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Concentrations

Ph.D. students enrolled in Saint Louis University’s health care ethics program may complete concentrations in empirical research methods in bioethics, research ethics or health care ethics in the Catholic tradition.

Empirical Research Methods in Bioethics

Completion of this concentration indicates special empirical research competencies in the field of bioethics over and above those you will gain in the standard Ph.D. program. You may pursue one of two tracks — qualitative or quantitative — each of which requires 15 hours of coursework. You will also complete a dissertation.

Course of Studies for the Qualitative Track
  • A general research methods course such as SOC-5600: Research Methodology, EDR-5600: General Research Methods for Education or SWRK-5775:Advanced Social Work Practice in Trauma Children and Youth.
  • SOC-5800: Survey Design and Sampling [Topics and scholars elective]
  • A graduate-level introduction to qualitative research methods course such as: NURS-6810: Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research, SWRK 5776: Qualitative Research or EDR-5400:Qualitative Research in Education
  • A suitable course on intermediate qualitative research methods such as EDR-6400: Advanced Qualitative Research for Education
  • HCE-652: Directed Empirical Research in Bioethics [Topics and scholars elective]
Courses in square brackets indicate substituted Center for Health Care Ethics Ph.D. courses.
Course of Studies for the Quantitative Track
  • SOC 5600: Research Methodology or equivalent, such as SWRK 775: Social Work Research
  • SOC 5800: Survey Design and Sampling [Topics and scholars elective]
  • PSY 579: Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design
  • PSY 650: Multivariate Statistical Analysis. In some cases, the following courses may be allowed as an alternative: SOC 6100: Regression Analysis and Non-linear Models or SOC 6500: Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis
  • HCE 6520: Directed Empirical Research in Bioethics [Topics and scholars elective]
Courses in square brackets indicate substituted Center for Health Care Ethics Ph.D. courses.

As most courses build upon each other, they ordinarily should be completed in the order indicated.

Some concentration courses will satisfy Ph.D. program course requirements. These substitutions were carefully considered so as not to compromise competency in normative ethics or in your knowledge of the context of health care.

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 only nine additional credit hours of coursework. You may receive up to six hours of advanced standing within the concentration for methods courses completed elsewhere.

The most significant aspect of any Ph.D. program is dissertation research. All dissertations in this Ph.D. program are expected to make original contributions to normative ethics in health care. However, normative ethics must be informed by many facts, frequently by empirical facts about the values people hold, the causal factors influencing a moral situation, or the outcomes of quality improvement or educational interventions. This presents the opportunity to incorporate original empirical research into dissertations in normative ethics.

The capstone course for the concentration, HCE 6520: Directed Empirical Research in Bioethics, requires you to gather original data that will be incorporated into your doctoral dissertation. The course will provide you with the mentoring necessary to integrate this data into your doctoral dissertation proposal in a way that is sensitive to the interdisciplinary nature of this endeavor.

Research Ethics

The research ethics concentration requires 15 hours of coursework with an emphasis on research ethics. You will also write a dissertation (12 credits) in research ethics to develop expertise in the area of human research ethics.

Concentration requirements include:

  • Applied Methods in HCE-603: Health Care Ethics (3 credits), or HCE-604: Interdisciplinary Research in Health Care Ethics (3 credits). Note that both courses are required for the Ph.D. program. Students in this concentration are required to focus on research ethics in at least one of the two classes.
  • HCE 639: Special Topics: Research Ethics Seminar (3 credits)
  • HCE 698, (3 credits). You will complete at least one directed reading course in research ethics.
  • Elective in research methodology, unless you are able to demonstrate advanced standing in this area. (3 credits) Note: This will be treated as one of the topics and scholars electives required as part of the Ph.D. program.
  • Completion of practicum in the area of human subjects research (3 credits)
  • Dissertation in the area of research ethics (12 credits)

Health Care Ethics in the Catholic Tradition

The concentration in health care ethics in the Catholic tradition involves 15 hours of coursework and a dissertation (12 credits) to develop expertise in the area of Catholic health care ethics.

This concentration is available only to students who already hold a master’s degree in theology or religious studies or who are enrolled in the Health Care Ethics MA/Ph.D. dual degree program.

Concentration requirements include:

  • HCE 602: Religious Methods in Health Care Ethics (3 credits) You will focus your paper and receive special mentoring in the Catholic tradition.
  • HCE 631: Special Topics: Health Care Ethics in the Catholic Tradition seminar (3 credits)
  • HCE 698 (3 credits) You will complete at least one directed reading course on the Catholic tradition in health care ethics.
  • Elective related to health care and the Catholic tradition (3 credits) Note: This will be treated as one of the topics and scholars electives required as part of the Ph.D. program.
  • Practicum in Catholic health care. (3 credits)
  • Dissertation on health care ethics in the Catholic tradition. (12 credits)