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Bioethics Certificate

Preparing you to navigate challenging issues in health care

Navigate Challenging Issues in Healthcare

Bioethics is the study of ethical, legal, and social issues that inevitably arise in healthcare practice and bioscience research. CSU’s Bioethics Program, developed by our Philosophy Department, provides a foundation in the essentials of ethical theory and the fundamentals of bioethics. This program will help prepare you for navigating challenging issues in healthcare, the allied health professions, biomedical research, health administration, and/or health litigation.

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Doctor talking to a group
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Time to Complete

2-3 semesters

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3 courses totaling 9 credit hours

Program Highlights

CSU’s Bioethics Certificate Program introduces you to a variety of ethical issues that arise in healthcare, teaches you to engage with others regarding ethically charged issues, and empowers you to work through moral challenges by applying ethical theories and engaging in moral deliberation.

  • Choose your courses from a variety of topics in bioethics
  • All Bioethics Certificate courses are offered in an online format to promote scheduling flexibility
  • Learn about issues ranging from reproductive ethics to public health and health law
  • Small class sizes help to promote an engaged, interactive, and personalized learning experience
Doctor sitting with child on the floor
Doctor sitting with child on the floor

Learning Methodology

Our curriculum is designed to build your skills over time.  We begin with a basic introduction to bioethics topics and tools (Foundations in Bioethics) which then allows you to successfully move on to more specialized topics. And most of our courses use a team-based learning style.  This has two major benefits: First, you have the opportunity to develop skills related to working with a diverse group of people.  Second, you can enjoy the satisfaction of discussing bioethics issues with your peers (while keeping the convenience of a fully online course). In this program you will develop:

  • Fluency with bioethics topics and moral frameworks
  • Critical thinking about controversial topics
  • Ability to work in diverse groups
  • Respect for engaging with diverse perspectives
  • Self-direction and time management skills

Admissions Requirements

Enrollment is open to persons who have earned a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and to upper-level undergraduates. The courses may be taken by either degree-seeking or non-degree seeking students.

According to individual interests, registered students are free to enroll in any one or more of the courses offered. Although the courses satisfy the requirements of both undergraduate and graduate degree seeking students, they are open to non-degree seeking students as well.

Interested students who are not current CSU students should apply for admission to Cleveland State University.


The program requires a total of 9 credit hours in bioethics at the undergraduate level, with a grade of B or better in each:


Completion of PHL 240 - Heath Care Ethics or PHL 340 - Foundations of Bioethics is required before enrolling in any of the 400-level courses. PHL 340 can also count towards the 9 credit hours.

Bioethics Electives (9 credit hours)

PHL 340Foundations of Bioethics3 Credits
PHL 428Bioethics: Special Topics3 Credits
PHL 440Moral Reasoning and Bioethics3 Credits
PHL 441Clinical Issues in Bioethics3 Credits
PHL 442Policy Issues in Bioethics3 Credits
PHL 443Bioethics and the Law3 Credits
PHL 446Ethics of Human Reproduction3 Credits
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Man sitting at a table talking to a group

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and financial aid for CSU programs are kept competitive so you can receive the education you deserve. Tuition for online programs and courses follows the same fee structure as traditional, on-campus programs and courses. Current CSU Undergraduate tuition costs can be found on the Bursar’s website.

Approximately 70% of CSU’s students receive some form of financial assistance. The University participates in or administers all the major federal and state grant and loan programs. In addition, CSU provides University grants and scholarships.

To begin the financial aid process, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA every year after January 1st to receive your financial aid. Cleveland State University’s financial aid school code is 003032.

If you have any questions, visit the Financial Aid section of CSU’s website, or contact the Financial Aid office.



Your instructors are here to help you succeed!  Our full-time bioethics faculty members have diverse interests and expertise ranging from reproductive ethics to issues at the end-of-life.

  • Provide a challenging yet supportive learning environment
  • Experience engaging with real-world clinical challenges
  • Knowledgeable about a wide range of issues in bioethics
  • Available to work with students as needed
CSU trees blooming
CSU trees blooming
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Career Outcomes

CSU’s Bioethics Certificate Program will give you a competitive edge when applying to medical school, grad school, or law school! Being awarded our Bioethics Certificate indicates that you have experience critically engaging with important issues and contemporary debates relating to a variety of topics in healthcare, public health, health law, and the medical humanities.

Prepare for work in health-related fields including:

  • Medical school
  • Dental school
  • Health related law degrees
  • Health related non-profit work
  • Public Health
  • Nursing and other health related professions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer a Graduate Certificate in Bioethics?

Unfortunately, we are no longer offering graduate courses or a Graduate Certificate in Bioethics.

Will I be qualified to teach bioethics or apply for clinical bioethics positions upon completion of the certificate?

While our Bioethics Certificate is designed to provide students with a robust introduction to issues and ideas in bioethics, it is not sufficient for professional qualifications. Teaching or practicing ethics at a professional level often requires further education and a terminal degree such as a Ph.D. or JD.

Can the Bioethics Certificate be completed in one semester?

No, the bioethics certificate requires at least two semesters, given that the 400-level bioethics courses require a prerequisite of either PHL 240 or PHL 340.

Does the Bioethics Certificate need to be completed within a set timeframe?

No, the courses can be taken throughout your time at CSU and do not need to be completed in sequential semesters.

Can the certificate be completed online?

Yes! All the bioethics certificate courses are offered in an online format to promote flexibility for students.

Connect with us to learn more

Fill out the form to connect with a Cleveland State University admission counselor who can provide additional information about your program of interest, the admission process, financial aid, and more.