Department of Philosophy and Comparative Religion

Bioethics Certificates

Undergraduate Certificate in Bioethics & Graduate Certificate in Advanced Study in Bioethics

Professor Sonya Charles, Ph.D., Bioethics Program Director

Undergraduate Certificate in Bioethics

The Undergraduate Certificate in Bioethics is designed primarily for persons preparing for careers in medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, education, one of the health sciences, or other health-related professions. Enrollment will be open to upper-level undergraduates, and others by petition. Both degree-seeking students and non-degree students are eligible. It can also serve upper-level students preparing for careers in law or business who wish to understand health policy, law, and clinical practice in relation to philosophy and ethics. The Certificate in Bioethics will attest that the student has completed a course of study in moral theory and clinical practice, law, or policy related to bioethics.

All bioethics courses are offered online and include the following three-credit courses:

  • PHL 428 Bioethics: Special Topics
  • PHL 440 Moral Reasoning and Bioethics
  • PHL 441 Clinical Issues in Bioethics
  • PHL 443 Bioethics and the Law
  • PHL 446 Ethics of Human Reproduction

The program requires a total of 9 credit hours (3 courses) in bioethics at the undergraduate level, distributed as described below, with a grade of B or better in each:

1. Moral Reasoning Requirement (3 credits), fulfilled by taking:

               PHL 440, Moral Reasoning and Bioethics (3 credits);

2. Bioethics Electives (6 credits), chosen from the other courses listed above.

For additional information, contact the Philosophy Department at 216-687-3900 or visit the undergraduate catalog.


Graduate Certificate in Advanced Study in Bioethics

The Philosophy Department offers a course of study leading to a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Study in Bioethics. The certificate program is designed primarily for individuals involved in health care practice, research, or administration, for whom questions of ethics arise on a daily basis. The curriculum provides grounding in the essentials of bioethical reasoning and practice for nurses, physicians, social workers, researchers, hospital administrators and other health care professionals.

Admission Information

Degree-seeking graduate students who hold Regular admission status may be admitted to the certificate program. Those wishing only to earn the certificate may do so and can indicate this on their application form. The applicant must meet the graduate certificate admission requirements detailed in the Admissions section of this Catalog. Credits earned for the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Study in Bioethics may apply toward a graduate degree as approved by the student's graduate program director and in keeping with the policies of the College of Graduate Studies. With program permission, non-degree graduate students may enroll in the courses noted below, but non-degree graduate students must be admitted to the certificate program in order to earn the certificate.

Submit application materials to the Graduate Admissions Office.
Apply Now:

Certificate Requirements

Individuals who successfully complete 9 credit hours (3 courses) in bioethics at the graduate level, including PHL 540, Moral Reasoning in Bioethics, with a grade of B or better, are eligible to receive the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Study in Bioethics. The certificate testifies that its holder has completed an intensive course of graduate study in moral theory, decision-making procedures in bioethics, the current literature of bioethics, and the practical application of moral principles and rules to cases in clinical practice, decision-making, and law. All of the courses are offered in a Web-based format.


  • PHL 528 Bioethics: Special Topics
  • PHL 540 Moral Reasoning and Bioethics (3 credits)
  • PHL 541 Clinical Issues in Bioethics (3 credits)
  • PHL 543 Bioethics and the Law (3 credits)
  • PHL 546 Ethics of Human Reproduction (3 credits)
  • Sonya Charles, Ph.D., Michigan State University, specializes in women's reproductive health issues and has published articles on assisted reproductive technology and illegal drug use during pregnancy.
  • Allyson Robichaud, Ph.D. The Graduate School of the City University of New York, was a Bioethics Fellow at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She has published on the role of emotion in the clinical setting and on issues concerning care of the aged.
Adjunct Faculty
  • Toni Nicoletti, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, has expertise in ethics and bioethics as well as practical reasoning and freedom of will. 
  • Karen Haely, Ph.D., Ohio State University, has expertise in ethics and bioethics as well as philosophy of science and feminist epistemology.
  • Bradley Lipinski, J.D., MA., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, has expertise in the law and its intersection with ethical issues in healthcare.

For further information, contact:
Department of Philosophy and Comparative Religion
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue Rhodes Tower 1344
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: (216) 687-3900