Bioethics Minor

Bioethics is the study of ethical issues related to medicine and the biological sciences. Students study a range of ethical issues such as:

  • Patients’ rights: informed consent, confidentiality, right to refuse treatment -Bias and inequality in health care such as racial bias and weight bias
  • The patient/provider relationship
  • Reproductive ethics: abortion, surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization
  • Research ethics: informed consent, risk/benefit ratio, scientific validity, societal value
  • Disability: defining disability, accessibility, public policy, disability in education
  • Environmental ethics: sustainability, moral considerability of animals and ecosystems
  • Cloning, ectogenesis, stem cell research
  • Death and dying: euthanasia, advanced directives, hospice, palliative care

Students pursuing careers in health care, human services, or the biological sciences benefit from the study of ethical issues that they may encounter in their future careers. This minor may be particularly interesting and useful for students in nursing, the allied health sciences, psychology, social work, mental health counseling, speech pathology, biology, and music therapy. Studying bioethics is useful for future job prospects as employers are drawn to students who have studied ethics. There is a growing professional demand for individuals to serve on hospital ethics committees and work as clinical ethicists, human subject protection specialists, compliance specialists, and ethics managers.

This minor is also beneficial for philosophy students who may want to pursue graduate study in applied philosophy rather than historical philosophy.

Required courses


3 Courses: (PHI or ETH taught by philosophy professor)

1. ETH 2880  Introduction to Bioethics

2. ETH 3880 Advanced Bioethics (Prerequisite: 2880 Introduction to Bioethics) or ETH 3900H Bioethics in the Contemporary World

3. PHI 102 Critical Thinking

3 Electives: (Choose from)

ETH 2500 Ethical Theory and Practice or ETH 2800H Ethics in the Contemporary World

ETH 2550 Environmental Ethics

ETH 2540 Ethics, Justice and Society

ETH 2520 Sexual Ethics

ETH 2790 Religion and Global Moral Issues

ETH 2890 Ethics and Disability

Minimum credits:


Up to (2) electives may be substituted with approved classes from Nursing, Social Work, Psychology, Speech Pathology, Biology, Theology or other related fields. Students should discuss with faculty in the philosophy department and participating department about approving a course from a related field. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Kimberly Engels at
Dr. Engels's bio.

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Jodi Evans, Ph.D
Biology Chair
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