Bioethics Certificate for Doctoral Students

The Faculty of the Center for Ethics offers a Bioethics Certificate for any student enrolled in a PhD program at Emory University. Students in a variety of areas pursue issues in biomedical ethics, including Behavioral Science and Health Education, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Services Research and Health Policy, the Graduate Division of Religion, the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Liberal Arts, Nursing, Philosophy, Sociology, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The Certificate requirements include core courses, a practicum experience, and a teaching experience.

The core courses for the Bioethics Certificate are the same as the core of the Master of Arts in Bioethics.  The core courses will give PhD students a theoretical foundation for any research project that contributes to the ethics and politics of health, health care, and the biological sciences. Participation in these courses also encourages engagement with the MA students, who contribute a wealth of professional experience in health care. 

The practicum requirement provides close contact with the challenges of ethical decision-making and policy development. Students in the humanities and social sciences will benefit particularly from the practicum, as the experiences they gain from having access to actual health care contexts will ground their theoretical presuppositions. Those who plan to work in public health institutions like the CDC or in hospital-based careers will benefit from the practicum as a way of fostering their understanding about the roles of ethics committees and institutional review boards.

Many PhD students will find careers that require teaching undergraduates, nursing students, public health students, or medical students. These students will benefit from the opportunity to teach or co-teach a course in biomedical ethics.  Those PhD students who enter a clinical field, or who may be primarily engaged in research, will find that the teaching experience enhances their ability to communicate not just within their home disciplines, but with scholars in other disciplines and with the public at large.