A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

MA in Bioethics and PhD in Social Policy and Social Research

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Program Administration

James W. Walters, Program Director, Bioethics, School of Religion
Larry Ortiz, PhD, MSW, Program Director, Social Policy and Social Research, Department of Social Work and Social Ecology, School of Behavioral Health

Faculty

The faculty for the combined degrees Bioethics with Social Policy 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 MA/PhD combined degrees Bioethics with Social Policy 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.

Course Work Requirements

To enter the proposed program, students must gain separate acceptance to both graduate programs. To the extent possible, research projects in both programs focus on the interface of ethics and social policy.

How many additional course work units would an MA/PhD degree student take beyond the required 105 Social Policy and Social Research Program units?

Answer: 16 units. If an MA degree in bioethics is taken as a stand-alone degree, the requirement is 48 units. However, the MA/PhD combined degrees student is able to accumulate 32 of the needed 48 units as follows:

  1. 16 units from four courses in the social policy curriculum count toward the M.A. degree in bioethics requirements because of their similarity to ethics-type courses. Those courses are: a) SPOL 613 and SPOL 614: Social Science Concepts I and II, b) SPOL 655: Research Methods II, c) SPOL 615: Economic Theory and Social Policy.
  2. 12 units from electives in the social policy curriculum are taken in the master’s degree in bioethics curriculum.
  3. 4 units come from one bioethics course in the social policy curriculum that is already required: RELE 588: Explorers of the Moral Life.

How much course work would the MA/PhD combined degrees student take in the regular bioethics curriculum?

Answer: 32 units. 16 units (from four 4-unit courses) are simply double counted. These four courses have sufficiently similar content to bioethics that they warrant being applied to both the bioethics MA degree curriculum and the PhD degree in social policy curriculum.

How much course work is taken in the regular 105-unit PhD degree curriculum?

Answer: All 105 units are taken.

How will social policy curriculum PhD degree students be selected for this program?

The Social Policy and Social Research Program director recommends students. These recommendations trigger a streamlined admissions process for the MA degree in bioethics.

Ethics Core

RELE 524 Bioethics and Society (4)
RELE 565 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Moral Aspects of Art and Illness (4)
RELE 566 Heroes of Health Care (4)
RELE 567 World Religions and Bioethics (4)
RELE 568 Bioethics and the Law (4)
RELE 588 Explorers of the Moral Life (4)
RELE 589 Biblical Ethics (4)
RELE 598 Master's Seminar I (2)
RELE 599 Master's Seminar II (2)
Total units: 32

Social policy core courses that apply

SPOL 613 Social Science Concepts and Theories I (4)
SPOL 614 Social Science Concepts and Theories II (4)
SPOL 615 Economic Theory and Social Policy (4)
SPOL 655 Research Methods II (4)
Total units: 16

Social Policy and Social Research Core

Social Science

SPOL 613 Social Science Concepts and Theories I (4)
SPOL 614 Social Science Concepts and Theories II (4)
SPOL 615 Economic Theory and Social Policy (4)
SPOL 656 Organizational Theory and Policy (4)
SPOL 658 Methods of Policy Analysis and Research (4)
Total units: 20

Religion

RELR 525 Health Care and the Dynamics of Christian Leadership (3)
RELT 557 Theology of Human Suffering (4)
Total units: 7

Research methods, statistics and information technology

SPOL 654 Research Methods I (4)
SPOL 655 Research Methods II (4)
PSYC 501 Advanced Statistics I (4)
PSYC 502 Advanced Statistics II (4)
PSYC 503 Advanced Multivariate Statistics (4)
MFTH 601 Statistics I (4)
MFTH 604 Advanced Qualitative Methods (4)
MFTH 605 Advanced Quantitative Methods (4)
SPOL 665 Information Technologies and Decision Science (4)
STAT ___ Statistics (advanced course in statistics or methods) (4)
Total units: 28

Applied/structured research

SPOL 671 Applied/Structured Research I (2-4)
SPOL 672 Applied/Structured Research II (2-4)
SPOL 673 Applied/Structured Research III (2-4)
Total units: 10

Dissertation research

SPOL 681 Dissertation Proposal I (2)
SPOL 682 Dissertation Proposal II (2)
SPOL 683 Dissertation Proposal III (2)
SPOL 697 Research (8-12)
SPOL 699 Dissertation (4-12)
Total units: 24

Overall total units: 121

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