Graduate Certificates

Bioethics Programs MastersThe Graduate Certificate Program provides an educational opportunity at the graduate level for current and future professionals and others throughout the country interested in bioethics, including health care providers, researchers in biomedicine and the life sciences, lawyers, and professionals in religion, health and research administration, and the biotechnology industry.  The Graduate Certificate is a freestanding program of graduate study in which students attend the same classes as students in the Master of Arts in Bioethics graduate program.  It is offered to increase the flexibility and attractiveness of graduate study in bioethics, particularly to working professionals who wish to add bioethics knowledge to their professional practice.

Students may enroll in 1 of 3 Graduate Certificate options:


  • Graduate Certificate in Bioethics: Customizable to a student’s particular interests, this program provides basic knowledge and skills in bioethics.


  • Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Research Ethics: Designed for future and current professionals engaged in the design, conduct, funding, and oversight of clinical, translational, and laboratory research.  In addition to the required coursework, students may choose to enroll in courses designed to provide supervised observation and experiential opportunities.


  • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics: Clinical practitioners encounter ethical concerns daily, including those surrounding the beginning and end of life; privacy and confidentiality; decision making by patients, families, and surrogates; and many more.  The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics focuses on clinical ethics issues while leaving space for students to explore their own areas of interest.  Students may have the opportunity to garner direct observational experiences in clinical ethics settings.


All Graduate Certificate options require 12 hours of course work with an average grade of B or above.  At least 9 hours must come from courses indicated below as “core courses.”  There is no thesis requirement.  The Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Research Ethics and the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Bioethics require particular courses within the 9 hours of core courses.  All work must be completed within four years of the date of initial enrollment in the graduate program.  Up to 3 hours of transfer credit may be considered in place of elective course work.  Transfer credit acceptance is based on review and approval of grades, course syllabi, and other relevant information.  Certificate students are able to complete the program in as little as two semesters on a part-time basis or one semester on a full-time basis.

Online courses are available during summer sessions for working professionals located greater than 2 hours from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (or in other limited circumstances). For working professionals interested in online courses only, the certificate can be completed in two summers (two courses each summer). Contact the Vicky Zickmund, Associate Director for more information.


The application requirements for the Graduate Certificate programs are identical to that of Master of Arts in Bioethics with the exception that there is no standardized test requirement.  Application materials should be submitted directly to the Reynolda Campus Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  A complete application will contain all of the following:

  • Application for admission.
  • Official transcripts – find more information here.
  • Three letters of recommendations using the appropriate guidelines.
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume
  • Statement of Interest– The statement of interest should be approximately 300-600 words describing how you expect a Graduate Certificate will relate to your current and/or future work and interests. More information here.
  • Application fee.

Students wishing to change from the Graduate Certificate to the Master of Arts will be expected to qualify for and apply to move into the Master of Arts degree program. Successful completion of the Certificate program does not guarantee admission to the Master of Arts degree program.

Tuition and Financial Support

Students in the Graduate Certificate Program are eligible for institutional financial support.  Information and application procedures for financial support can be found here.  As non-degree seeking students, Graduate Certificate students are not eligible for federal financial aid.