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Bioethics in the News

Another big idea. UC San Diego News 2/8/16

Intellectually, there is a great need for bioethics. Scientific progress in genomic manipulation, cloning, and much else mean that society faces increasingly tricky ethical decisions. The health professions are clamoring for guidance. 

Bioethics is a well-established interdisciplinary field that is centered in philosophy but incudes interaction with research in medicine, biological sciences, and other social sciences. Bioethics addresses foundational moral questions concerning life in all of its forms and in a wide variety of contexts, including issues in medical and clinical ethics, distributive justice in health care, environmental and climate ethics, and more.

The Bioethics Minor is intended for students with a variety of academic interests and career goals. In particular, well-trained professional ethicists are in increasing demand, and practitioners and research in medicine, bioengineering, and the life sciences are face challenging moral questions and are increasingly expected to have training in ethics. The course of study will also play a key role in preparing students to be informed citizens on questions of pressing importance to everyone.


  • 7 courses (28 units) in all, one from each of 5 core categories, and 2 electives; a maximum of 2 courses may be lower-division. 
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a C- or better.

Core Requirements for the Bioethics Minor

    • Ethics:  Minors must take at least one course in ethics from among PHIL 13 and 160.
    • Biomedical Ethics: Minors must take PHIL 163.
    • Social Ethics: Minors must take at least 1 lower-division course in ethics from among PHIL 26 and 27, or 1 upper-division course from among PHIL 162, 164 and 167.
    • Philosophy and Science: Minors must take at least 1 lower-division course, PHIL 12, or 1 upper-division course from among PHIL 145, 147, 137, 149, 150, 151 and 152.
    • Topics in Bioethics: Minors must take Topics in Bioethics, PHIL 173.

Minors must take 2 electives from the following:

  • Phil 10.       Logic
  • Phil 120.     Symbolic Logic
  • Phil 148.     Philosophy and the Environment
  • Phil 169.     Feminism and Philosophy
  • Phil 170.     Philosophy and Race
  • FPMU 40.   Introduction to Public Health
  • FPMU 50.   Primary Care and Public Health 
  • USP 143.    The US Health Care System
  • BILD 36.     AIDS, Science, and Society
  • BILD 38.     Dementia, Science and Society
  • HISC 116.   History of Bioethics

Declare a Bioethics Minor

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