Master of Science in Bioethics

Bioethics is the normative science of what should and should not be done in areas of the natural sciences and corresponding technologies. Without bioethics, one is in danger of falling into the technological imperative: everything that can be done will be done sooner or later, regardless of whether it’s ethical or not. If we don’t control technology, technology will control us.

It is imperative that bioethics keeps apace with contemporary scientific and technological advances, especially in view of the tight link between these advances and the economy. Accordingly, one could divide contemporary bioethics into four key areas: bioethical issues at the beginning and at the end of human life, healthcare bioethics, and environmental bioethics.

The Master of Science in Bioethics at St. Thomas University is built around these four key areas. And, since bioethics is a thoroughly interdisciplinary field, there are also foundational and applied courses that help the student to go as deeply as possible into the four key areas. One foundational course grounds contemporary bioethics in the Judeo-Christian anthropological tradition of the human person being created in the Image of God, both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. Another foundational course explores the basic principles applicable to responsible scientific research and professional conduct today. One applied course is in statistical methods that are useful in analyzing scientific data. Another applied course is an internship in the specific field of interest of each student.

Featured Professors

Rev. Dr. Alfred Cioffi, STHD, PhD, Program Director

Doctorate in Moral Theology, magna cum laude, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Doctorate in Genetics, Purdue University, Indiana

Career Opportunities

A professional with a Masters in Bioethics, today, could work in: academia, industry, government, or religious and social settings; in the areas of: research, clinical settings, regulation, healthcare, environmental, administrative leadership, foundations, advocacy, policy, strategic planning, counseling, etc.

Typically, a person with a Bachelor degree who earns a Master’s, may lead to a pay raise. In addition, it qualifies that person for teaching dual enrollment courses, giving scheduled talks, facilitating group discussions and workshops professionally, and teaching at the college level; all of this may also represent extra income (“a laborer is worthy of his wages” Lk10,7).

The landscape of bioethics -whether in personal, family, healthcare or environmental issues- is becoming increasingly complex. It is therefore opportune and urgent that all professionals be properly informed and competent in dealing with the increasing sophistication of these vital issues. This translates into a significant and relevant service to contemporary society, be that at the local, regional, national or global level.


MS in Bioethics (BIOE) at St. Thomas University (STU)

The curriculum for the MS in BIOE at STU is listed below.


Course Number Course Name Credits Semester
BIO 513 Fundamentals of Catholic Bioethics 3 FL 1
BIO 514 Responsible Research and Professional Conduct 4 FL 2
BIO 602 Beginning of Human Life Bioethics 4 SP 16 weeks
BIO 603 End of Human Life Bioethics 4 SP 16 weeks
BIO 600 Human Population and Environmental Bioethics 4 SU 1
MAT 507* Data Analysis and Probabilities 3 SU 16 weeks
BIO 601 Healthcare Services Bioethics 4 FL 16 weeks
BIO 604 Bioethics Internship 4 FL 16 weeks


Suggested Degree Plan

The program can be completed in 15-months with the following suggested/ideal course sequence:


1st Term          (Fall 1)                           BIO 513

2nd Term          (Fall 2)                          BIO 514

3rd Term          (Spring long)                BIO 602 & BIO 603

4th Term          (Summer 1)                 BIO 600

5th Term          (Summer long)            MAT 507*

6th Term          (Fall long)                     BIO 601 & BIO 604


*Using program assessments, it was determined MAT 507 will substitute the originally-approved MAT 502.  To be submitted for APC approval 08/2018.


Contact Graduate Adviser Fr. Alfred Cioffi , Program Director, at 305-474-6968

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