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Health Care Ethics

Saint Louis University’s doctoral program in health care ethics will prepare you for a successful career in academic, corporate, research or clinical bioethics settings.


About the Program

SLU’s Ph.D. in health care ethics is offered by the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. The health care ethics Ph.D. integrates an interdisciplinary curriculum with several practica and offers three concentrations to further specialize your doctoral studies.

Three Concentrations

You may opt to complete a concentration in one of three areas: empirical research methods, research ethics or traditions in Catholic health care ethics.

Empirical Research Concentration: This concentration has two tracks, qualitative and quantitative. Both tracks require 15 hours of coursework. Some concentration courses will also satisfy the Ph.D. program course requirements. Because there may be up to six credit hours of overlap, students who enter the Ph.D. program with the prerequisite in inferential statistics will be required to complete just nine additional credit hours of coursework. Students may receive up to six hours of advanced standing within the concentration for methods courses completed elsewhere.

Research Ethics Concentration: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in health care ethics may take 15 hours of coursework with an emphasis on research ethics and write a dissertation (12 credits) in research ethics to develop expertise in the area of human research ethics.

Traditions in Catholic Health Care Ethics Concentration: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in health care ethics may take 15 hours of coursework with an emphasis on health care ethics in the Catholic tradition and write a dissertation (12 credits) in the Catholic tradition to develop expertise in the area of Catholic health care ethics. To enroll in the concentration in health care ethics in the Catholic tradition, students must already hold a master’s degree in theology or religious studies or be enrolled in the M.A./Ph.D. dual degree program.

Dual and Joint Degrees

You may also choose to complete one of our dual degree options: J.D./Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or Master of Arts in theology/Ph.D. SLU also offers a joint degree with doctoral degrees in theology and health care ethics.

Program Highlights

Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics faculty provide mentoring and guidance that allow you to achieve your individual learning goals as you pursue the Ph.D. in health care ethics.

Curriculum and Program Details

If you have a master’s or other advanced degree (J.D., M.D.) you’ll need to complete 48 hours of coursework to graduate. If you are entering the Ph.D. in health care ethics program directly from your undergraduate studies, you’ll need complete an additional 12 credit hours of coursework.

Faculty
  • Jeffrey P. Bishop, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Harold Braswell, Ph.D.
  • Stephanie Solomon Cargill, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Dineen, R.N. J.D., Ph.D.
  • Erica K. Salter, Ph.D.
  • Griffin Trotter, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Tobias Winright, Ph.D.
Careers
Professionals from the fields of law, medicine, nursing, public health, philosophy and religious studies have joined SLU’s Ph.D. program in health care ethics. Our graduates have been highly successful in finding excellent full-time positions both in education (teaching and conducting research in health care ethics) and in health care systems (as professional ethicists).
Scholarships and Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are awarded competitively to students who apply for full-time study in the health care ethics Ph.D. program. The program seeks to fund coursework for the majority of full-time students. Students engaging in dissertation research may be awarded graduate or research assistantships, external funding, or dissertation research fellowships.

Since 1996, in addition to graduate assistantships, SLU’s Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics has received funding for fellowships and internships from many partners, including:

  • Ascension Health
  • Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Health System
  • Batten Foundation
  • Catholic Health Initiatives
  • Columbia-St. Mary's Health System
  • Mercy Health System
  • Sisters of Charity Foundation
  • SSM Health Care
  • Tenet Healthcare Corporation
  • Unity Health System

Applicant Criteria

Most admitted students meet the following criteria:

  • High GPA
  • High GRE percentiles
  • Strong nominative writing sample
  • Overall fit with the program's educational objectives

Apply by Dec. 1 to begin the doctoral health care ethics program in the following fall semester. To complete the application, you’ll need:

 

Application Requirements
Transcript(s)
Three letters of recommendation
GRE G scores
Résumé
Writing sample
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Assistantship Deadline

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application along with the request to be considered for an assistantship by Dec. 1.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty members from the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics.


Collaboration

Achievements of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics

Faculty from SLU’s Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics have influenced numerous bioethics debates in U.S. society, serving as consultants to the Nancy Beth Cruzan case, NASA, the Institute of Medicine, the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Department of Health and Human Services.