Explore Healthcare Issues through an Ethical Lens 

Medical and technological developments advance the healthcare industry at warp speed. How should access to medical aid-in-dying be regulated? Should employers cover the cost of fertility treatments? Will artificial intelligence (AI) help expand access to care or limit it? What are appropriate safeguards for a study participant's genetic information?

Clarkson University's Department of Bioethics uses an interdisciplinary approach to address ethical issues that arise in healthcare. Our programs offer students the choice of three specializations: clinical ethics, research ethics or bioethics policy. Your course of study begins with the foundations of bioethics history and law and proceeds to coursework covering the key topics in your chosen specialization. Our programs culminate in developing the communication and consultation skills needed by practicing bioethicists. Enrich your academic foundation, access more professional opportunities and pioneer a vital discipline.


The Department of Bioethics' programs and research draw from healthcare, medicine, research, biotechnology, public policy and health, and environmental science. While our faculty members and students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, they all share an intellectual commitment to advancing our understanding of clinical ethics, research ethics and bioethics policy.


The Bioethics program was founded in 2001 as one of the country's first hybrid programs. In the two decades since, the Department has expanded the number of specializations for graduate students, added an undergraduate minor and developed related courses for Clarkson undergraduates pursuing healthcare majors.


Clarkson University’s Bioethics Department provides competency- and skills-based education in clinical ethics, research ethics and bioethics policy. Through academic excellence and rigorous preparation, we graduate sought-after candidates: reflecting this, 100 percent of our 2022 graduates found placements in roles related to their studies. In addition to academic programs, the Department of Bioethics educates the wider community through speaker series, webinars and international initiatives.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Partnership

Our graduate programs are offered in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the medical school for the prestigious Mount Sinai health system in New York City. Through this collaboration, we deliver joint degree programs that enrich students' knowledge through state-of-the-art simulation activities.

Faculty and Staff

As internationally renowned scholars, our faculty members advance the field's collective knowledge of clinical ethics consultation, environmental bioethics, end-of-life and palliative care, public and institutional policy analysis, organ transplantation, reproductive health, conflicts of interest, public health and bioethics pedagogy. Many of our faculty serve as clinical ethics consultants and are members of hospital ethics committees and institutional review boards.


Our graduate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing students to design their academic schedules around their professional and personal obligations.

MS in Bioethics

Specialize in clinical ethics, research ethics or bioethics policy while learning through a hybrid format. Most classes are offered in an asynchronous online format augmented by a one-week intensive onsite practicum and capstone courses. Ground your studies in a theoretical foundation and advanced coursework in your chosen area of specialization before honing your skills through hands-on practicum activities and a personalized master's project.

Graduate Certificate in Bioethics

Advance your career with training in clinical ethics, health policy and law or research ethics. Graduate certificates require four courses and can be completed in a year.

Bioethics Minor

Enhance your undergraduate education by exploring complex ethical problems in public health and policy, research administration, healthcare, scientific research or engineering. The minor is open to all undergraduates and requires 18 credit hours chosen from a wide variety of courses, including an experiential learning component.

BS in Healthcare

The newest major in the Lewis School of Health Sciences explores the healthcare industry from all angles — medical science, business, policy, bioethics, communications and other disciplines.

Research and Experiential Learning

We want our students to develop pragmatic, effective solutions to today's challenges using the knowledge they acquire in the classroom. Our coursework includes real-world scenarios and incorporates strong research components to fuel your intellectual curiosity.


Receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center, the Bioethics program has expanded our reach into Eastern Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. Through these grants, we are building global bioethics capacity by developing master's degree programs in Serbia, Romania, Mexico and Grenada to eliminate income and geographical barriers in the field.

Practicum and Capstone

Apply the concepts you learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios in required practicums. Master's and graduate certificate students benefit from workshop-style, one-week intensives centered on case studies, experiential learning and simulation exercises. The practicums and capstone are delivered online or onsite.

Master’s Projects

Write a traditional thesis, develop your own curriculum or design an institutional program or policy to finish your degree. Work closely under the guidance of a faculty member on a year-long project that establishes your expertise on a topic of your choice. Past students have focused on trauma-informed guidance for OB/GYNs, assessing research ethics knowledge among practicing nurses and developing an organizational ethics program for a healthcare system.


Build your résumé and establish meaningful connections by completing an internship. Undergraduate and graduate students may round out their education with Professional Experiences.

Our program equips students with a solid foundation in bioethics, enabling them to successfully navigate the challenges presented while solving complex healthcare problems. We are a competency-based program that prepares students with interdisciplinary skills to enter a variety of clinical, research, and policy positions in healthcare. As one of the first bioethics programs offering hybrid online education, students can continue with personal and professional obligations while enhancing their careers.

Dr. Jane Oppenlander, Assistant Professor and Chair of Bioethics Department

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