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Bulletin Archive

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.

Minor in Ethics in Society

The Ethics in Society minor is open to students in any department who wish to explore moral issues in personal and public life. The minor also includes the possibility of pursuing classes around the theme of citizenship.

Students must declare the minor in Axess no later than the last day of Autumn Quarter of their senior year, although they are strongly advised to declare sooner. The student should discuss the minor with an adviser and prepare a draft proposal that includes a list of courses planned to fulfill the requirements and the name of the faculty adviser.

A minor in Ethics in Society requires six courses for a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 30 units. Required courses must be taken for a letter grade.


  1. Two Ethics in Society courses:
    1. ETHICSOC 20, Introduction to Moral Theory; or ETHICSOC 170, Ethical Theory
    2. ETHICSOC 30, Introduction to Political Philosophy; or ETHICSOC 171, Justice
  2. Three courses at the 100 level or above that address some dimension of moral or political theory or practice.*
  3. One course at the 200 level or above that addresses a moral or political problem, in either theory or practice.*

See the course list in the "Honors in Ethics and Society" section of this bulletin for courses that fulfill requirements 2 and 3. The program director can approve additional courses.

The 100-level and 200-level courses should be focused around a central theme such as biomedical ethics, ethics and economics, ethics and politics, or environmental ethics. The courses at the 100 and 200 level are normally taken after completion of ETHICSOC 20 or 170 and 30 or 171.

Subject to the approval of the Director of the Ethics in Society Program, a course covering similar subject matter in another department or program may be substituted for ETHICSOC 20/170 or 30/171. No course credited to the Ethics in Society minor may be double-counted toward major requirements.

Citizenship Option

The citizenship option for the minor introduces students to the theory, history, and practice of citizenship in democracies. When a student declares the minor in EIS in Axess, no notation is made of the citizenship option, and this notation does not appear on transcripts or the diploma. All students taking the citizenship option must take ETHICSOC 198, Community Engagement Internship. In addition to the courses listed in (1) above, students must take a total of three additional classes from two of the following categories. Students may petition to have other relevant courses counted towards the minor.

  1. Citizenship and Government Action
    1. ETHICSOC 133. Ethics and Politics of Public Service
    2. POLISCI 142T. Social Protection Around the World
    3. PUBLPOL 101. Politics and Public Policy
    4. PUBLPOL 164. Comparative Public Policy
  2. Citizenship and Entrepreneurship
    1. ETHICSOC 108. Ethics and the Professions
    2. ME 206A. Entrepreneurial Design to Extreme Affordability
    3. PUBLPOL 180. Social Innovation
    4. PUBLPOL 195. Business and Public Policy
    5. URBANST 131. Social Innovation and the Social Entrepreneur
  3. Citizenship and Education
    1. EDUC 167. Educating for Equity and Democracy
    2. EDUC 179B. Youth Empowerment and Civic Engagement
    3. EDUC 220C. Education and Society
    4. EDUC 247. Moral Education
    5. EDUC 304. The Philosophical and Educational Thought of John Dewey
  4. Global Citizenship and Nongovernmental Organizations
    1. POLISCI 143. Nongovernmental Organizations and Development in Poor Countries
    2. POLISCI 236. Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector
    3. PUBLPOL 183. Philanthropy and Social Innovation

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