Ethics program

Undergrad minor

Learn to make well-grounded and informed ethical decisions

We encounter ethical questions every day on topics such as the environment, capital punishment or animal rights. All students, no matter what field they choose, will face difficult ethical dilemmas in their career and personal life, and an understanding of ethics will help you navigate them.

UW-La Crosse's Ethics Minor is a suitable accompaniment to any major. Students will learn to recognize the morally-relevant features of ethically problematic situations, identify the pertinent ethical factors that must be considered, determine which morally-responsible decisions to make, and provide coherent defenses of their moral choices by identifying and adequately addressing the relevant moral objections they are likely to face.

Careers for ethics minors

While some specific career fields are directly served by the study of ethics, an ethics minor can complement any field. The minor is directly relevant for students in the natural and social sciences, allied health, business, sports science, education and the humanities.

What distinguishes UWL's Ethics Program?

Internship opportunities

There is increasing availability of internships in applied ethics. For example, students may find internships focused on bioethics.

Applicable to your future

Ethics is an asset in your personal life or career. Employers regularly articulate they would like employees who have a demonstrable understanding of ethics. Also, being well grounded in ethics makes one a better citizen.

Fulfills a contemporary need

Recent National Survey of Student Engagement data gathered from UWL first-year and senior students completing the exit survey demonstrates that they would like to have a better understanding of ethics.

Community engagement

Some courses require engagement in a service learning project where students apply what they have learned in the classroom to the community setting.

Open to all students

Ethics minor is open to students in all colleges and programs except the philosophy major.

Sample courses

PHL 201 Ethical Theory and Practice This course is an exploration of philosophical ethics with attention paid to the philosophical methods of analysis and argumentation used to drive and evaluate moral theories and judgments. Topics may include the nature of moral truth (e.g., absolute truth, relativism, pluralism), prominent moral theories (e.g., virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism), important figures from the history of philosophy (e.g., Aristotle, Kant, J.S. Mill), an examination into the nature of virtues and values, principles of right action, and character. Contemporary moral problems will help elucidate each of the theoretical positions. Offered Annually.

PHL 303 Ethics and Meta-Ethics: Theory, Justification, and Objectivity This course is an examination of classic and contemporary issues in the field of meta-ethics. Topics include addressing questions concerning the meaning of moral claims and principles, moral objectivity, moral psychology and motivation, moral disagreement, the nature of moral knowledge and justification, and the nature of moral reasons. Offered Fall.