Ethics (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Certificate Map

Ethics are the foundation of many legal and political systems. Pair your bachelor's degree with the study of ethics to become a better philosophical thinker who can solve ethical problems.

Program Description

The ethics certificate program is designed to give students a richer understanding of systematic philosophical thinking about ethics. Students with majors in business, nursing, journalism and public administration, as well as those who plan to pursue legal careers, among others, may find that training in ethics is beneficial to their career goals.

The certificate program permits some flexibility regarding course selection, thereby facilitating particular student interests.

Program Requirements

The certificate in ethics consists of 18 credit hours. All courses must be passed with a minimum grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale). At least 12 credit hours must be upper-division. At least six upper-division hours must be in courses offered by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Core Course (choose one) -- 3 credit hours
Electives (choose five) -- 15 credit hours

PHI 420 is a variable topics course that may be taken more than once, so long as the topics are different. Only topics related to ethics will apply to the certificate.
One course outside the list of electives, and perhaps outside the PHI subject code, may be used with written approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
Prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment Requirements

Incompatible Majors: BA in philosophy (morality, politics and law)

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to evaluate how well different normative ethical theories such as consequentialism, deontology and virtue theory provide moral standards that dictate which (if any) actions are right and wrong or how well different metaethical theories such as realism, expressivism, relativism, nihilism, compatibilism or incompatibilism account for the meaning and truth of moral claims.
  • Students will be able to apply leading ethical theories to practical ethical questions that arise in life.

Career Outlook

An undergraduate certificate can advance students' career options.

Students become more marketable to employers when they complement their major program of study with this specialization in ethics. The certificate is evidence of analytical, reasoning and writing skills and competence in areas of increasing concern to employers, such as ethics, public policy and justice.

Students who complete the ethics certificate often decide to pursue careers in business, law, policy or politics. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Business Intelligence Analysts

  • Growth: 35.2%
  • Median Salary*: 103500
  Bright Outlook

Compliance Managers

  • Growth: 3.3%
  • Median Salary*: 128620

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

  • Growth: 13.3%
  • Median Salary*: 78570
  Bright Outlook

Intelligence Analysts

  • Growth: 1.5%
  • Median Salary*: 86280

Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates

  • Growth: 2.2%
  • Median Salary*: 151030

Judicial Law Clerks

  • Growth: 2.3%
  • Median Salary*: 57490


  • Growth: 7.5%
  • Median Salary*: 135740
  Bright Outlook

Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

  • Growth: 5%
  • Median Salary*: 64030
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 3.4%
  • Median Salary*: 48090

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Program Contact Information

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