The Bioethics program provides competency-based and skills-based education in clinical ethics, research ethics and bioethics policy. The program is designed to enhance the career and educational opportunities of those interested in such topics as end-of-life care and physician aid-in-dying, animal and human subject research, or public health and health policy issues like obesity and smoking.

Students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are doctors, lawyers, nurses and academics currently working in healthcare, research and policy. Others are post-baccalaureate students who want to expand their understanding of bioethics and improve their prospects for admission to professional degree programs.

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Jointly offered by Clarkson and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Bioethics Program offers both a Master of Science in Bioethics and Graduate Certificates in Bioethics. Master’s students can specialize in one of three areas: clinical ethics, research ethics and bioethics policy. Certificate students can choose from courses of study in clinical ethics, research ethics, and health policy and law.

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Bioethics Degree Programs

The Bioethics program at Clarkson University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is a professional degree program intended to prepare students academically and professionally for responsibilities and services as a bioethicist.

Bioethics Certificate Degrees

We offer graduate certificates in Clinical Ethics, Research Ethics and Health Policy & Law. Each certificate consists of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework. These are a great introduction to the full Master's option.

Bioethics Master's Degree

This Master of Science degree program consists of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework. The degree can be completed full time taking three or more courses per term or part-time taking one or two course(s) per term. There are three specializations within the Bioethics degree: Clinical Ethics, Research Ethics and Bioethics Policy.

Courses in the Bioethics Program are taught by internationally recognized experts in bioethics. Online courses are complemented by an onsite proseminar, practicum and capstone.

The Bioethics Program’s curriculum is designed around six key components:

  1. A one-week, on-site introductory proseminar that introduces students to a broad range of topics in bioethics;
  2. Online history and theory courses that cover the basics of biomedical ethics, clinical ethics, research ethics, bioethics and healthcare policy, and law;
  3. Elective courses that allow students to pursue areas of interest beyond the core concepts in bioethics;
  4. Competency-based online and on-site practica which give students hands-on experience in the analytical, communication, mediation, organizational, political and moral reasoning skills required of working bioethicists;
  5. Personalized master’s projects in which students work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to explore a bioethical topic of interest in greater depth; and
  6. An on-site Capstone assessment in which faculty evaluate student mastery of the knowledge and skills learned.

In addition to these six components, students are also offered individualized mentoring by faculty and alumni throughout the enrollment in the program. Optional on-site residency or internship opportunities in clinical ethics, research ethics and bioethics policy are also available for students who want additional hands-on experience and training.

Master of Science in Bioethics Curriculum

Master of Science in Bioethics Curriculum

Students pursuing the Master of Science in Bioethics degree complete 12 required courses. Of those, nine are taught online by internationally recognized experts in bioethics. Online courses are complemented by an on-site proseminar, practicum and capstone.

The degree can be completed full time taking three or more courses per term or part-time taking one or two course(s) per term. The majority of students finish in three years. Courses are offered online on a quarter-term schedule.

 

Core Courses

Students take the following three required courses, which reflect the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) core competencies:

  • Healthcare Policy
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Bioethics and the Law

 

Proseminar in Health and Values

This introductory one week intensive, on-site seminar is taught by bioethics scholars from across the United States. The proseminar introduces students to the field, acquaints them with the online learning platform, and affords them the opportunity to meet their professors and fellow students in person.

 

Master's Project I, II, and III

Students complete a significant project, paper, or initiative over three terms, investigating a specific area of bioethics policy or recommending or implementing changes in policy or practice.

 

Capstone Seminar

During this one week, on-site seminar, students enrolled in the capstone course demonstrate their mastery of bioethics and their specialization area.

Bioethics Policy Specialization

Bioethics Policy Specialization

The Bioethics Policy specialization within the Master of Science in Bioethics program focuses on the effective and just design of health and science policies that govern populations. This program offers students the opportunity to learn a new set of skills related to the formulation, implementation, evaluation and modification of policies that affect both the clinical and research arenas, as well as public health and other areas of the biosciences.

 

Required Specialty Courses

  • Foundations of Bioethics Policy
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Medicine & Social Justice

One Elective Course

Recommended elective courses include:

  • Research Ethics I 
  • Research Ethics II
  • Clinical Ethics

Online Practica

The Practicum provides invaluable opportunities for students to put theory into practice. The online practicum is taught workshop-style and emphasizes case studies and exercises that require students to apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained in the program to cutting-edge policy challenges.

Clinical Ethics Specialization

Clinical Ethics Specialization

The Clinical Ethics specialization within the Master of Science in Bioethics program provides individuals with the skills, credentials, and specialized expertise demanded of bioethics professionals. It prepares graduates to face increasingly complex bioethics issues—and to respond professionally, competently, and compassionately.

 

Required Specialty Course

  • Clinical Ethics

Two Elective Courses

Recommended elective courses include:

  • Research Ethics I 
  • Research Ethics II
  • Medicine & Social Justice
  • Foundations of Bioethics Policy
  • Public Health Ethics

Online and On-Site Practica

Practica provide invaluable opportunities for students to put theory into practice. The online practicum is taught workshop-style and emphasizes case studies and exercises that develop core competencies in clinical ethics. The week long, on-site practicum at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides intensive, hands-on experience in the context of a major medical center.

Research Ethics Specialization

Research Ethics Specialization

The Research Ethics specialization within the Master of Science in Bioethics program emphasizes the challenges faced by those involved in conducting or overseeing research.

Research ethics focuses on the design and testing of new drugs or medical interventions, as well as the protection of human participants and animal subjects in drug trials and other biomedical research. Graduates of the Bioethics Program will be prepared to shape global research ethics policy and standards, advance ethical research, educate their peers and influence the national debate on research design, review and oversight.

 

Required Specialty Courses

  • Research Ethics I 
  • Research Ethics II

One Elective Course

Recommended elective courses include:

  • Clinical Ethics
  • Medicine & Social Justice
  • Foundations of Bioethics Policy
  • Public Health Ethics

Online and On-Site Practica

Practica provide invaluable opportunities for students to put theory into practice. The online practicum is taught workshop-style and emphasizes case studies and exercises that develop core competencies in clinical ethics. The week long, on-site practicum at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides intensive, hands-on experience in the context of a major medical center.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates

The Bioethics Program’s certificates were designed to respond to a need for bioethics training, as reported by hospital administrators, hospital ethics committees, research administrators and others who wanted advanced training in bioethics without undertaking a full master’s program.

 

Clinical Ethics

The certificate in Clinical Ethics requires four courses:

  • Clinical Ethics 
  • Online Practicum in Clinical Ethics 
  • Bioethics and the Law 
  • On-site Practicum in Clinical Ethics (first week of June at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City)

Health Policy & Law

The certificate in Health Policy & Law can be completed in one year, completely online. This graduate certificate consists of four required courses – three core courses and one specialty course

Core courses:

  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Bioethics and the Law

One specialty course chosen from the following:

  • Medicine and Social Justice
  • Research Ethics
  • Empirical Research Methods
  • Clinical Ethics
  • Reproductive Ethics

Research Ethics

The certificate in Research Ethics was adopted from the curriculum of the Bioethics Program’s National Institutes of Health/Fogarty Center grant to train research ethicists in Central and Eastern Europe. It can be completed in one year.

The certificate in Research Ethics requires four courses – three online and one on-site:

  • Research Ethics I 
  • Research Ethics II
  • Online Practicum in Research Ethics 
  • On-site Practicum in Research Ethics (first week of June at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City)

Note: Students unfamiliar with the design of empirical clinical research may be required to audit or enroll in BIE 565: Empirical Research Methods.

A Note From Our Faculty

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

Jane Oppenlander

Admission

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form
  • Resume.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation.
  • Official Transcripts.
  • For International Applicants, an English Proficiency Test is required.
    • Minimum Test Score Requirements: TOEFL (80), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) and Duolingo English Test (115).

Prerequisites: Applicants to the bioethics program must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more or have questions, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions
graduate@clarkson.edu
518-631-9831

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