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Bioethics (Graduate Certificate)

About Our Certificate 

The Graduate Certificate in Bioethics is designed to teach students about ethical issues that can arise in biological, medical, environmental, ecological, and energy studies. Students will learn to engage ethics in theory and practice in the context of health, research, and clinical practice. Students will also learn about the social determinants of health (e.g., the environment), research ethics, and policy issues in public health (e.g., healthcare). The coursework in this program complements well with programs across the university, and speaks to numerous areas of theory and practice.


What You'll Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines bioethics as: "the study of ethical, social, and legal issues that arise in biomedicine and biomedical research. Bioethics includes medical ethics, which focuses on issues in health care; research ethics, which focuses on issues in the conduct of research; environmental ethics, which focuses on issues pertaining to the relationship between human activities and the environment, and public health ethics, which addresses ethical issues in public health." The Graduate Certificate in Bioethics at Virginia Tech offers students a broad basis for understanding human, animal, and environmental health at its intersection with research, policy, ethics, and social justice.

The certificate is open to currently enrolled masters and Ph.D. students at Virginia Tech. Coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Bioethics requires 6 credit hours of core classes and 6 credit hours of electives (total: 12 credit hours). The core credits are STS 5444: Issues in Bioethics (3 credits) and PHS 5724: Ethical Foundations of Public Health (3 credits). Six hours of electives can be selected from a long list of potential courses, with potential for appropriate substitution with approval from the certificate director. 

Ashley Shew, Certificate Director:

Carol Sue Slusser, STS administrator:

STS office: 540-231-0719.

Interested in Applying?