The competencies for the PhD Concentration in Bioethics and Health Policy are met through required and elective coursework, independent research, and the process of writing a thesis. Upon successful completion of the concentration, students will have mastered the following concentration and department-wide competencies:
Bioethics and Health Policy Concentration Competencies
- Recognize moral problems in public health practice, research, and health policy, and identify which ethical principles or foundational ethical theories are at stake and potentially in tension.
- Analyze moral problems in public health practice, research, and health policy and identify and communicate morally compelling lines of argument for alternative ethical principles or foundational ethical theories at stake.
- Use relevant literature from moral and political philosophy and public health ethics in analyzing moral problems in public health practice, research, and health policy.
- Identify when, why, and how empirical scholarship can make a contribution to bioethics and how data can be relevant to normative analysis.
- Conduct independent empirical scholarship that can advance a moral problem in public health practice, policy or research.
- Construct public policy arguments informed by the analysis of empirical and normative scholarship in bioethics.
Department-wide PhD Competencies
- Analyze the nature, scope and determinants of major health policy problems by applying conceptual frameworks from key academic disciplines, formulating testable hypotheses, and identifying appropriate interventions based on an understanding of the existing evidence base.
- Critique the policymaking process, including the underlying roles of legislation, regulation, litigation, and advocacy; the differences between federal, state and local policies; and the influence of academic research in the policy formulation and evaluation processes.
- Assess the organization and financing of both public health and medical services and critique their impact on access and use, quality of care, costs, and outcomes.
- Apply appropriate rigorous empirical methods to the evaluation of health policy, including a well-rounded foundation of the methods and tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and survey design.
- Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences, demonstrating an ability to interpret study results in light of study limitations and prior research.
- Conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, scientific integrity, and interpersonal collegiality.