Values-laden Coursework: Customizing your Graduate Certificate in Ethics

The following information is designed to provide guidance in planning the values-laden coursework component of the Graduate Certificate in Ethics. The rich resources of the University of Washington make it possible to develop innovative ethics projects in almost any field. There are countless ways to do this. For illustrative purposes, consider the following examples:

Example 1. A student interested in ethical issues at the intersection of human values and design may complete the program by taking:

  • INSC 543—Value Sensitive Design (4)
  • INFX 575—Data Science III: Scaling, Applications, and Ethics (4)

Example 2. A student interested in ethics and development may complete the program with:

  • ANTH 541—Cultural Aspects of International Development (3)
  • ECON 491—Issues in Economic Development (5)

Example 3. A student interested in clinical health care ethics may complete the program with:

  • B H 474/PHIL 411—Justice in Health Care (5)
  • PHIL 510—Seminar in Social Philosophy: Health Justice (5)

Example 4. A student interesting in environmental/climate change ethics may complete the program with:

  • ENVIR 416/PHIL 416—Ethics and Climate Change (5) or ENVIR 417/PHIL 417—Advanced Topics in Environmental Philosophy (5)
  • SOC 570—Seminar in Environmental Sociology (3)

The Department of Philosophy also offers courses on ethics, which can supplement, or be taken in place of, discipline specific ethics courses (see upcoming philosophy courses).

Sample Areas of Study and Acceptable Courses

The list provided below is a sampling of courses available at the UW that can be a part of a cohesive program of study in ethics. This list is not comprehensive. Courses that do not appear on the list below may still be acceptable. If you can suggest a course that would be of interest to students in the Program, please contact the certificate director Stephen Gardiner ( or the Philosophy Graduate Adviser  (

Please keep the following in mind:

  • All courses (other than the Certificate core courses ETHICS 511 or ETHICS 512 and the ETHICS 513 Capstone) taken for the Graduate Certificate in Ethics—including courses on this list—must be approved by a student’s certificate faculty adviser, the certificate director, and the graduate program adviser of the student's primary degree program.
  • A course’s eligibility to count toward the certificate also depends on whether it is required by your home department—no core requirements and only up to 6 credits of electives from your primary degree program may be counted toward a graduate certificate.
  • You must receive a grade of 3.0 or higher in each course counted toward the Certificate. Readings courses and courses taken S/NS or CR/NC may not be counted toward the Certificate.

Animal Welfare

BIOL 476—Conservation Biology (5)
BIOL 477—Seminar in Marine Biology (3)
ESRM 458—Management of Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Species (5)
PHIL 415—Advanced Topics in Animal Welfare (5)

Bioethics and Medicine

ANTH 474—Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (5)
ANTH 475—Perspectives in Medical Anthropology (5)
ANTH 476—Culture, Medicine, and the Body (5)
ANTH 477—Medicine in America: Conflicts and Contradictions (3)
ANTH 574/NURS 582/PHG 521—Culture, Society, and Genomics (3)
ANTH 575—Cultural Construction of Illness: Seminar in Medical Anthropology (5)
B H 440/PHIL 459—Philosophy of Medicine (5)
B H 474/PHIL 411—Justice in Health Care (5)
B H 514/LAW  H 504/PHG 522—Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues in Public Health Genetics (3)
B H 548—Methods in Clinical Ethics (3)
ECON 547/ HSERV 587—Health Policy Economics (3)
GEOG 580/HSERV 586—Medical Geography (3)
LAW H 504/ PHG 512/B H 514—Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues in Public Health Genetics (3)
LAW H 534—Mental Health and the Law (3)
LAW H 540—Health and Human Rights (3)
NURS 410—Legal and Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice (3)
PHARM 541—Pharmacy, Healthcare, and Society (3)
PHARM 543—Pharmacy Laws and Ethics (2-3)
PHIL 441—Public Health Ethics (5)
PHIL 442—Neuroethics (5)


ECON 431—Government and Business (5)
ECON 442—Economics of Human Resource Management (5)
ENVIR 502—Business Strategy and the Natural Environment (4)
I BUS 530—International Business in Less Developed Countries (4)
MGMT 579—Special Topics in Management: The Contemporary U.S. Workplace (2-4)
MGMT 581—Social Processes in Organizations (4)


ANTH 541—Cultural Aspects of International Development (3)
ECON 448—Population and Development (5)
ECON 491—Issues in Economic Development (5)
ECON 543—Population Economics (3)
ECON 591—Microeconomics of Development (3)
PHIL 407—International Justice (5)
POL S 449—Politics of Developing Areas (5)
SOC 450/JSIS D 450—Political Economy of Women and Family in the Third World (5)
SOC 565—Inequality: Current Trends and Explanations (3)
URBDP 457—Housing in Developing Countries (3)


AAS 406—Asian American Activism (5)
AES 461/SOC 461—Comparative Ethnic Race Relations in the Americas (5)
AES 462/SOC 462—Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations (5)
AFRAM 437—Blacks in American Law (5)
AIS 441—Gender in Native American Societies (5)
ANTH 450/LING 458/GWSS 450—Language and Gender (5)
ANTH 498/LSJ 421—Women's Rights and Politics in Islamic Society (5)
ANTH 527—Ethnicities, Nations, and Cultural Identities (3)
GWSS 447—Economics of Gender (5)
GWSS 456—Feminism, Racism, and Anti-Racism (5)
GWSS 589—Gender, Race, and Communication (5)
PHIL 409—Philosophy of Disability (5)
SOC 460—Social Differentiation (5)
SOC 467—Immigration and Ethnicity (5)
SOC 476/LSJ 476—Miscarriages of Justice (5)
SOC 487—Sociology of Gender and Sexuality (5)


EDLPS 522—Social Science, Social Justice, and Qualitative Research (3)
EDLPS 524—Seminar in Philosophy of Education: Seminar in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics (3)


AES 487—Cultures and Politics of Environmental Justice (5)
ANTH 406—China’s Environment (5)
ANTH 459—Culture, Ecology, and Politics (5)
ANTH 487—Cultures and Politics of Environmental Justice (5)
BIOL 478—Topics in Sustainable Fisheries (3)
ECON 435—Natural Resource Economics (5)
ECON 436—Economics of the Environment (5)
ECON 537—Economic Aspects of Marine Policy (3)
ENVIR 416/PHIL 416—Ethics and Climate Change (5)
ENVIR 417/PHIL 417—Advanced Environmental Philosophy (5)
ENVIR 439—Attaining a Sustainable Society (3)
ENVIR 459—Culture, Ecology and Politics (5)
ENVIR 476/SMEA 476—Introduction to Environmental Law and Process (3)
ESRM 460—Power, Privilege, and Preservation (5)
ESRM 470—Natural Resource Policy and Planning (5)
GEOG 472—Race, Nature, and Power (5)
GEOG 480—Environmental Geography, Climate, and Health (5)
SOC 570—Seminar in Environmental Sociology (3)

Information, Media, and Culture

AES 490/COM 490/GWSS 486—Representing Beyond the Binaries: Mixing Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media (5)
INSC 543—Value Sensitive Design (4)
LIS 550—Information and Society (3)
LIS 551—Intellectual Freedom in Libraries (3)
POL S 452—Mass Media and Public Opinion (5)

Urban Issues

ARCH 561—Urban Design Theory (3)
ARCH 590—Urban and Preservation Issues in Design (3)
B E 553—Ethics in Practice, Research, and Teaching (3)
CEP 461—Ethics and Identity (5)
CEP 462—Community and Environment (5)
GWSS 476—Women and the City (5)
SOC 490—The Urban Underclass (5)
SOC 530—Urbanism and Urbanization (3)
URBDP 450—Introduction to Land Use, Growth Management, and Environmental Planning (3)