Ethics is the study of moral principles and behavior. Online courses in ethics are often found as part of programs in business, health care and the sciences, to name a few areas. Examples include the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Science in Health Care Ethics, bachelor's and master's accounting degrees and the Master of Science in Nursing. A number of graduate programs related to research in humans as well as animals also require students to take ethics courses that deal with that subject area. These programs may be offered entirely online or in blended formats.
Business Ethics Courses and Programs
Business ethics courses address a variety of issues within organizations and companies. Students encounter ethics topics that range from information technology and regulatory compliance to cultural diversity in the workplace and organizational governance. While ethics classes are as diverse as the programs available, some classes are common across all concentrations.
Ethics in Human Resources
Employees are the driving force behind any business. A course in human resources explores legal and ethical issues in the management of a business and its employees.
Business and Global Ethics
Global ethics in business classes look at the varying policies, cultures and values within the global marketplace. This class prepares students to handle issues that may arise while conducting business internationally.
Health Care Programs with Ethics Courses
Most health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, administrators and chaplains, take ethics courses. These courses look at current policies and laws as they relate to care, coverage, professional conduct and government and organizational systems.
Ethics and Service in Health Care
This class explores the health care professional's role and relationship to patients. Online classes exploring this topic examine empathy, quality of care and resources, administration of treatments and moral issues related to providing health care.
Ethics in Health Care
Health care laws and policies are explored, and students consider the effects of policy on professionals, institutions and patients. Students discuss how regulations relate to ethical dilemmas and treatment decisions.
Research Programs with Ethics Courses
Researchers in most medical and scientific areas have to grapple with ethical questions on a regular basis. Online ethics courses are offered by various colleges and universities that can be applied to a number of graduate programs with a research component, including animal biology, anthropology, biotechnology and chemistry, to name a few areas. In fact, this issue is of such importance that the National Institutes of Health requires that any scientist receiving funding from them be educated in the ethical treatment of human research participants.
Courses in research ethics are offered in conjunction with many programs in the sciences. Topics include mentor/trainee relationships, human subjects, research using animals, conflict of interest, data acquisition and ownership, peer review, research misconduct and responsible authorship, to name a few areas.
Ethics in Animal Biology
Students in this course consider the ethical and professional issues presented to animal biologists and researchers, including the use of animals for research, intellectual property, scientific integrity and dealing with the media.
Students can take online courses in business, health care or research ethics, depending on their interests and career goals. These courses are often required in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in related fields, and the distance learning format may make them more convenient for busy students, as well as professionals who are balancing graduate school with full-time work.