Increasingly, practitioners in medicine, law, and research must understand and make decisions on complex ethical and moral dilemmas related to advances in biology, biotechnology, and biomedicine. Solutions require specialized and cross-disciplinary knowledge spanning ethics, law, society, culture, public policy, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and even language.

Columbia’s non-degree, online Bioethics Certification program, part of the University’s Programs in Bioethics, which also include a master’s degree and Online Noncredit Courses, prepares students to address these challenges through an innovative learning experience featuring live webinars, multimedia, and collaborative course activities. The specially designed online curriculum gives a sophisticated analysis of the historical, philosophical, legal, social scientific, and practical, hands-on aspects of bioethics.

Who Should Apply

  • medical practitioners, including physicians and nurses
  • healthcare professionals
  • researchers
  • Institutional Review Board members and staff
  • attorneys
  • pharmaceutical executives
  • educators
  • others interested in the field, including patients and relatives of patients who have confronted bioethical issues

Noncredit Option

Students who are interested in the subject matter of the Bioethics Certification program but do not require academic credit are welcome to take one or more of the Certification’s six courses on a noncredit basis.

Participants in the noncredit version of the certification have the same access to course content and faculty as students who have opted for credit. Noncredit students are expected to fully participate in the coursework, complete all assignments, and attend the live sessions, the same as for-credit students. They will receive a grade for their work in the class.

Those who successfully complete four courses will not receive a certification or a statement of attendance. However, any student pursuing the noncredit option can request an official Columbia transcript showing their grades. In addition, this transcript will specify participation in the Noncredit Bioethics Certification program.


Participants in any of Columbia University’s courses in Bioethics can obtain Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.

Accreditation Statement
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The College of Physicians and Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 28.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.