Advances in medicine and science require careful consideration of the moral questions that arise when research enters new or unexamined frontiers. Bioethics professionals are at the forefront of public discussions about what constitutes ethical behavior in medical and scientific research. The following provides information about the type of coursework applicants can expect to encounter as well as some general admission requirements to online masters in bioethics programs.
Common Courses Required for a Master's in Bioethics
Some schools offer an online master's in bioethics on a part-time or full-time basis, with the full curriculum taking between one year and five years to complete. Elective courses can differ, but there are some common courses across the programs that students can expect to study. While some schools require a master's thesis for graduation, others may require a capstone project during the last year of the degree program.
Introductions to bioethics classes will cover the basics or foundations or philosophy of bioethics. These courses introduce the students to the fundamental questions faced by bioethicists during their careers and can help prepare students with the necessary skills to make ethical decisions. Topics such as assisted suicide, dealing with children and unborn babies as well as implied consent and organ donation may be covered in these classes.
Bioethics and the Law.
In classes covering bioethics and the law, students learn how to effectively research the law and compare and contrast legal reasoning with bioethical examinations of a specific topic. Students will study the current legal/bioethical decisions regarding relevant modern issues and compare to previous cases where appropriate. They will discuss policy development and bioethics literature and apply them to certain scenarios throughout the course.
Clinical ethics courses are designed to teach students about issues normally faced by clinical practitioners like pediatricians, geriatrics specialists, and gynecologists. Issues like medical futility and organ transplantations are commonly seen in clinical settings. Courses covering clinical ethics may also cover legal issues faced in a clinical setting.s
Global bioethics introduces students to issues faced by multinational pharmaceutical companies or other companies that conduct research in several countries at the same time. These issues are unique because they are subject to policies established by different governments.
Research ethics courses allow students to analyze some of the ethical problems that occur in the research field. The field of research in areas such as social science and biomedicine is huge and there are often barriers with successfully and ethically recruiting test subjects. Students learn about issues like coercion of research subjects, participant consent, and privacy.
Online Master's in Bioethics Admission Requirements
Applicants do not need to come from a specific undergraduate field, but they should understand that in the field of bioethics their main responsibility is patients and the public. They should also be enthusiastic about tackling the complex moral issued faced by health care and scientific practitioners. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and typically need to submit some or all of the following along with their application: a personal statement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a curriculum vitae or resume, and undergraduate transcripts.
Programs will cover all manner of ethical questions and problems faced by medical and research professionals in the field. An online master's in bioethics provides a pathway towards an exciting and cutting-edge career.