Clinical Ethics Online Certificate Program


The Certificate in Clinical Ethics is a discipline specific program for those who have long-term goals in clinical and research ethics. The certificate is intended to build upon the existing experience of health care professionals. It will benefit current health care professionals with additional education while not requiring as much time away from their duties of patient care.

The certificate program is designed to meet the Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation developed by the American Society Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). The Section of Integrated Ethics in Cancer Care at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has over a decade of experience in providing training through internship and fellowship programs. The training will develop knowledge, skills and competence in clinical and research ethics through reading assignments, didactic class discussion, diverse educational seminars, clinical observation, research training and participation, written assignments, a project and practicum.

Educational Objectives

The trainee in MD Anderson Cancer Center Certificate Program in Clinical Ethics will be responsible for obtaining knowledge and skills to be competent to participate in ethics consultation, led by appropriate consultation leaders as identified in Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation by the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). Trainees will gain the knowledge and skills and be evaluated in four categories: 1) ethical assessment skills; 2) process skills including clinical research design and methodologies for recruitment and retention; 3) interpersonal skills with people of different cultures; and 4) the skills needed to run a Health Care Ethics Consultation (HCEC), including evaluative skills. In addition to skills delineated above, trainees will be evaluated on nine knowledge areas required for ethics consultation in clinical and research settings including moral reasoning and ethical theory; common health care ethics issues and concepts; ethics consultations; relevant codes of ethics and professional conduct and guidelines of accrediting organizations, health care law and ethical research and practice.


The certificate program targets applicants from a range of professional health care disciplines who endeavor to learn the applied content and skills of clinical and research ethics in order to accomplish their own individual goals. The program will perform all recruitment and retention efforts in accordance with MD Anderson Cancer Center Trainee & Alumni Affairs Department.


  • Bachelor Degree
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay describing why you want to gain a Certificate in Clinical Ethics
  • All applicants are required to pay a $50 non refundable application fee.
  • If approved, there is a training fee in the amount of $7,000.00 for the program. Discounted trainee fees for MD Anderson workforce will be applied. Trainees will need pay the required fee in advance for the start date or make arrangement approved by the Program Director. 
  • Checks must be made payable to MD Anderson Cancer Center and sent to Karen Terrell, Program Manager, Clinical Ethics Certificate Program, Unit 1430, 1400 Pressler, Pickens Tower, 7th floor, FCT7.5094.

Additional institutional requirements may be required including criminal background check and immunizations. Trainees with degrees from foreign schools will require a credentialing evaluation from institutionally approved agency.

In addition to the academic requirements, each Trainee applying to the program must have the skills necessary to use a computer media player, document reader, Internet connection and audio speaker/headset.

After the Program receives your application and required documents, they will be distributed to the faculty selection committee for review.  The selection committee will make recommendation to the Program Director for final approval.  

How To Apply

To apply for Certificate in Clinical Ethics Program please:

1. Review the Certificate Program in Clinical Ethics Guidelines (pdf).
2. Complete the Certificate in Clinical Ethics Application Form (pdf).

Following the instructions in the application guidelines, submit all required documents in a PDF format and email it to Karen Terrell, MBA.

Contact Information

Karen Terrell, MBA/HCM
Program Manager
Main Line: 713-792-8775
Fax: 713-745-0674

Criteria for Completing the Program

Trainees accepted in the Clinical Ethics Certificate Program will be required to complete the program within a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 3 years. Trainees will satisfactorily complete all required courses and at least 2 elective courses prior to completion. Each trainee will complete a practicum and a project as defined above. Trainees will be measured through examinations of topics, written evaluations of faculty and mentors related to Core Skills and Knowledge of Ethics Consultation.

Upon completion of the program, the Program Director will provide written certification to Trainee and Alumni Affairs that each trainee has successful completed the program and meets or exceeds the Core Skills and Knowledge of Ethics evaluation.

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