Minor in bioethics at Georgetown.

Georgetown’s mission of educating “men and women 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, a variety of internship opportunities, an award-winning Ethics 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.

There are two ways to focus your undergraduate studies in bioethics at Georgetown: through a minor in Philosophy and Bioethics, or (for philosophy majors) through a concentration in Bioethics.

Minor in Philosophy and Bioethics

The minor requires six courses. A minimum of four must be taught by the Department of Philosophy; 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. Philosophy of science courses, as well as those taught outside the Philosophy Department, must be approved by the Bioethics Minor Coordinator (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 by completing (in addition to the major requirements): (a) Ethical Theory (PHIL 232) and (b) three bioethics courses such that (i) at least one of which must be an upper-level philosophy course, (ii) no more than two of which may be offered outside the department and count toward the concentration, and (iii) no more than one of which may be offered outside the department and count toward the major. (See more at the Philosophy Department page.)

Questions about the Philosophy and Bioethics minor or about the Bioethics Concentration should be directed to Laura Bishop.

Email Laura »

Explore this year’s bioethics courses.

All of these count towards the Bioethics Minor; all are for Fall 2023.

Classes Approved for the Philosophy and Bioethics Minor

Courses in the Department of Philosophy
*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)

Courses outside the Department of Philosophy
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

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Tallying classes for the minor? Check out course lists from past years.  (Contact Laura Bishop for course lists from past semesters that may not be here.)

Spring 2023 Classes

Spring 2023
Courses within the Philosophy Department
*PHIL 105-01: Bioethics – Jacob Earl (TR 6:30-7:45 pm)
*PHIL 105-02: Bioethics – Laura Bishop (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)
*PHIL 105-04: Bioethics – Joel de Lara (TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm)
PHIL 116-01 Applied Ethics – Dominick Cooper (TR 5:00-6:15 pm)
PHIL 232-01: Ethical Theory – Karen Stohr (MW 2:00-3:15 pm)
PHIL 432-01: Topics in Moral Psychology – Alisa Carse (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)
PHIL 435-01: Global Justice/Environment – Olufemi Taiwo (TR 9:30-10:45 am) (some seats are reserved)

Courses outside the Philosophy Department
GOVTHCSI 419-01: Environmental Justice – Rosemary Sokas (T 9:30 am – 12 noon)
HESY 010-01: Health Care in America – Ryung Suh (T 5:00-7:30 pm)
HESY 011-01: Health Care in America II – Bette Jacobs (TR 2-3:15 pm)
HESY 355-01: Health in a Free Society – John D. Kraemer (TR 11:00 am- 12:15 pm)
MHUM 130-01: End of Life Ethics – Michael Pottash (T 6:30-9:00 pm) (1 credit hour; runs
3/3/23 to 5/2/23)
MHUM 220-01: Pediatric Ethics – Jeffrey Spike (T 5:00-7:30 pm)
SOCI 3709-01: Sociology of Health/Illness – Alyssa Newman (MW 11:00 am-12:15 pm)
#THEO 074-01: Disability, Ethics, EcoJustice – Julia Watts Belser (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)
#THEO 074-20: Disability, Ethics, EcoJustice – Julia Watts Belser (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)
+UNXD 245-01: The Ethics of Climate Change – TBD (TR 2:00-3:30) (taught in the 2 nd half of the
*Students may take either PHIL 105 (Bioethics) or HEST 254 (Introduction to Healthcare Ethics (not offered this semester) toward the minor, but not both; these courses are mutually exclusive
#THEO 074 (Disability, Ethics Ecojustice) is part of the Core Pathways set of courses. In order to fulfill requirements for one theology course toward the bioethics minor, you must have taken another 1.5 credit theology course previously or must take one in a future year.
+UNXD 245-01 (The Ethics of Climate Change) is part of the Core Pathways set of courses. In order to fulfill requirements for one philosophy course toward the bioethics minor, you must have taken another 1.5 credit philosophy course previously.

Fall 2022 Classes
  • PHIL 101-01: Public Health Ethics – Thomas Foreman (M 3:30-6:00 pm)
  • PHIL 102-01: Clinical Ethics – Jeffrey Spike (W 3:30-6:00 pm)
  • PHIL 103-01: Research Ethics  – Jacob Earl (TTh 6:30-7:45 pm)
  • *PHIL 105-01: Bioethics – Laura Bishop (TTh 3:30-4:45 pm)
  • *PHIL 105-02: Bioethics – Sean Aas (MW 12:30-1:45 pm)
  • PHIl 106-01: Bioethics and Disability –  Joel Reynolds (TTh 3:30-4:45 pm)
  • PHIL 113-01: Just Wars –  David Pratt (MW 5:00-6:15 pm)
  • PHIL 124-70: Ethics and the Environment – James Cleon Olsen (MW 8:30-9:45) (Qatar Campus)
  • PHIL 232-01: Ethical Theory – Sherry Kao (TTh 5:00-6:15 pm)
  • PHIL 233-01: Moral Psychology – Alisa Carse (MW 3:30-4:45 pm)
  • PHIL 440: Bioethics and Mental Illness – Wilfriend Ver Eecke (TTh 12:30-1:45 pm)

Courses outside the Department of Philosophy

  • BIOL 394-01: Genomics, Disability & Health – Beth N. Peshkin (Th 6:00-8:30 pm )
  • *HEST 254-01: Intro to Healthcare Ethics – Sarah Vittone (M 2:00-4:30 pm)
  • HESY 010-01: Health Care in America – Ryung Suh (Th 9:30 am-12:00 pm)
  • HESY 191-01: Healthcare Managerial Ethics – Sarah Vitton (M 11:00 am-1:30 pm)
  • MHUM 111-01: Public Health Ethics – Thomas Foreman (M 3:30-6:00 pm)
  • MHUM 11201: Clinical Ethics – Jeffrey Spike (W 3:30-6:00 pm)
  • THEO 247-01: Animal Ethics – Christopher W. Steck (MW 12:30-1:45 pm)

*Students may take either PHIL 105 or HEST 254 toward the minor but not both; these courses are mutually exclusive.

Make friends in bioethics.

Outside the classroom, get connected with bioethics at Georgetown by joining the Undergraduate Bioethics Society, the or the Georgetown Ethics Bowl or Bioethics Bowl Teams. Submit your creative or analytic work in bioethics to our annual Bioethics Research Showcase. Check out fellow student work at our annual campus-wide Conversations in Bioethics event, or have some of your own featured!

Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop about upcoming events and opportunities.

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Georgetown Undergraduate Bioethics Society

The UBS is a student group for undergraduates interested in ethical issues in health care, the environment, and technology. Past events include bioethics movie nights, networking events, monthly co-sponsorship of a speaker at the KIE’s weekly Friday Bioethics Speakers Series, and, in 2013, playing host to the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference.

Email student leaders »

Ethics Bowl & Bioethics Bowl

Each team competes in debate-style competitions (debating contentious cases and moral quandaries) with students from all over the country.

Bioethics Bowl takes place every spring at the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference, which means students have the benefit of being able to reflect on the topics in the richer context of an academic conference program. Bioethics Bowl is focused on ethical issues within medicine and public health policy.

Ethics Bowl has regional competitions followed by nationals, which takes place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Ethics Bowl cases cover a wide variety of contemporary issues that are morally problematic for professionals and the public at large.

Check out our impressive win record, including several national first-place victories, at the Georgetown University Ethics Teams website. The Ethics Teams are co-sponsored by the KIE and Philosophy Department.

Visit team website »