Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more information about your programs?

Click here for Bioethics graduate programs:
Click here for Healthcare Mission Leadership programs:

How do I initiate the application process?

Click here:

Is there an application deadline?

Although the admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, applicants interested in enrolling are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by the specified deadlines for each semester:

Fall deadline - August 1st; Spring deadline - January 5th; Summer deadline - May 1st

How much is tuition?

Tuition cost for the 2020-2021 school year is $1,140.00 per credit hour, each course is worth three credits.  For more information regarding tuition and fees please visit this webpage:

Are there any scholarships available?

We offer a limited number of academic merit-based, partial tuition scholarships to students admitted into the Master of Arts degree program.

Could you give me some more information about Loyola University Chicago?

Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of 16,673 students, which includes 11,420 undergraduates, hailing from all 50 states, as well as 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses, three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola's nine schools and colleges include: arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies and social work. Loyola offers 66 undergraduate majors, 59 master's degrees and 36 doctoral degrees and 3 professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola's excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the "top national universities" and "best values" in its annual publications. For more information, please visit

Who is qualified to participate in the Online Graduate Programs in Bioethics & Health Care Mission Leadership?

This online graduate programs (professional doctorate, master's, certificates) are designed primarily for professionals who have a significant interest in bioethics and mission leadership.

Who are the students in your program?

Our students are professionals from a variety of backgrounds from all over the country. Our program attracts physicians, nurses, lawyers, social workers, administrators, risk managers, chaplains, scientists and researchers.

Who are the faculty in your program?

The faculty members of the Neiswanger Institute come from a variety of disciplines including law, medical humanities, philosophy, public health, mission leadership and theology. All have significant experience in clinical, research or public health ethics and are nationally recognized as educational innovators in bioethics.  Our faculty members possess a wealth of knowledge but the unique aspect of the faculty is their appreciation of the contribution of our students to the learning environment.  As a result, our faculty share a commitment to fostering dialogue among participants in the courses and helping each student to refine his or her knowledge and interpersonal skill sets in bioethics and health care mission leadership.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Applicants who already possess an advanced degree do not need to take the GRE.

Is there an on-campus component to the graduate program?

We typically offer three blended courses during the summer and one during the spring.  These blended courses require 2-3 days of on campus participation here on the Health Science Campus of Loyola University Chicago.  Although these blended courses are optional for our master and certificate students, many of our students elect to take one or more of these courses during their time as Loyola graduate students.

Your program offers a doctorate in bioethics (DBe).  What is the difference between a professional doctorate and a PhD?

Our program is a professional doctorate geared toward individuals who want to take on ethics leadership roles in their institutions.  A PhD is a research degree that typically prepares people for academic careers.  Think of someone who earns a DrPH (Doctor of Public Health), which is a professional doctorate, compared to someone who receives a PhD in public health.  The former prepares people to take on leadership positions in healthcare. The latter prepares people to be researchers and academics.  Our program is geared more toward the former.  Check out our alumni page to see who has received the doctoral degree and what they’re doing:  

 I don't have an advanced degree in bioethics. Can I still apply to the doctoral program?

An applicant who lacks an advanced degree in bioethics should make a strong case for their suitability for the doctoral program. For instance, if you have an advanced degree in another discipline and have extensive practical and/or professional experience in bioethics, you'll be a more competitive candidate. An applicant who lacks any background in bioethics should consider starting in the master's program with an eye toward eventually matriculating into the doctoral program. We've found such applicants who start with the master's program have a strong foundation for the doctoral program.

How long will it take me to complete the MA degree?

To satisfy the requirements of our online MA program, students must take the five required courses and five electives. We offer several completely online courses throughout the academic year (including the summer term). Students have up to five years to complete the degree once admitted into the program. For those students who are able to devote full-time to the program, the convenience of online learning does offer the possibility to complete the degree in as short as one year.

Is there a thesis requirement for the online MA program?

There is no thesis requirement. Instead, students are required to prepare a paper of publishable quality in the Master's Research Capstone course.

Is there a dissertation requirement for the doctoral program?

There is no dissertation requirement. Instead, students are required to prepare two papers of publishable quality under the supervision of the capstone director and then submit their papers to peer reviewed journals. One paper will be prepared in the doctoral capstone I course and the second paper will be prepared in the doctoral capstone II course.


Will my actual degree reflect that I earned my master's through an online program?

No. There is no distinction made on the degree. Your master's degree is awarded based on competency and successfully meeting Loyola University Chicago's academic requirements, not upon geographic location or residency.

How is the course content delivered in the program?

Courses are offered via Sakai, Loyola University's web-based infrastructure software program designed for e-learning.

Is Sakai available 24/7?

Yes, Sakai is available all the time.  If you have access to the internet, you have access to Sakai.

How many courses should I take a semester?

Because our students are professionals with many work and personal obligations, we recommend that students take no more than two courses a semester.

What are the requirements for each course, in terms of assignments, class participation, etc.?

Each course has its own individual requirements depending on the instructor(s). Course requirements are defined in each course's syllabus, which is available online at the beginning of the course.

How much time does each course require per week?

This varies from student to student but our graduate students report that each course takes anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a week.

Do I need to be at my computer at a certain time?

In general, no.  Most of the discussions in our courses occur asynchronously, meaning students can post comments at their own time and convenience.  Courses do have live synchronous sessions, but these are typically optional.

Do I need to take courses in any sequence?

We typically recommend new students take the required courses first and then take their elective courses.  The capstone course(s) should be completed last for the master and doctorate programs.

Are courses self-paced?

 No.  Each course follows a semester schedule and each week of activity requires participation in the discussion boards. 

What technical requirements are there for this program?

Students in our program must be able to access and use the Internet with one of the latest browsers, use email and Adobe Acrobat Reader.  

Sakai CLE is designed to work with modern browsers. Use the latest versions of Firefox (Mozilla), Safari (Apple), Chrome (Google), and IE 9 (Microsoft Internet Explorer aka IE) and IE 8. Sakai does not work with IE 7 and earlier, or with Firefox 10 and earlier. For more information, visit:

Students should be able to work with email attachments and know how to contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for technical assistance on Internet connection and tools. 

High speed internet access is required.

We suggest purchasing a headset with built in microphone (Logitech h390) for live sessions in our courses.

Can I enroll in a single course?

If you are interested in enrolling in one course you may do so by applying as a non-degree seeking student.