About the Program

The Certificate in Research Ethics develops a specific skill set required by regulation, profession or industry best practice to ensure ethical conduct in medical research or medical and health services.  The program is designed for researchers and applied and clinical professionals, as well as students in bio-medical sciences and health services.  The certificate provides a historical context of the industry and of clinical research using the traditions of humanistic inquiry, compassion and judgment to bear on ethical aspects of research.

The certificate trains students to be industry-ready researchers while offering refresher training and perspective for professionals in the field.  The program design nurtures a humanistic and ethical approach to research.  In addition, the program provides retraining for noncompliant performance.

Students learn how to apply ethical principles to various research activities, manage conflicts of interest as well as nurture respectful and culturally appropriate behavior toward research subjects.  This will help students gain competency in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) – a requirement for researchers who qualify to conduct research supported by federal agencies such as the National Institute of health (NIH) , National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Human Health Services (DHHS), or Veterans Administration (VA).

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Accepting applications for fall, spring and summer start terms.

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Program Structure

Program Structure

The certificate requires 15 graduate  credits. Two courses are offered each semester, fall and spring, held on Drew’s campus in the evening.  The fifth course, practicum, is offered in the summer.

Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working professionals. The certificate may be completed in 12 months and may be applied to the master’s or doctoral degree in Medical Humanities.



The Certificate in Research Ethics (C.R.E.) requires the completion of five courses (15 credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The five mandatory courses (Foundations of Research Ethics, International Research Ethics, Research Ethics and Law, Social, Cultural and Religious Issues in Research, and Ethical Conduct of Research & Research Oversight Practicum) may be completed as a certificate or may be applied to the master’s or doctoral degree in Medical Humanities.

The courses are designed to meet the seven core competencies of the NIH. The principals are social and clinical value, scientific validity, fair subject selection, favorable risk-benefit ration, independent review, informed consent, respect for potential and enrolled subjects. The certificate program also meets the RCR as outlined by the NIH.


Requirements for Application

Please note that a B.A. or equivalent is required to be admitted to the C.R.E. Certificate.

  • Completed Application
  • $35 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Official Bachelors transcripts

International Applicants

In addition to the above materials, international applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores that are not more than two years old.  Applicants who have received their Bachelor’s degree from a foreign university, even if English was the language of instruction, must submit TOEFL scores that are not more than two years old and a transcript evaluation from a credential evaluation service.  Students from the following countries are exempt from this requirement: Canada, UK, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and Australia. Applicants who have an advanced degree from a US institution may receive a TOEFL waiver and should reach out to Graduate Admission at 973-408-3111 or gradm@drew.edu for more information.

For more information on being an international student at Drew please visit our International Student & Scholar Services webpage or for more information on the I-20 process please visit our Caspersen School I-20 Process webpage.

Application Timeline

  • Completed applications are accepted for two terms (fall and spring).
  • Notification of acceptance is usually sent 2-3 weeks after the complete application is received.
  • All applications must be received at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the student is applying. Starts terms are available on the Academic Calendar.

Costs and Aid

Cost of Attendance

Tuition for C.R.E. can be found on the Business Office site.

Financial Aid

There are two forms of financial aid for C.R.E. students:

Senior citizens age 62 or older are entitled to a half-tuition reduction. Qualified applicants should make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid where they need to present legal proof of age and complete a Senior Citizen Certification form. Note that this discount does not apply to the optional summer term.

Students may apply for federal financial aid by completing a Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Forms are available on line at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Students who are pursuing the C.R.E. as a part of the master’s or doctoral degree in Medical Humanities are eligible for a limited number of merit scholarships available for full-time Medical Humanities students. These awards range from 25% to 75% of tuition and are awarded based on the academic record presented through the application. Please contact the Graduate Admissions office for more information.

Learn more about financial aid in the graduate school.