Practical Ethics Minor

Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Department Faculty

Jason Matzke, Program Coordinator

Ethical questions arise in every area of human activity and in every academic major and field. Understanding and using ethical theory and concepts to inform practical issues (and vice versa) is valuable for professional and personal development in a complex and diverse world. The Practical Ethics Minor is designed to give students an understanding of the fundamental theories, concepts, and methodologies of ethics; to provide practice in identifying and analyzing contemporary moral issues; and to help students better comprehend how theory and practice inform one another. Students can study a number of ethical issues across many areas including the environment, medicine, law, business, technologies, and everyday life. Topics include reproductive technologies, euthanasia, the treatment of animals, informed consent, hate speech, pornography, the relation between ethics and law, the value of species and ecosystems, and sustainability. Students who do research or internships in ethics for course credit in any major or field of study can apply for this credit to be used also toward the Practical Ethics Minor. Examples might include courses not on the pre-approved list, URES, independent study, a senior thesis, or an internship. Students are encouraged to seek service learning and guided research opportunities, both for credit or non-credit. The Practical Ethics Minor will be of particular value to students going on to graduate and professional studies in law, business, medicine, and the environment, and to those pursuing careers in government or other forms of service in the community.

Requirements for the Practical Ethics Minor

Eighteen (18) credit hours to include a minimum of three courses from the philosophical ethics offerings (Group I), and three additional courses from the remainder of Group I and/or from Group II.  At least three of the total courses must be at the 300-400 level.

Students who do research or other work for credit in ethics in any major or field of study – e.g., through URES, independent study, or internship – may use those credits for the minor with approval by the coordinator of the Practical Ethics Minor. Students are encouraged to contact the Center for Community Engagement for potential service learning opportunities.

Group I: PHIL 160, 225, 226, 330, 335, and 430.

Three additional courses taken either from Group I above or from Group II below.

Group II: ANTH 211, 212, 365; BIOL 428; BUAD 464; CPSC 302; EDUC 303, 387, and 420; EESC 230, 326, 330, 355; GEOG 331, 332, 337, 338, and 339; HISP 208; HIST 322; PHIL 100, 210, 220, 320, and 325; RELG 231, 298; SOCG 315, 334, 335, 354, and 404; WGST 102, 102.

Course Descriptions for Disciplines in the Minor:

Anthropology (ANTH)

Business Administration (BUAD)

Computer Science (CPSC)

Education (EDUC)

Environmental Science (EESC)

Geography (GEOG)

Historic Preservation (HISP)

Philosophy (PHIL)

Religious Studies (RELG)

Sociology (SOCG)