Social Welfare and Social Research — Ph.D. with Bioethics — M.A.

Closed to admission for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Program director, Bioethics

Whitny Braun

Program director, Social Welfare and Social Research, Department of Social Work and Social Ecology

Larry Ortiz


The faculty for the combined degrees—Bioethics with Social Welfare and Social Research Program is drawn from the School of Religion and from the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology in the School of Behavioral Health.

Purpose of the program

The purpose of the M.A./Ph.D. combined degrees—Bioethics with Social Welfare and Social Research Program is to facilitate an integrated and more efficient completion of two graduate degrees for students with strong interests in both bioethics and social policy. Students who complete this combined degrees program will be prepared to make significant interdisciplinary contributions to the field of social policy and ethics. Individuals working in the area of social policy must be able to undertake and publish research on social problems. This requires the ability to apply ethical theory to real-world policy scenarios. Graduates will be able to provide leadership to the social policy arena by conducting interdisciplinary research on various issues and agendas that have significant moral implications.


To enter the proposed program, students must gain separate acceptance to both graduate programs.  The Social Policy and Social Research Program director recommends students. This recommendation triggers a streamlined admissions process for the M.A. degree in bioethics.

Course work requirements

If an M.A. degree in bioethics is taken as a stand-alone degree, the requirement is 48 units. However, the M.A./Ph.D. combined degrees student is able to double count 13 of the needed 48 units.  Specific courses are identified by footnote 1.

To the extent possible, research projects in both programs focus on the interface of ethics and social policy.

Ethics core
RELE 524Bioethics and Society3
RELE 545Bioethics Case Conference I1
RELE 589Biblical Ethics3
RELE 598Master's Seminar I3
RELE 599Master's Seminar II2
RELG 510Christian Service (1-2)2
Ethics for Scientists
Christian Social Ethics
Clinical Ethics Practicum I
Clinical Ethics Practicum II
Clinical Practicum III
Ethics and Health Disparities
Heroes of Health Care
World Religions and Bioethics
Bioethics and the Law
Shared units with social welfare and social policy (Ph.D.)
The folowing 13 units are doubled counted
RELE 588Philosophical Ethics3
SPOL 613Social Science Concepts I3
SPOL 614Social Science Concepts II3
SPOL 655Research Methods II4
Total Units48
First Year
Autumn QuarterUnits
CFSD 601Statistics I4
SPOL 601Integrative Seminar: Pro-seminar1
SPOL 610Diversity Theory and Global Perspectives3
SPOL 654Research Methods I4
Winter Quarter
CFSD 602Statistics II4
SPOL 601Integrative Seminar: Pro-seminar1
SPOL 6551Research Methods II4
Spring Quarter
CFSD 603Statistics III4
SPOL 601Integrative Seminar: Pro-seminar1
SPOL 616History and Philosophy of Social Welfare Policy3
Second Year
Autumn Quarter
SPOL 602Integrative Seminar: Global Perspective2
SPOL 6131Social Science Concepts I3
SPOL 658Advanced Policy Analysis and Research3
SPOL 665Statistical Practicum Seminar2
Winter Quarter
SPOL 602Integrative Seminar: Global Perspective2
SPOL 6141Social Science Concepts II3
Spring Quarter
SPOL 602Integrative Seminar: Global Perspective2
SPOL 667Research Methods Practicum Seminar2
SPOL 681Dissertation Proposal I3
Third Year
Autumn Quarter
RELT 557Theology of Human Suffering3
SPOL 603Integrative Seminar: Implementation Science1
SPOL 682Dissertation Proposal II3
Advanced course in statistics4
Winter Quarter
RELR 540Wholeness and Health3
SPOL 603Integrative Seminar: Implementation Science1
SPOL 683Dissertation Proposal III3
Spring Quarter
RELE 5881Philosophical Ethics3
SPOL 603Integrative Seminar: Implementation Science1
Fourth Year
Autumn Quarter
SPOL 604AIntegrative Seminar: Academic Practice1
SPOL 697Research4
Winter Quarter
SPOL 604BIntegrative Seminar: Academic Practice1
SPOL 697Research4
Spring Quarter
SPOL 604CIntegrative Seminar: Academic Practice1
SPOL 697Research4
 Total Units: 92