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Option in Practical Ethics and Society

Beginning in fall 2019, the Department of Philosophy is pleased to offer an Option in Practical Ethics and Society. This provides the opportunity for students who are not majoring in Philosophy to engage with many of the core ideas and issues surrounding the application of ethical thought and concepts to real-world issues and problems.

About the Practical Ethics and Society Option

The Option in Practical Ethics and Society provides you with the theoretical grounding and practical skills needed for in-depth engagement with ethical and social concerns. Emphasis is on developing the critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities crucial to examining the norms that guide our decisions and actions at all levels: individual, communal, and global.

You will engage in the analysis and critique of various approaches to ethical and social issues. In addition, you will have the opportunity to focus on specific practical issues in areas such as:

  • business
  • the law
  • health and medicine
  • the environment
  • politics
  • human rights

The knowledge gained can be leveraged in both the personal and the professional arena; this option fosters the enhancement of individual consciousness of the values and norms that shape our world, and it provides skills and understanding that can be applied in many practical spheres, including professional, decision-making, public policy, and social activism.


This option is open to all non-majors in Philosophy. A GPA minimum of 6 overall at the end of year 1, 2, or 3 is required for entrance into the option. Available courses and requirements are listed on our Program Requirements page.


Address any questions to Undergraduate Advisor Gary Foster at