special Topics in Bioethics (3 credits; topics may include neuroethics, chronic illnesses, end of life)
All courses of the Certificate program are delivered in an online format. Classes are conducted in non-real time, so students can participate at their convenience during each week of the course. Students are 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.
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 below.
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. Students interested in pursuing the MA degree must apply to the degree program prior to completing the Certificate program.
Core Curriculum (Required) Courses
Clinical Topics in Bioethics, Bioethics 10209 (3 credits)
This is a survey course covering various contemporary topics in bioethics, focusing on issues encountered in clinical practice. Areas to be studied include end-of-life decision making, the family in medical decision making, issues in clinical research, euthanasia, and pediatric 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.
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.
Bioethics Consultation and Committees, Bioethics 10231 (1 credit)
Through attendance at ethics committee meetings and ethics consultations, this course will familiarize students with both the theoretical and practical aspects of institutional and consultative ethics.
Justice and Healthcare, Bioethics 10203 (3 credits)
This course addresses some of the critical issues of bioethics as the principle and concept of justice relates to them. Topics include the concept of justice as it relates to health and health care, rationing, the form and substance of a national health policy, and managed care. The format of the course will consist of seminar presentations and class discussion.
Introduction to Research Ethics 10207 (3 credits)
This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the ethical issues involved in scientific, animal, and human subjects research. After a brief look back at the history of research ethics, students will spend time considering issues that impact research in both the laboratory setting and in the clinical setting. This course provides the necessary research ethics instruction required to satisfy the United States Public Health Service Policy on Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research for institutions receiving research funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (issued December 1, 2000).
Issues in Pediatric Ethics, Bioethics 10233 (3 credits)
This course is an advanced elective in pediatric ethics. The course will discuss the question of children's rights, the social value of children and cross-cultural issues of childhood. The objective of the course is to examine our individual assumptions about childhood and parenting that form the basis of approaches to pediatric ethics.
History and Meaning of Ethics and Professionalism in Medicine, Bioethics 10240 (3 credits)
Medical ethics and professionalism have meant many things to many people for literally thousands of years. This course explores in depth the history and meanings of medical ethics and medical professionalism from ancient times through contemporary challenges.
Special Topics in Bioethics, Bioethics 10275 (3 credits)
This course focuses on topics of special interest in bioethics. Examples of topics include organ donation and transplantation, autonomy and coercion, mental health care, and political issues in bioethics.
Tuition and Fees
If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or email@example.com. Please refer to the All Student Handbook (PDF) for tuition payment policies and information.
- Tuition and Fees Schedule (PDF)
- View your Tuition Statement (login required)
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)
There will be a $100 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester.
There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the All Student Handbook (PDF).
Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics FAQ
No. The application requirements for admission to the Certificate program do not include submitting GRE or any other admission test scores.
MCW Graduate School
Health Research Center, H2200
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
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