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Students and faculty

Ethics is an interdisciplinary minor that allows students to explore questions of right and wrong that arise in nearly every field of inquiry and lie behind many decisions in public life. It offers students an opportunity to bring together courses with an emphasis on ethics and serves as a great complement to virtually any major.

Courses may be drawn from many fields of study at Smith, including philosophy, anthropology, psychology, religion, sociology, and the study of women and gender. Within ethics, broad areas of emphasis are metaethics (involving theoretical approaches to ethical problems) and applied ethics (moral judgments in specific fields, for example, medicine, law and scientific research).

Requirements & Courses

The minor in ethics requires PHI 222 (Ethics) and any four courses with an emphasis on ethics that are offered in various departments and programs at Smith and the Five Colleges.


In recent years, courses at Smith, apart from PHI 222 Ethics, have included the following:

  • ANT 223/EAS 223 In Sickness and in Health: Biopolitics, Public Health and Medicine in East Asia
  • ANT 224 Anthropos in the Anthropocene: Human-Environment Relations in a Time of Ecological Crisis
  • ANT 255 Dying and Death
  • NSC 312 Seminar in Neuroscience - Topic: Neuroscience, Ethics, and Policy
  • PHI 221 Ethics and Society
  • PHI 235 Morality, Politics and the Law 
  • PHI 238 Environmental Ethics 
  • PHI 242 Medical Ethics
  • PHI 246 Race Matters: Philosophy, Science and Politics
  • PHI 304 Seminar in Applied Ethics - Topic: Enhancing Humans: How We Could Do It, Whether We Should
  • PHI 304 Seminar in Applied Ethics - Topic: Sustainability
  • PSY 267 Moral Psychology
  • PSY 340 Seminar: Psychosocial Determinants of Health
  • REL 304 Happiness: Buddhist and Psychological Understandings of Personal Well-Being
  • SOC 333 Seminar: Social Justice, the Environment and the Corporation
  • SWG 222 Gender, Law and Policy 
  • SWG 271 Colloquium: Reproductive Justice
However, be sure to check the availability of courses each semester or consult with the director of the program.


Ethics Program
Dewey Hall 106
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: 413-585-3679
Fax: 413-585-3710

Administrative Assistant: Chrissie Bell