Ethics (minor)

The ethics minor engages students through the study of ethical theory and moral issues; the development of critical thinking and reflection skills; application in their major areas of study; and through service. The minor is designed to enhance any student’s education by enriching awareness of ethical issues, developing abilities to reflect critically and by connecting awareness and reflection to opportunities for action.

The minor is interdisciplinary in nature and design, and combines both traditional study with opportunities for experiential learning. 

Why Consider an Ethics Minor?

The minor is designed to complement your particular major.

Almost all the disciplines we teach have ethical components. Some of them are built into the professions represented (Psychology); some of them are reflective of the trends in contemporary America (Medical Ethics); some of them are the result of long-term reflection on the institutions that direct our culture (economic or political, for example); some reflect on culture and character (art, literature). The Ethics minor enriches your major by helping you to develop the tools to identify and analyze constructively the ethical themes and teaches you how to think about ethics.

While the major defines the subject, the Ethics minor helps ask the next question: "Given the parameters of this discipline, how should I live?  How should I act in my world?"

The minor incorporates experiential learning in the form of service learning.

Turn an internship or community service semester into a reflection on ethics by being intentional about critically observing while serving.

The minor allows you to engage in the learning that comes from both on and off campus.

Your capstone ethics experience can be built into a semester abroad, a study-abroad class or an off-campus internship connected to your major or career interest.

The minor is part of good preparation for responsible citizenship.

How will you become part of the constructive process of change in our society through the work that you choose to do? The minor is designed to help you, as Barry Lopez tells us, decide who you are and what there is in life for you to do.

Ethical thought and action are more necessary than ever.

While Ethics has been around for thousands of years, it is more essential than ever in an age of light-speed technological change, commercialism and global challenges.


The minor consists of at least 20 credit hours and meets each of the following requirements:

  • ETH 272: Ethical Thinking (4 credits)
  • INTD 396: Engaged Citizenship (3 credits)
  • One course in Ethical Theory and Methods: (PHIL 118, 119, 219, 270, 271; RELG 224, 262, 313) (3 or 4 credits)
  • One course in Applied Ethics: At least one course in applied ethics approved by a faculty advisor in ethics. Typically these would include courses approved for the ES core curriculum designation. Where an approved course exists in the student's major, that is encouraged. (3 or 4 credits)
  • Electives: Any remaining hours can be met through any ES or service-learning course in consultation with a faculty advisor in ethics.
  • Experiential Learning: A significant service-learning experience, approved by contract with a faculty advisor in ethics, in which ethical analysis and reflection on the experience are integrated. It is often desirable for the student to obtain this experience in a way that is connected with the student's major. This can also be satisfied through suitable summer internships. (variable credit hours 1-4 credits).
  • Capstone: Each student must integrate his/her study of ethics through a reflective essay, usually in conjunction with the experiential learning requirement, or an additional integrative research project. These capstones are presented publicly during the student's senior year (1 credit hour).

Please contact Colin Anderson for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 330.569.5145

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