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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Honors in Ethics in Society

The honors program in Ethics in Society is open to majors in every field and must be taken in addition to a department major. Students should apply for entry at the end of Spring Quarter of the sophomore year or no later than the beginning of Autumn Quarter of the junior year. Applicants should have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 (B+) or higher. They should also maintain this minimum average in the courses taken to satisfy the requirements. Required courses must be taken for a letter grade.


  1. Required courses (at least one of a or b must be taken at the 100 level):
    1. ETHICSOC 20. Introduction to Moral Theory; or ETHICSOC 170. Ethical Theory. Normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
    2. ETHICSOC 30. Introduction to Political Philosophy; or ETHICSOC 171. Justice. Normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
  2. Two 4- or 5-unit undergraduate courses, listed below, on a subject approved by the honors adviser, designed to encourage students to explore those issues in Ethics in Society that are of particular interest to them. Courses of relevance to the Program in Ethics in Society are offered by affiliated faculty members and by other departments. Students may also take a course with the honors thesis in mind. To promote a broad interdisciplinary approach, this elective should normally be outside the Department of Philosophy. Students are not restricted to choosing from the courses listed below.
  3. ETHICSOC 190. Honors Seminar.
  4. ETHICSOC 200A,B. Honors Thesis. On a subject approved by the honors adviser, with the work spread over two quarters. To receive honors in Ethics in Society, students must receive a grade of 'B+' on their thesis.

Typically, a student takes ETHICSOC 20 or 170 and 30 or 171 by the end of the sophomore year. Upon admission to the honors program as a junior, a student takes ETHICSOC 190 in Winter Quarter and requirement 2 (the optional subjects) at any time during the junior year, or possibly Autumn Quarter of the senior year. The honors thesis is normally written during Autumn and Winter quarters of the senior year. Exceptions to this must be approved by the faculty director. Courses taken to fulfill the Ethics in Society honors requirement may be double-counted for Philosophy and other majors; Ethics in Society minors may not double count courses.

The following courses may be used to fulfill requirement 2. The faculty director may approve additional courses by petition.

ANTHRO 90A. History of Archaeological Thought (same as ARCHLGY 103)

ANTHRO 90B. Theory of Cultural and Social Anthropology

ANTHRO 139/239. Ethnography of Africa

ANTHRO 179. Cultures of Disease: Cancer

ANTHRO 185A. Race and Biomedicine (same as ASNAMST 185A)

ANTHRO 326B. Conduct and Misconduct in Science

ARCHLGY 105A/305A. Cultural Property and Global Heritage

BIOMEDIN 109Q. Genomics: A Technical and Cultural Revolution (same as GENE 109Q)

CLASSGEN 48. Becoming Like God: An Introduction to Greek Ethical Philosophy

CLASSGEN 81. Philosophy and Literature (same as COMPLIT 181, ENGLISH 81, FRENGEN 181, GERGEN 181, HUMNTIES 181, ITALGEN 181, PHIL 81, SLAVGEN 181)

CLASSGEN 94. Ethics of Pleasure

CLASSHIS 132. Ethics of Political Animals (same as POLISCI 132)

COMM 131/231. Media Ethics and Responsibility

COMM 236G/336G. Democracy, Justice, and Deliberation

COMM 238/338. Democratic Theory: Normative and Empirical Issues

COMPLIT 226. Narrative and Ethics (same as GERLIT 242)

CS 181. Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy

ECON 143. Ethics in Economics Policy

ECON 224. Science, Technology, and Economic Growth

EDUC 137X/237X. Social Justice in Education

EDUC 165/265. History of Higher Education in the U.S. (same as HISTORY 158C)

EDUC 167. Educating for Equity and Democracy

EDUC 179B/279B. Youth Empowerment and Civic Engagement

EDUC 201. History of Education in the United States (same as HISTORY 158B)

EDUC 216X. Education, Race, and Inequality in African American History (same as HISTORY 255E)

EDUC 220C. Education and Society (same as SOC 130/230)

EDUC 247. Moral Education

EDUC 304. The Philosophical and Educational Thought of John Dewey (same as PHIL 242)

ETHICSOC 136R. Introduction to Global Justice (same as INTNLREL 136R, PHIL 76, POLISCI 136R/336)

HISTORY 209B/309B. The Century: Problem of the Present in Twentieth Century Thought

HISTORY 209C. Liberalism and Violence: A Conceptual History

HISTORY 236. The Ethics of Imperialism

HISTORY 243G/343G. Tobacco and Health in World History

HISTORY 259A,B. Poverty and Homelessness in America I,II

HUMBIO 122S. Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health

HUMBIO 174. Foundations of Bioethics

HUMNTIES 197F. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophical, Social, and Ethical Thought (same as SLAVGEN 190/290)

IPS 241. International Security in a Changing World (same as POLISCI 114S)

MED 83Q. Ethical, Legal, and Social Dimensions of Stem Cell Research

MS&E 254. The Ethical Analyst

PHIL 174/274. Freedom and the Practical Standpoint

POLISCI 1. Introduction to International Relations

POLISCI 123. Politics and Public Policy (same as PUBLPOL 101/201)

POLISCI 130B/330B. History of Political Thought II: Early Modern Political Thought, 1500-1700

POLISCI 130C/330C. History of Political Thought III: Freedom, Reason, and Power

POLISCI 231S. Contemporary Theories of Justice

POLISCI 236. Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector

PSYCH 179/270. The Psychology of Everyday Morality

PUBLPOL 164. Comparative Public Policy

PUBLPOL 180. Social Innovation

PUBLPOL 183. Philanthropy and Social Innovation

RELIGST 7N. The Divine Good: Secular Ethics and Its Discontents

URBANST 131. Social Innovation and the Social Entrepreneur

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