Bioethics PhD Program Information

Experienced students who are interested the application of philosophical concepts to science and medicine may consider a Ph.D. in Bioethics. Learn more about the degree and future prospects for graduates.

Essential Information

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in bioethics are interdisciplinary programs in which students learn to apply analytical and research techniques to ethical issues in science and medicine. Although it is most often available as a standalone program, it may also be offered in conjunction with medical degrees, nursing degrees, or master's degrees in related fields such as law, religious studies, or philosophy. Over the course of the program, students conduct independent research, fulfill course requirements, attend seminars, and prepare a final dissertation. In order to apply for this program, students are required to have either a bachelor's or a master's degree.

Ph.D. in Bioethics

In order to graduate from a Ph.D. program in bioethics, students need to complete 50 credit hours of coursework and a minimum of 18 hours of dissertation research. Voluntary specialization options include genetics, bioethics in health policy, ethical issues in regenerative medicine, and research in clinical ethics. Courses in a bioethics Ph.D. program include:

  • Ethical issues in genetics and genomics
  • Public health ethics
  • Philosophical methods of bioethics
  • Feminist bioethics
  • Sociocultural implications of reproductive technology
  • Human rights for healthcare practitioners

Popular Career Options

Most Ph.D. graduates pursue careers in research or academia, although there are other career opportunities for trained bioethicists, including:

  • Lawyer specializing in bioethical issues
  • Bioethics consultant for legal firms
  • Institutional ethics committee member
  • Public health officer
  • Hospital chaplain

Overall, a Ph.D. program in bioethics provide the intensive theoretical and research training that students need for successful academic careers or other high-level positions in the field.

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