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Ethics and Technology Minor

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The Ethics and Technology Minor exposes students to the moral complexity of new and emerging technological developments in our society, and encourages them to think critically about their impact on our shared future.

Topics that may be explored in a course of study include: algorithmic bias, data privacy, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, genetic engineering, biotechnology, entrepreneurial decision making, and more. More broadly, the Ethics and Technology Minor advances one of Stanford's long-range efforts to address the ethical implications and societal consequences of technological and scientific advances.
The Ethics and Technology Minor combines foundational courses in ethical reasoning with a diverse set of interdisciplinary courses from across the university, allowing students significant choice in tailoring their program to suit their interests.  For instance, a student with primary interests in data science could have the flexibility to choose up to three different courses in their focused area to supplement the foundational requirements.
A minor in Ethics in Society requires six courses for a minimum of 25 units.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Courses credited to the Ethics in Society minor may not be double-counted toward major requirements.*
*Exception:  Majors in the Engineering School may double-count CS 182/CS 182W for their Technology in Society requirement.


The requirements for the Ethics and Technology Minor are outlined below:

Three Foundational Courses

  1. CS 182 or CS 182W / ETHICSOC 182 (Ethics, Public Policy, and Technological Change) – 5 units*
  2. ETHICSOC 20 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy) or ETHICSOC 171 (Justice) – 4-5 units
  3. One ETHICSOC elective at the 100-level or above – 4-5 units

*Note:  CS 182 was previously listed as CS 181 in Winter 2018.

Three Ethics and Technology Electives

Students are required to supplement the foundational courses with three additional electives from the list below.  These courses cover various topics in technology, human values, and social innovation from an interdisciplinary perspective and are drawn from across the university.  The list is updated regularly and students are invited to petition the program director to add a course that is not currently listed and coheres with the aims of the minor.
The list below only displays recent offerings.  For a full list of eligible courses, please visit this page.
For previous Ethics and Technology offerings, click here.

Courses must be 3 units or more to fulfill minor requirement.


Eligible Courses

Title Instructor(s) Quarter Day, Time, Location
BIOE 122
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response (EMED 122, EMED 222, PUBLPOL 122, PUBLPOL 222)
Trounce, M., Karr, M. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday
3:30pm - 5:20pm
Li Ka Shing Center, room 130
COMM 124
Lies, Trust, and Tech (COMM 224)
Hancock, J., Mieczkowski, H., Huang, S., Chen, C. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Hewlett Teaching Center 201
CS 22A
The Social & Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence (INTLPOL 200)
Kaplan, J. 2019-2020 Winter
1:30pm - 2:50pm
CS 80Q
Race and Gender in Silicon Valley (AFRICAAM 80Q)
Lee, C. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
CS 181
Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy
Briggs, R., Winstein, K. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Hewlett Teaching Center 200
CS 184
Bridging Policy and Tech Through Design (PUBLPOL 170)
Ullman, J. 2019-2020 Spring
4:30pm - 5:50pm
ENGR 148
Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions (ENGR 248)
Fuchs, J., Bumm, S., Brown, A. 2019-2020 Winter
4:30pm - 7:20pm
Ethics in Bioengineering (BIOE 131)
Altman, R., Magnus, D., Trotsyuk, A., Yang, L., Huang, C., Ruiz, C., Carlson, M., Fan, Y. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
4:30pm - 5:50pm
Introduction to Environmental Ethics (ETHICSOC 278M, PHIL 178M, PHIL 278M, POLISCI 134L)
Adams, M. 2019-2020 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Lathrop 180
Law and the Biosciences
Greely, H. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Tuesday
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Foundations of Bioethics
Magnus, D., Achepohl, G., Cvitanovic, M. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
Politics of Data: Algorithmic Culture, Big Data, and Information Waste
Edwards, P. 2019-2020 Spring
Monday Wednesday
3:00pm - 4:20pm
Encina West 101
MS&E 234
Data Privacy and Ethics
Ugander, J., Overgoor, J. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
MS&E 254
The Ethical Analyst
Kharitonov, D., Ostberg, C., Nesbitt, D. 2019-2020 Spring
3:00pm - 5:50pm
Huang Engineering Center 18
Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Etchemendy, J. 2019-2020 Winter
Tuesday Thursday
1:30pm - 2:50pm
International Security in a Changing World (INTLPOL 241)
Trinkunas, H., Felter, J., Matchett, L., Bernhardt, J., Hedgecock, K., Waldie, B., Chen, A., Sagan, S. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday Friday
9:30am - 10:20am
Gates B1
PSYC 240
Designing for the 2 Billion: Leading Innovation in Mental Health
Chan, S., Vasan, N., Aragam, G., Sole, J., Chaudhary, N. 2019-2020 Winter
4:30pm - 6:20pm
Ethics of Truth in a Post-Truth World (PUBLPOL 203F)
Liautaud, S. 2019-2020 Spring
1:30pm - 4:20pm
Ethics on the Edge Public Policy Core Seminar (PUBLPOL 203E)
Liautaud, S. 2019-2020 Spring
1:30pm - 2:50pm
Econ 139
Ethics on the Edge: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, Government, and Individuals (PUBLPOL 234)
Zabel, J., Dixon, K., Liautaud, S. 2019-2020 Spring
4:30pm - 6:20pm
Lathrop 282
The Public Life of Science and Technology (CSRE 1T)
Johnson, C., Bykowski, M., Martinez, N., Kerr, E., Reza, C., Taube, J., Biernacki, P., Edwards, P. 2019-2020 Winter
Monday Wednesday
11:30am - 12:20pm
STS 190
Issues in Technology and the Environment
Sato, K. 2019-2020 Spring
Tuesday Thursday
10:30am - 11:50am