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General Minor

The Minor in Ethics in Society is open to students from any major who wish to explore the ethical dimensions of urgent challenges facing our society today.

image of three students posing for photograph
Photography by: Christine Baker

Whether it is the fairness of immigration policies, the social consequences of climate change, or the moral challenges that homelessness poses for a just society, a Minor in Ethics in Society can help students acquire the tools needed to arrive at well-reasoned and well-informed positions on a wide variety of controversial topics. 

Through coursework in the Minor, students are challenged to build a more robust philosophical foundation for thinking about practical ethical issues than what is typically provided by their major.

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 towards major requirements.

Course Requirements:

Foundational Courses

ETHICSOC Electives

  • Two ETHICSOC courses at the 100-level or above relating to theme of minor (8-10 units)

University-Wide Electives

  • Two courses at the 100-level or above that address moral or political problems, in either theory or practice, relating to the student's chosen theme of the minor. These may be further ETHICSOC offerings OR courses with substantial ethical content taken in other departments of the university. The latter require approval from program faculty/staff.* (8-10 units)

The electives selected by the student should be focused around a central theme such as environmental ethics, ethics and politics, ethics and economics, or a theme approved by the faculty director. Electives are normally taken after completion of the Foundational Courses.

* To request approval for counting a non-ETHICSOC course towards your minor, please contact the Student Programming Administrator for further instruction.

Application Process:

  1. Meet with the Program Administrator to review application requirements and program expectations
  2. Fill out and submit the EiS Minor Application Form
    1. To submit the application form, you will also need to provide the following materials listed below. You will need to compile the below documents into a single folder, and provide us with the link to access the folder and download the form/materials when filling out the application form.
      1. Download and fill in the appropriate Course Planning spreadsheet.
        1. Note: You will need to make sure you're signed into Google Drive with your Stanford email.
      2. Attach a one page narrative describing the central organizing theme of your minor
      3. Sign the final page of the EiS Minors Guide (provided to you after your meeting with the Program Administrator)
  3. The Program Administrator will review your application, and inform you of your approval. 
  4. Upon receiving approval from the Program Administrator, you can officially declare the minor via Axess. Do NOT submit your minor declaration via Axess without prior confirmation/approval from the Program Administrator. 

Deadline: There are no specific deadlines for students to apply for the EiS Minor. However, we request that students apply before the quarter that they are planning to graduate

Click here to view/submit the EiS Minor Application.

Please send any questions to Student Programming Administrator, Gillyn Maung at gmaung [at] (gmaung[at]stanford[dot]edu).  Please note that submitting an application and receiving confirmation/approval is required before declaring the minor in Axess.