Minor in Ethics

The Minor in Ethics provides students with opportunities both to explore questions of value, justice, responsibility, and the moral life, and to explore philosophical treatments of ethics that are foundational for the critical discussion of ethical issues in other fields. Students can choose from courses in ethical and political theory, courses in applied and practical ethics, and courses on specialized topics such as liberty, neuroethics, and philosophy of law. The minor is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in ethics, along with skills in reasoning, analysis, and the critical evaluation of ethical and philosophical issues, positions, and arguments.

The Minor in Ethics may be easily combined with majors or minors in other disciplines (such as Economics, Environmental Studies, Human Rights, Political Science, Public Policy, and Women’s and Gender Studies), as many courses may be counted toward multiple majors or minors.


The Minor in Ethics requires at least 15 semester hours of coursework, including at least four courses (12 hours) in philosophical ethics. Three of the required courses in philosophical ethics (9 hours) must come from the department’s advanced sequence in ethics (PHIL 3370–3389), and the fourth (3 hours) must come from that same sequence or from the department’s introductory sequence in ethics (PHIL 1316–1325). Upon petition to the Chair of the Department, other philosophy courses—including Advanced Topics in Philosophy (PHIL 3310) and Independent Study and Research (PHIL 4393 or 4394)—may fulfill the foregoing requirements provided their topics and contents are suitable. The remaining course (3 hours) must come from the department’s ethics courses, the department’s non-ethics courses, or a list of approved courses offered by other departments.

It is recommended that each student minoring in ethics take one course from the department’s introductory sequence in ethics (PHIL 1316–1325), along with at least one course in ethical theory (PHIL 1316, 3371, 3372, 3380).

Courses in Ethics

Four courses from the following list, with at least 9 hours at the 3000-level or above.

PHIL 1316 – Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 1317 – Business Ethics
PHIL 1318 – Contemporary Moral Problems
PHIL 1319 – Technology, Society & Value
PHIL 3371 – Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 3372 – Liberty
PHIL 3373 – Philosophy of Criminal Law
PHIL 3374 – Philosophy of Law
PHIL 3375 – Topics in Moral Philosophy
PHIL 3376 – Bioethics
PHIL 3377 – Animal Rights
PHIL 3379 – Environmental Ethics
PHIL 3380 – Ethics: Morality, Self-Interest, and Justice (formerly Ethical Theory)
PHIL 3381 – Neuroethics

Approved Courses in Other Departments

ADV     2302 – Advertising, Society & Ethics
ANTH   2380 – Cultures at Risk: Human Rights and Heritage Today
CCPA    2328 – Communication Ethics
HRTS    3301/HIST 3301 – Human Rights: America's Dilemma
JOUR    2302 – Ethics of Convergent Media
PLSC    4371 – Ethics and the Law*
RELI     3309 – Bioethics from a Christian Perspective
RELI     3389 – Living From the Heart (Of It All)
SOCI     4373 – Class, Race, and Gender Inequalities

*Students may not count both PHIL 1318 and PLSC 4371 toward the minor in ethics.