Undergraduate Opportunities

Georgetown’s mission of educating “people for others” with a capacity for engaged ethics makes the KIE a central part of campus life. Undergraduate opportunities at the KIE include an undergraduate minor, an award-winning Bioethics Bowl team, faculty mentorship, and the Bioethics Research Showcase, a juried exhibition of student work in a variety of categories and disciplines, intersecting many topics in the ethics of health, environment, and emerging technologies that comprise the field of bioethics.

Bioethics Minor

The minor requires six courses. A minimum of four of these courses must be taught by the Department of Philosophy and must come from the list of courses approved for the minor; up to two can be approved courses taught in other departments. Philosophy courses that count toward the minor include the philosophy courses taken to satisfy the General Education Requirements; Ethical Theory (PHIL 3202); any philosophy course that intersects significantly with bioethical issues and up to one course in the philosophy of science. All courses taken for the minor must come from the approved list of courses. Philosophy of science courses require specific course and term approval of the Bioethics Minor Coordinator (Dr. Laura Bishop). Finally, at least two of the philosophy courses taken for the minor must be at the 3000-level or above.

Bioethics Concentration (for Philosophy Majors)

Philosophy majors can earn a Bioethics Concentration within the major by completing (along with the requirements in the major): (a) Ethical Theory (PHIL 3202) and (b) three bioethics courses, (i) at least one of which must be an upper-level (3000+) philosophy course, and (ii) no more than two of which may be offered outside the department and count toward the concentration. (Non-philosophy courses counted toward the concentration do not count towards the philosophy major). (See more at the Philosophy Department page.) Questions about the Bioethics Concentration should be directed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy or the Bioethics Minor Coordinator in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Dr. Laura Bishop.

Fall 2024 Bioethics Courses Approved for the Minor

The following courses all count toward the Bioethics Minor; all are for Fall 2024. For more information about undergraduate courses in Bioethics, contact Dr. Laura Bishop, Associate Teaching Professor and Academic Program Director at the Institute.

PHIL 1101-01: Intro to Environmental Ethics (Farr)
*PHIL 2001-01: Bioethics (Bishop)
*PHIL 2001-02: Bioethics (Shope)
PHIL 2002-01: Bioethics and Disability (Sullivan, William)
PHIL 2005-01: Clinical Ethics (Spike)
PHIL 2090-01: Ethics of AI and Health (de Lara)
PHIL 2203-01: Just Wars (Pratt)
PHIL 2230-01: Eastern Perspectives on Ethics (Yang)
PHIL 2553-01: Life, Death & Meaning (Lindeman)
PHIL 2553-02: Life, Death & Meaning (Lindeman)
PHIL 3202-01: Ethical Theory (Kao)
PHIL 4308-01: Medical Ethics: Historic Texts (Sulmasy)

*Students may take either PHIL 2002-01 (previously PHIL 105) or HEST 4254
toward the minor, but not both of these courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward
the minor.

BIOL 3940-01: Genomics, Disability & Health (Peshkin)
*HEST 4254-01: Into to Healthcare Ethics (Vittone)
HESY 1000-01: Health Care in America (Suh)
HESY 3001-01: Healthcare Managerial Ethics (Vittone)
HESY 4021-01: Who Owns What in Healthcare (Halabi)
MHUM 1111-01: Public Health Ethics (Spike)
SOCI 3709-01: Sociology of Health and Illness (TBD)
+THEO 2810-01: Theology & the Environment (Yanko)
+THEO 2810-02: Theology & the Environment (Yank0)

*Students may take either PHIL 2002-01 (previously PHIL 105) or HEST 4254
toward the minor, but not both of these courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward
the minor.

+Students must take both THEO 2810-01 and THEO 2810-02 to complete 3 credits toward a full
course in the Theology and Religious Studies core requirement. Each of these courses is only
worth 1.5 credits as part of the Core Pathway on Climate Change.

Bioethics Beyond the Classroom

Outside the classroom, get connected with bioethics at Georgetown by joining the Undergraduate Bioethics Society or the Bioethics Bowl team. Submit your creative or analytic work in bioethics to our Bioethics Research Showcase.

Bioethics Research Showcase, 2018