Ethics are key to understanding some of the most challenging and controversial social problems of the 21st century. In UMW’s minor program in practical ethics, you’ll explore the fundamental theories, concepts, and methodologies of ethics; ways of identifying and analyzing contemporary moral issues; and how theory and practice inform one another. How do you feel about reproductive technologies, euthanasia, the treatment of animals, sustainability? Question your own beliefs, and learn how reason and argument affect everyday ethical decision-making.
Areas of Study
UMW’s practical ethics minor is wrapped around a core of philosophy courses, including practical, medical, and environmental ethics; social and political philosophy; and introduction to feminism. Participants must also choose classes from a variety of disciplines, including education, geography, and sociology. Courses include business and computer ethics, global environmental problems, medical sociology, and many more.
Able to identify ethical issues and evaluate ethical arguments, practical ethics minors catch the attention of employers and grad schools. A background in practical ethics can be useful in any field, particularly law, business, medicine, ecological and resource science, and government or community work.
Undergraduates have opportunities to complete research and present at conferences, making valuable contacts for the professional world.
Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.2, and at least 3.5 in philosophy, are eligible for Honors. To achieve the distinction, a student must take Research in Philosophy (PHIL 485) during their senior year, producing and defending a substantial written thesis.
UMW’s practical ethics minor requires at least 18 credit hours, including at least three philosophical ethics courses and at least three additional courses in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, education, geography, religion, and sociology. At least three courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.