Bioethics Minor Overview


An Interdisciplinary Program

Bioethics Center

Since its inception in 1999, the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care has been committed to stimulating interest in and maintaining a national focus on the moral issues underlying biomedical research and medical treatment of African Americans and other underserved populations in this country. Designed as a program in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center

for Bioethics provides national leadership in the bioethics community through ongoing education, training, research, scholarship, and publications. The Center for Bioethics seeks to increase the number of African Americans and other minorities trained and working in bioethics.

Bioethics weaves throughout the work of nurses, doctors, public health workers, social workers, lawyers, veterinarians, psychologists, community outreach persons, sociologists, engineers, biomedical resarchers, environmental specialists, and public policymakers. Technological advances raise many bioethics issues. Examples are stem cell research and genetic engineering. Bioethics is concerned with protecting vulnerable populations from exploitation and insuring their fair share of healthcare and public health opportunities, as well as just participation in research.

In human endeavors there is often potential to benefit or harm, to be just (fair) or unjust, to respect or disrespect peoples’ dignity and freedom of choice, to treat with care and empathy or disinterest and insensitivity, to include or exclude, and to be racist or antiracist. In all cases, bioethics works to understand and promote ethical practices.

Careers and Professions

Bioethics studies are beneficial for all careers. Healthcare professionals (human and animal) encounter bioethics issues throughout their work, as do psychologists, sociologists, and biomedical researchers. Many areas in the law, business, and public policy involve bioethics. A background in bioethics is helpful in applying to health professional schools.

Bioethics Minor

All Tuskegee students are eligible to pursue the minor. The Bioethics Minor includes courses from the following disciplines: Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (POLS), Sociology (SOCI), Social Work (SOWK), Nutritional Science (INSC), Physics (PHYS), Nursing (NURS), Health Science (IHSC), and Occupational Therapy (IOTH). Note: All courses are three credits except IOTH 0421.

Basic Requirements

Eighteen credit hours, at least “C” grade in each course

Six credit hours in core courses

PHIL 205 or PHIL 347

Core Courses

PHIL 203 Ethics and Values

PHIL 204 Ethics and Values: Applied Concentration

PHIL 205 Introduction to Bioethics

PHIL 347 Medical Ethics

Other Qualifying Courses

College of Liberal Arts and Education

PHIL 0201         Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 0238         Argumentation and Discourses

PHIL 0310         Issues in the Sciences and Humanities

PHIL 0325         Philosophy of Science

PHIL 0341         Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 0342         Philosophy of Law

PHIL 0348         Business Ethics

PHIL 0350         Theories of Nature, the Cosmos, and the Environment

PHIL 0351         Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 0357         Africana Philosophy

POLS 0208       Ethics and Politics

SOCI 0402        Social Mental Health

SOCI 0443        Minority and Ethnic Group Relations

SOCI 0470        Sociology of Health Care

SOCI 0541        Socio-Cultural Problems of the South

SOWK 0235      Human Behavior and the Social Environment

College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences

INSC     0580     International Nutrition     Problems and Policies

College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences

PHYS   0512     History of Science

College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health

NURS   0303     Nursing and the Community III

IHSC     0409     Psycho-Social Aspects of Rehabilitation

IOTH     0421     Organization, Administration, and

                        Ethics in Occupational Therapy

Other Student Opportunities in Bioethics

Student Council

Students discuss cases of bioethics interest (such as whether to allow stem-cell research), develop presentations, attend conferences, and compete in the Ethics Bowl of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Reading Group

Faculty, students, staff, and community members read bioethics articles about important issues and meet to discuss them.

Lecture Series

Public lectures and panels address important issues in bioethics.


Participants view and discuss films of bioethical importance.

Visiting Scholars

Outside bioethics scholars work with students, faculty, and community members.


In orientation sessions for first-year and transfer students, cases of bioethics importance, methods of case analysis, and bioethics principles are discussed.