Applied Ethics and Philosophy: Put Your Thinking and Values to Work

Wilson’s program in applied ethics helps you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to put your thinking and values to work in business, law, government, science and more.

Critical and creative ethical thinking is important in every job and discipline. The applied ethics program fosters critical and creative thinking by practicing it – teaching skills of talking, compromising, and imagining alternatives to “business as usual.” The program is interdisciplinary too: it enhances your imagination by asking you to approach ethical issues from multiple angles and disciplines, including aesthetics, religion, sociology, political science, and global and environmental studies.

With only ten course requirements, Applied Ethics is small enough to be a great second major. It’s an excellent resume builder for students in business, pre-law, pre-med, nursing, or any number of other professional tracks.

Applied Ethics/Philosophy course tracks

  • Applied Ethics major
  • Philosophy minor
  • Applied Ethics minor

Featured Course

PHI 121 Ethics: Offered every spring, this course invites you to explore ethics, not so much as a system of rules, much less a practice of moral condemnation, but instead as thoughtful decision-making aimed at your own good and the good of others. The course treats a number of ethical issues, from global poverty and the right to die to vegetarianism and the obligations children have to their parents. The first half of the course teaches you the vocabulary of ethical thinking; the second half puts that vocabulary to work, by practicing the problem-solving skills central to an ethical life. [This course is required for the Applied Ethics major.]


Spotlight on Student Work

"The present is not hard for me, except on the days that my mother asks me, 'Why do the bad things always happen to the good people?' Or some days, like yesterday, when for the first time in my life I heard my mother admit she will be wheelchair bound. The future is the hardest.”

- A Wilson student reflects on the meaning of suffering. Read full article.