Bioethics Minor

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Integrating a challenging liberal arts and science curriculum with a commitment to pursue the common good, our minor invites students to appreciate the complexity of moral decision-making and the importance of dialogue among different moral positions, and to explore the evolution of life’s key questions: What does it mean to be human? Who gets to decide? How am I accountable for these answers? In the Bioethics minor you will examine ethical issues at the intersection of science, philosophy, theology, law and the arts.

  • Why Minor in Bioethics?

    You take “bioethics” with you wherever you go.

    Interested in law? There are legal ramifications with genetic profiling, data storage, and confidentiality. Thinking of clinical research? Ethical reflection is critical when deciding what kinds of research should be attempted, and the best way to do it. Want to put your writing and filming skills to use? Health and science literacy is increasingly important as the general public struggles to engage in meaningful discussions about advances in medicine and technology. Looking for a modern application of traditional philosophical thought? The questions haven’t changed much, but the way they unfold in a rapidly changing world impacts the answers. Fighting for social justice? The rights of individual persons require the context of the greater good; decisions about medicine, research, and public health deserve a conscientious public forum.

    ​A minor in Bioethics provides you with the critical thinking skills, reflective experience, and moral vocabulary necessary to engage new and emerging questions of ethics in a variety of fields. The Bioethics minor is an interdisciplinary subject, open to students in all majors: the Humanities, English, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, History, Theological Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Health and Human Sciences, Engineering, and the Pre-Law and Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental Post-Baccalaureate Programs. 

  • Student Learning Outcomes

    • Understand the main ethical theories in bioethics, together with the wider philosophical and theological grounding of bioethical questions.
    • Appreciate the “complexity” entailed by moral decision-making in bioethics, and the importance of dialogue among different moral positions.
    • Understand the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue between science and the humanities, relative to the ethical assessment of technological advances and therapeutic applications.
    • Understand the link between ethical reflection, personal moral commitment, and the relevance of social collaboration in the quest for a better world.
  • Course Requirements

    For successful completion of the minor, an average of C (2.0) must be obtained in the following classes:

    Two Required Bioethics Core Classes

    • BIOE 1000 Introduction to Bioethics (Theological Inquiry)
    • BIOE 3000 Advanced Topics in Bioethics (Interdisciplinary Connections)

    Examples of General Core Classes (Any 2)

    • FFYS 1000 Health Psychology: Where Mind and Body Meet 
    • FFYS 1000 Biotechnology Issues
    • PHIL 3100 Ethics
    • PHIL 3105 Ethics of Love & Marriage 
    • PHIL 3110 Environmental Ethics 
    • PHIL 3115 Ethics for Engineering/Science 
    • PHIL 3145 Topics in Applied Ethics 
    • PHIL 3998 Science & Religion 
    • PHIL 3998 Race, Sex & Gender 
    • THST 3238 Theology & Science
    • JWST 4370 Nazi Germany and Questions of Conscience

    Examples of Electives (Any 1)

    • BIOL 585 Issues in Biotech Seminar
    • HIST 4433 Health & Disease in American Culture
    • PHIL 3200 Philosophy of Science
    • PHIL 4210/CATH 4998 Science and Religion
    • PHIL 4830 Philosophy of Mind
    • POLS 3350 Elderly and the Law
    • SCEM 398 Healthcare & Humanities
    • SOCL 3250 Health and Social Justice
    • SOCL 3150 Sociology of Health & Illness
    • PSYC 3998 Science and Religion: Psychological Perspectives
  • Students who wish to declare a minor in Bioethics will file a “Change of Program” form with the Registrar’s office. To begin the process, contact Dr. Nicholas Brown, at, who will assist with the declaration paperwork and work with the student to devise a course schedule to fill the minor requirements.

  • Nicholas R. Brown is the Director of the Bioethics Minor and Clinical Faculty in the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern College (IA) and a joint M.A. in International Peace Conflict Resolution and Theological Studies from American University and Wesley Theological Seminary respectively. His doctorate in Christian Ethics is from the Center of Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and he has also taught as both a full-time and a part-time faculty in LMU’s Theological Studies department. His work and research focuses on how philosophical and theological conceptions of justice inform political discourse on public health and the distribution of health care resources and the ethical implications of embodiment.