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Application and Requirements

Program Requirements and How to Apply

Students interested in writing a senior honors thesis in Ethics in Society should contact the program coordinator before their junior year to discuss the application process. The Program is open to students in any major with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Students should maintain this minimum average in the courses taken to satisfy the program requirements. Courses taken to satisfy the program requirements may be double counted towards major requirements.


  • Two core courses: ETHICSOC 171 (PHIL 171) “Justice” AND either ETHICSOC 20 (PHIL 2) “Introduction to Moral Philosophy” or ETHICSOC 170 (PHIL 170) “Ethical Theory.” Students should aim to complete these core courses (with B+ or higher grade) prior to the winter quarter of the junior year.
  • ETHICSOC 190 (PHIL 178) “Honors Seminar in Ethics in Society.” This course is open only to students in the Program and is to be taken during the winter quarter of the junior year.
  • Two specialization courses (4 or 5 units) related to the thesis topic. These courses may be completed anytime, even before acceptance into the program.
  • Enroll in ETHICSOC 200A, ETHICSOC 200B, and ETHICSOC 200C  thesis writing units (10 units total) during the senior year.

Students also complete preliminary and final thesis presentations and an oral examination after submission of the thesis. To receive honors, students must earn a grade of B+ or higher on the completed thesis.

Application Process

  1. Take "Justice" and "Introduction to Moral Philosophy" or "Ethical Theory."
  2. Contact to the Program Coordinator about your interest in writing an honors thesis and obtain an application form, ideally before the start of your junior year.
  3. Meet with the Program Faculty Director to discuss your interests and potential topic.
  4. Submit the application form, thesis proposal, unofficial transcript, and writing sample. You may apply anytime before the application deadline in mid-October. You must be accepted into the Program before you can enroll in the honors seminar (winter quarter of your junior year).

The 2020-2021 application deadline has been extended to November 20, 2020. 

Program Coordinator:

Pam Goodman
(650) 736-2629