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 2000-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.

Spring 2024 Bioethics Courses Approved for the Minor

The following courses all count toward the Bioethics Minor; all are for Spring 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 Minji Jang (TTH 11:00 am-12:15 pm)
PHIL 2001-01: Bioethics Jeffrey Spike (TTH 6:30-7:45 pm)*
PHIL 2001-02: Bioethics Sherry Kao (TTh 11:00 am-12:15 pm)*
PHIL 2001-03: Bioethics Sherry Kao (TTh 2:00-3:15 pm)*
PHIL 2002-01: Bioethics and Disability William Sullivan (TTh 3:30-4:45 pm)
PHIL 2090-01: Ethics of AI and Health Joel de Lara (TTh 12:30-1:45 pm)
PHIL 3301-01: Informed Consent/Med Dec Mking Laura Bishop (TTh 3:30-4:45 pm)
PHIL 4302-01: Topics in Phil of Disability Joel Reynolds (MW 5:00-6:15 pm)

*Students may take either PHIL 2001-01, 2001-02, 2001-03 (previously PHIL 105) or HEST 2254 (previously HEST 254) toward the minor, but not both courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward the minor.

HESY 1000-01: Health Care in America Ryung Suh (T 5:00-7:30 pm)
HESY 1001-01: Health Care in America II Bette Jacobs (MW 2:00-3:15 pm)
HESY4001-01: Health in a Free Society John Kraemer (TTh 2:00-3:15 pm)
HESY4021-01: Who Owns What in Healthcare? Sam Halabi (MW 9:30-10:45 am)
HSCI 4190-01: Environmental Justice Rosemary Sokas (T 9:30 am-12:00 pm)
MHUM 2220-01: Pediatric Ethics Jeffrey Spike (TTh 5:00-6:30 pm)
SOCI 3709-02: Sociology of Health/Illness Kimberlee Holland (TTh 2:00-3:15 pm)

*Students may take either PHIL 2001-01, 2001-02, 2001-03 (previously PHIL 105) or HESY2254 (previously HESY 254) toward the minor, but not both courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward the minor.

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