Saint Louis University

Health Care Ethics | Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The mission of the Center for Health Care Ethics is academic research integrated with teaching, learning, and service in health care ethics. Consistent with this mission, the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in health care ethics was established in 1996. While faculty from various departments offer courses in the program, most courses and mentoring are provided by the Center's own nationally recognized, full-time faculty. The main program objective is to prepare individuals for careers in academic, corporate, research and clinical bioethics settings.

Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics home Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics home
Application Deadline for Beginning Term The Application Package Apply Online
Fall: Dec. 1 (International: Dec. 1) Transcript(s); Three (3) Letters of Recommendation; GRE G scores; Resume; Writing sample; Professional Goal Statement
(Advantages of the web application)
Spring: No admittance
Summer: No admittance
Tel. No.: 314.977.1060
Director: Erica Salter Ph.D.


Assistantship Application Deadline: December 1

Required Additional Application Materials for International Students

Applicant Criteria

  • High GPA
  • High GRE percentiles
  • Strong nominative writing sample
  • Overall fit with program's educational objectives
  • A review of test scores from International applicants

Ph.D. Application Review Process: Applications are reviewed by committee of the Center's faculty members.

Admission Statistics: On average, the Center for Health Care Ethics accepts between 25 - 35 percent of Ph.D. program applicants.

Rankings/Honors: Faculty from the Center (Established in 1979) 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.

Credit Hours/Coursework: Students who have completed a Masters degree or another advanced degree (e.g., a JD or MD) complete 48 hours of coursework. Students entering the PhD program directly from baccalaureate studies complete an additional 12 credit hours of coursework. | Ph.D. course descriptions

Program Description: The Center for Health Care Ethics offers a program that integrates an interdisciplinary curriculum with several practica. We prepare students for careers in academia, corporate settings and to serve as ethicists in health care. | Ph.D. Program in Health Care Ethics

Career Possibilities: Students from the fields of law, medicine, nursing, public health, philosophy, and religious studies have joined the Ph.D. program in health care ethics. Graduates have been highly successful in finding excellent full-time positions both in the academy (teaching and conducting research in health care ethics) and in health care systems (as professional ethicists). | Career Services 

Curriculum & Program Details: Center faculty provide mentoring and guidance to enable students to achieve their individual learning goals as they pursue the Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics. Students may choose to specialize in bioethics, medical, organizational, or research ethics. Our combination of rigorous coursework, dissertation research, and clinical experience prepares students for careers in academia and health care. Students are required to complete practica in health care. These experiences can be tailored to students' interests. | Ph.D. Program Curriculum

About the CHCE Faculty: Faculty in the Center for Health Care Ethics are nationally recognized scholars who are actively engaged in research, teaching and service in health care ethics. Center faculty have terminal degrees in the fields of law, medicine, philosophy, psychology, and religion. | CHCE Faculty & Staff

Scholarships & Financial Aid: Graduate assistantships are awarded competitively to students who apply for full-time study in the Ph.D. Program. The program seeks to fund course work for all full-time students. Students engaging in dissertation research may be awarded graduate or research assistantships, external funding, or dissertation research fellowships.   | Student Financial Services at SLU | Affording Graduate Education at SLU

Program Highlights: The Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics is an independent academic unit that reports to the Vice President for Health Sciences at Saint Louis University. Some examples of their academic research and pursuits include:

  • Current research projects in the Center include ethical issues related to human subjects research, clinical practice, medical decision-making, end of life care, organ transplantation and philosophical and religious foundations for discourse in health care ethics.
  • Recent grants totaling several million dollars have been awarded from the National Institute of Health, the Office of Research Integrity, the Mayday Foundation, the Lutheran Foundation, numerous health care systems, and other sources.
  • Faculty and student research has been published in all the leading journals in the field. Faculty serve as editors or editorial board members of several journals including: the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics; The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; Christian Bioethics; The Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics; and Ethics & Behavior.
  • The Center for Health Care Ethics has two endowed lecture series: the Drummond Lecture, which is held each spring semester, and the Distinguished Lecturer Series, which is held each fall semester.

CHCE is committed to excellence in teaching, service, and research in health care ethics. Partnerships | Funding | Colloquium Calendar

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