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 232); 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 200-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 2023 Bioethics Courses Approved for the Minor

The following courses all count toward the Bioethics Minor; all are for Fall 2023. For more information about undergraduate courses in Bioethics, contact Dr. Laura Bishop, Associate Teaching Professor and Academic Program Director at the Institute.

*PHIL 2000-01: Bioethics (Bishop)
PHIL 2002-01: Bioethics and Disability (Kukla)
PHIL 2004-01: Public Health Ethics (Spike)
PHIL 2006-01: Research Ethics (Earl)
PHIL 2007-01: Philosophy of Medicine (Reverman)
PHIL 2203-01: Just Wars (Pratt)
PHIL 2214-01: Ethics and the Environment (TBD)
PHIL 3202-01: Ethical Theory (Kao)
PHIL 3302-01: Ethics & Intellectual Disability (Sullivan)
PHIL 4303-01: Bioethics and Mental Illness (Ver Eecke)

*Students may take either PHIL 2002-01 (previously PHIL 105) or HEST 2254 (previously HEST
254) toward the minor, but not both courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward the

BIOL 3940-01: Genomics, Disability, & Health (Peshkin)
*HEST 2254-01: Intro to Healthcare Ethics (Vittone)
HESY 1000-01: Health Care in America (Suh)
HESY 3001-01: Healthcare Managerial Ethics (Vittone)
MHUM 1111-01: Public Health Ethics (Spike)

*Students may take either PHIL 2002-01 (previously PHIL 105) or HEST 2254 (previously HEST
254) toward the minor, but not both courses; these courses are mutually exclusive toward the

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