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Online Ethics Course

Ethics is defined as a branch of philosophy that deals with the moral principles which guide and influence human behavior both individually and collectively. Broadly speaking, it is a study of the prevailing and accepted notions of what constitutes right and wrong and how we use these as rules or guidelines in regards to our conduct.

The study of ethics has far reaching and interdisciplinary applications. Ethics degree programs are beneficial to students who are pursuing disciplines such as medicine, law, or positions in the government. This is because these professions raise ethical and social issues. Here are the different types of ethics degrees which are available for you to consider and pursue.

Types of Ethics degrees:

Bachelor’s Degree in Ethics

Since ethics is a branch of philosophy, students can enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (B.A.) with a major or concentration in ethics. However, there are some universities which offer different undergraduate programs relating to ethics. Some examples of these programs include:

  • A Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Public Policy
  • The Undergraduate Honors Program in Ethics in Society
  • A Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics

The duration of undergraduate degree programs is typically four years.
Entry Requirements
Specific program entry requirements are subject to vary by school. Generally, applicants are required to have the following:

  • Good GPA
  • Good SAT scores
  • Good reading, writing and analytical skills

The specific curriculum for undergraduate programs in ethics will vary according to which university and program you are enrolled in. Some common examples of courses which may be offered are:

  • Social Issues
  • The History of Philosophical Thought
  • Law and Ethics
  • Deductive Logic and Reasoning
  • Political Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Communication Ethics

Master’s Degrees in Ethics

Master’s degree programs in ethics are ideal for those students who wish to pursue careers with strong ethics components. At the undergraduate level, an ethics degree is usually pursued as a supplement to further your career goals. To illustrate, an undergraduate degree in ethics is a good starting point for individuals who wish to pursue a career in medicine or law as it provides you with a context of the ethical concerns which influence your future profession.
At the master’s level, students are working towards creating the skills and knowledge necessary in order to make ethical judgments.
Some of the master’s programs with an ethics focus or concentration include:

  • The Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
  • M.A. in Ethics and Society
  • Master of Business Administration - Business Ethics Concentration
  • MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs
  • Master of Science in Business Ethics & Compliance
  • Masters of Science in Health Care Ethics
  • Master of Arts in Biomedical Ethics

 Entry Requirements
The admission requirements will vary depending on whether you intend to seek admission in a Master of Arts or Science program. Generally, students must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Ethics, or another related discipline for a Master of Arts
  • A Bachelor’s in Business or disciplines related to healthcare
  • Appropriate GPA scores (determined by individual programs)

At the graduate level, students can expect to take courses such as:

  • Social justice and human rights
  • Morality and politics
  • Sexual ethics
  • Ethical concerns in educational policy
  • Human rights
  • Global ethics
  • Gender and conflict
  • Theories on violence and war

Doctoral Degree in Ethics

The following doctoral degrees are available for students to pursue:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Ethics
  • Ph.D. in Philosophical Ethics
  • Ph.D. in Ethics and Health
  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Ethics
  • Ph.D. in Business Ethics
  • Ph.D. in Global Ethics

Entry Requirements
Entry requirements for post baccalaureate programs will vary by program. If you are seeking admissions into a Ph.D. program in social or philosophical ethics, it is generally acceptable to have a master’s degree in any discipline. However, it is recommended that you have foundational knowledge in the humanities and social sciences.
If you seek to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical ethics or business ethics, you must have a background in those disciplines.
Courses at this stage are all tailored around your particular concentration area so that you may have ample ideas for what to choose for your thesis.
You may choose to take courses such as:

  • Social history and ethics
  • Comparative religious thought
  • Moral theories
  • Business and economic ethics
  • Advanced ethical theory
  • Ethics and philosophy
  • Clinical ethics
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis of bioethics

Certificate Programs

Instead of enrolling in a degree program, students also have the option of supplementing their main course of study with a certificate in ethics. Certificates are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. This is ideal for those who are pursuing careers in professions such as journalism, healthcare policy, law, nursing, etc.

Business Ethics

The study of business ethics involves the policies, practices, and moral guidelines which make a business successful. The study of ethics necessarily requires us to examine the interconnectedness of human interactions and services provided within the context of a society. Businesses operate as entities which have a large number of dealings with clients, suppliers, competitors, etc. In order to ensure that these interactions are harmonious, a study of business ethics is beneficial.
Business ethics can be taken as:

  • A Masters in Business Ethics
  • Ph.D. in Business Ethics

Both of these degree programs are also offered online. An online ethics course is taught via recorded and live lectures and students interact with each other using specific software.

Career Prospects and Salary Information

Career prospects for ethics degree holders will vary according to each individual. Typically, your job and salary prospects are influenced by factors which include:

  • Your level of education (What degree do you have in Ethics? Bachelors, Masters, or Doctoral?)
  • Your particular level of experience
  • Your career goals and aspirations

Popular career choices for those who choose to study ethics include:

  • Healthcare Policy Makers
  • Business Professionals or Leaders
  • Compliance and Ethics Officers
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • Theologians
  • Biomedical Consultants

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers of philosophy and religion made an annual median salary of $65,540 in 2013. The top 10% made $118,320.
Compliance officers made an annual median salary of $64,340 in the same year. The top 10% made $99,450.

Ethics is a part of the larger discipline of philosophy and involves a study of what affects and what should affect human interactions in society. Ethics deals with the moral normative notions of right and wrong, and how adhering to these notions results in more harmonious interactions. When it comes to studying ethics, students may choose to pursue a degree at the undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate level. Certificate programs are also available for those seeking to supplement their main degree program with an ethical appreciation and context.  


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are the advantages of enrolling in an online ethics course for social workers instead of on-campus?

A:In an online program, you will not have to go anywhere to attend classes. All you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection to study. You can study from the comfort of your home at any time of the day. Online programs are cots-friendly, flexible, and convenient for working individuals.

Q:What are some of the topics covered in an online research ethics course?

A:In an online research ethics course, you will be taught topics such as data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership. You will also be taught mentor/trainee responsibilities, publication practices and responsibility authorship, human subjects, conflict of interest and commitment, collaborative science, peer reviews etc. Besides these topics, you might be required to conduct research projects.

Q:What subjects does an online ethics training course cover?

A:An online ethics training course covers a vast variety of topics such as honesty and fairness, diversity and respect, conflicts of interest, information security, business records, health, safety and the environment, alcohol and drug abuse, workplace violence, political activity, reporting ethics violations, bribery and kickbacks, anti-competitive conduct, electronic communications and so on.

Q:Can you tell me what I will study in an online ethics course?

A:An ethics course or business ethics course is designed to provide you with knowledge about ethical behavior and its role in the corporate world. Businesses can be successful if moral guidelines are clear, employees are ethical, and employees practice within ethical boundaries. The course will help you learn how to deal and communicate with clients and other stakeholders in the business world.

Q:How is an online business ethics course covered?

A:If you plan to enroll in an online ethics course, you will need to have a reliable internet connection and a computer/laptop. The curriculum may vary a little from college to college. However, the components of the curriculum are covered via videos, online lectures, classroom lectures, tutorials, and slideshows. Some schools may have their own learning software programs that students must download.

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