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The course-based Ethics Certificate  engages students in classical and contemporary ethical debates across many disciplines. Students may choose to concentrate their study in one of the thematic tracks, which currently include:

  • International Law
  • Markets, Policy, and the Professions

This certificate requires both a Gateway and Capstone course:

Gateway: Ethics 101D/PolSci 120D: The Challenges of Living an Ethical Life

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to ethical inquiry using materials from film to philosophy to explore questions of personal ethics as well as political and social ethical challenges.

Capstone: Ethics 490S: Research Seminar in Ethics

This course should be taken in the spring semester of a student’s senior year, and it is open only to Ethics Certificate students. Usually organized around a broad theme, the course allows students to undertake their own original research, integrating the knowledge obtained through a major or majors with insights gained through a study of ethics. As appropriate, the research for this course can link with (but not substituted by) research undertaken to graduate with Distinction in a major or in the certificate.

 

For the remaining course requirements, the certificate has five specific course categories:

I. Philosophical Ethics: Develop a foundation in philosophical ethical traditions. Students must take at least one course from a list of approved courses in this category.

II. Cross-Cultural Ethical Traditions: Develop insight into a variety of ethical traditions across cultures. Students must take at least one course from a list of approved courses in this category.

III. Ethics in Historical Perspective: Develop knowledge of different ethical dilemmas across time, as well as the variety of solutions offered to those dilemmas. Students must take at least one course from a list of approved courses in this category or one course in Category IV below.

IV. Ethics in Literature and Arts: Develop a moral imagination and gain a deeper understanding of human frailty, creativity, and strength by studying fiction, poetry, painting, and film. Students must take at least one course from a list of approved courses in this category or one course in Category III.

V. Ethics of Contemporary Issues: Explore the ethical challenges in today’s workplaces, fields of study, and everyday life. Students may take one course from a list of approved courses in this category.

Students are to take one course each from Philosophical Ethics and Cross-Cultural Ethical Traditions, one course in either Ethics in Historical Perspective or Ethics in Literature and Arts, and one additional course in any of the five categories. 

Those who wish to pursue one of the thematic tracks in International Law or Markets, Policy, and the Professions should contact Kate Abendroth <kate.abendroth@duke.edu> for more information.

Approved courses will be available approximately two weeks in advance of registration each semester, and a master list of past approved courses will be available by contacting Kate Abendroth.

Course Registration Information
This is not a complete list of courses that are approved for the Ethics Certificate, but only those that were offered in each semester listed. Courses listed for Spring 2011 follow the old curriculum categories, but the classes themselves can still count towards the certificate.

 

The following rules apply to students in all Duke certificate programs:

  • No more than half of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the certificate may originate in a single department or program.
  • Students electing to satisfy the requirements of a certificate program may use for that purpose no more than two courses that are also used to satisfy the requirements of a major, minor, or other certificate programs being pursued.
  • At least four of the courses used for a certificate must be 100-level or above.
  • At least half the courses taken to satisfy a certificate must be taken at Duke.

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