Skip to main content

Saint Louis University Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics Header Logo Center

Menu Search

Curriculum

Saint Louis University’s health care ethics Ph.D. curriculum allows you to tailor aspects of your coursework and dissertation research to focus on biotechnological, clinical, organizational or research ethics.

If you have completed a master’s degree or another advanced degree (e.g., a J.D. or M.D.), you will complete 48 hours of coursework as described in this section.

If you are pursuing the J.D./Ph.D., the M.D./Ph.D. or the M.A./Ph.D., you will follow a modified curriculum. If you enter the Ph.D. program directly from baccalaureate studies, you will pursue an additional 12 credit hours of coursework, detailed below.

Coursework

Foundations of Health Care Ethics (12 hours)
These courses establish the research competencies required for the scholarly analysis of health care ethics. They examine philosophical, religious and interdisciplinary methods in health care ethics.

  • HCE 6010: Philosophical Methods in Health Care Ethics (3 hours)
  • HCE 6020: Religious Methods in Health Care Ethics (3 hours)
  • HCE 6040: Interdisciplinary Research in Health Care Ethics (3 hours)

Additionally, you will be required to complete one of the following three foundations courses:

  • HCE 6050: Philosophical Foundations in Ethics (3 hours)
  • HCE 6060: Psychosocial Foundations in Ethics (3 hours)
  • HCE 6070: Foundations of Catholic Morality (3 hours)

Context of Health Care (12 hours)
Five courses are required, which provide practical knowledge and skills relevant to the various real world contexts of health care ethics.

  • HCE 6110: Medicine for Ethicists (1 hour)
  • HCE 6120: Bioethics and the Law (2 hours)
  • HCE 6130: Clinical Ethics
  • HCE 6140: Research Ethics (3 hours)
  • HCE 6150: Practicum (1 to 3 hours)

Topics and Scholars in Health Care Ethics (12 hours)
You will complete 12 credit hours of topics and scholars courses. Preferably, some electives will be in areas related to your anticipated dissertation research.

Dissertation Research (12 hours)
After passing the comprehensive examinations, you will prepare a dissertation proposal. The dissertation will be written while registered for 12 credit hours of dissertation research (HCE 6990).

Additional requirements in the curriculum include the following:

  • Research Tools
    These competencies are essential for success in bioethics. You may develop these competencies through different mechanisms:
    • Competency in medical terminology
    • Competency in library database skills
    • Competency in reading statistics and study design
  • Comprehensive Examinations
    The comprehensive examinations occur after completing all coursework and practica.
  • Dissertation Proposal
    After passing the oral and written comprehensive examinations, you will prepare a formal dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal is a distinct requirement of the program and it must be approved in writing by all members of the dissertation committee and accepted by Saint Louis University’s Office of Graduate Education. Your dissertation proposal must present substantial evidence of your ability to extend the knowledge base in the major field and demonstrate how the research competencies in the program are to be integrated with the proposed research of the dissertation.
  • Oral Defense of the Dissertation
    Upon completion of the dissertation, you will publicly present and defend your dissertation before your dissertation committee, the Center for Health Care Ethics faculty and doctoral students.

Additional Coursework Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Students

  • HCE 6050: Philosophical Foundations of Ethics; or an equivalent three-credit hour graduate-level foundations of ethics course.
  • HCE 6060: Psychosocial Foundations in Ethics; or a suitable three-credit hour graduate-level applied ethics course available in another department.
  • HCE 6070: Catholic Foundations of Morality; or a suitable three-credit hour graduate-level applied ethics course available in another department.
  • PUBH 5020: Ethical Issues in Public Health; or a suitable three-credit hour graduate-level applied ethics course available in another department.
  • One upper-level ethics elective either within the Center for Health Care Ethics or another department.