Ethics Minor

The Ethics Minor is a philosophy-based minor that is administered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Since ethical issues are addressed across the curriculum, appropriate courses in other disciplines can also count toward the minor.

Ethical issues are important to many human activities, fields of inquiry, and professions.  Indeed, one of the Student Learning Outcomes of Butler University is that “students will make informed, rational and ethical choices.” Knowledge of ethics will be beneficial to students as a complement to their major in many different areas, to their post-bachelor education (law, medicine, political science, etc.), to their careers (government, business, etc.), and, more broadly, to finding their way in life.

Students are advised to create a thematic unity in their course selection, in consultation with the program director or other faculty connected to the Ethics Minor. For advising, or more information, contact the Ethics minor director, Lavender McKittrick-Sweizter ( or Kyle Furlane (

Basic Requirements

The Ethics Minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours, including at least 12 hours in Philosophy (PL), with a minimum of 9 hours at the 300 or 400 level.  Students are advised to create thematic unity in their course selection, in consultation with the program director or other faculty connected to the Ethics Minor. Philosophy majors or minors may not declare an ethics minor.

Ethical Foundations – 3 credit hours required:

  • TI 244-PL, Ethics, the Good Life, and Society
  • PL 360, Ethics

Normative Theorizing – 6 credit hours required; at least 3 credit hours on the 300-or 400-level:

  • PL 245, Classics of Social and Political Philosophy
  • PL 344, Philosophy of Law
  • PL 345, Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
  • PL 348, Philosophy of Feminism
  • PL 350, Philosophy of Race
  • PL 364, Ethics and International relations
  • PL 380, Topics in Ethics
  • PL 403, Independent Study with Research Paper in Ethics

Applying Normative Theory – 3 credit hours required:

  • TI 240-PL, Ethics of War and Peace
  • TI 242-PL, Marginalized in America
  • PL 363, Biomedical Ethics
  • PL 365, Environmental Ethics
  • PL 380, Topics in Ethics
  • PL 403, Independent Study with research paper in Applied Ethics
  • PL 407, Internship in Ethics
  • LE 264, Business Ethics
  • PX 325, Ethical Issues in Health Care
  • BSHS 360, Healthcare Ethics
  • ORG 358, Communication and Social Responsibility
  • JR 420, Media Ethics
  • CS 485, Computer Ethics (1 credit hour)
  • DD 262ME/DD262EEN, Design, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship (2 credit hours)
  • DD 401ME/DD 401ECE, Engineering Ethics and Professionalism (1 credit hour)
  • DD 404BME, Ethics for Biomedical Engineers (1 credit hour)

Electives – 6 credit hours required (any courses listed above may qualify):

  • ART 320, Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Art
  • ART 352, Nature’s Nation: Art, Environment, and Sustainability
  • CLA 324, Law and Orator: A Study of Ancient Law Through Legal Speeches
  • RGSS 201, Intersections of Identity
  • RGSS 202, Resistance for Social Change
  • HST 305, Topics in History (at program director’s discretion)
  • LE 263, Legal Environment of Business
  • PO 220, Community Mediation
  • PO 354, Environmental Justice
  • PO 372, Role of Protest in U.S. Politics
  • PO 377, Constitutional Law
  • RL 341, Islam, Gender, and Sexuality
  • RL 359, Race and Religion in America
  • RL 363, Religion, Politics, and Conflict in South Asia
  • RL 382, Liberation Theologies
  • RL 384, Ecotheology
  • RL 387, Evil in Christian and Jewish Thought
  • SO 205, Contemporary Social Issues
  • SO 317, Gender and Society
  • SO 323, Racial and Ethnic Relations
  • SO 325, Class, Status, and Power
  • SO 334, Immigration
  • SO 347, Urban Community
  • SO 349, Social Movements
  • SW 270-IS, Understanding Global Issues


  • The program director may approve additional courses as electives, on a semester-by-semester basis.
  • No more than 6 credit hours of the Ethics Minor may be “double-counted” toward any other minor or major.

Stuart Glennan, Professor of Philosophy

Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Corey Reed, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Kyle  Furlane, Instructor of Philosophy

Students are encouraged to participate in the annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, attend ethics talks sponsored by the Ethics Minor or other programs, and attend the meetings of the Philosophy Club. Students also have the option to do an internship with an ethical focus or to pursue an independent study with research in moral theory or applied ethics.