Texas Tech University

The Graduate Certificate Program in Ethics


The Certificate:

Events of the last few years have reminded us forcefully that a widespread, basic knowledge of right and wrong is no luxury. People in key positions clearly need not only this basic moral knowledge, but also a more sophisticated grasp of the nuances and foundations of ethics in order to deal with unusually complex moral problems that have broad social impact. Society has responded by demanding that critically placed people obtain formal and documented training in ethics. Texas Tech's Ethics Certificate program, offered by the Philosophy Department, provides such documented training. An Ethics Certificate is becoming a useful credential for people in a wide variety of academic, professional, and commercial roles, including: students planning on entering the medical and legal professions, teachers (primary, secondary, and college-level) who offer (or are planning to offer) ethics modules in their classes, members of hospital Ethics Committees, IRB's, Social Action Committees of churches, or Ethics Watchdog Committees within corporations, and professionals who are required to confront ethical questions on a regular basis (e.g. physicians, nurses, lawyers, judges, accountants, members of the clergy, police officers, social workers, and administrators in government, non-profit, or corporate organizations).


To receive the Ethics Certificate, the student must complete four courses from the following list, and he or she must complete at least two of the starred (*) courses:

  • *PHIL 5320 Seminar in Ethics
  • *PHIL 5321 Social and Political Philosophy
  • *PHIL 5322 Law and Philosophy
  • PHIL5301 Studies in Greek Philosophy (when topics are appropriate)
  • PHIL5308 Basic Issues in Contemporary Philosophy (when topics are appropriate)
  • PHIL5323 Business Ethics
  • PHIL5341 Great Figures in Philosophy (when topics are appropriate)
  • PHIL7000 Independent Study (when topics are appropriate)

Application of 5301, 5308, 5341, and 7000 credit towards the Ethics Certificate must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. In appropriate cases a candidate may receive credit for PHIL 7000, and apply that credit toward the Ethics Certificate, for taking one of the following (undergraduate) courses:

  • PHIL 3322 Biomedical Ethics
  • PHIL 3325 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 3332 Feminism and Philosophy

In such cases the student will be required to (a) sit in on one or more of these classes, (b) complete the work required of the undergraduates, plus (c) complete additional readings at a graduate level of sophistication, (d) complete additional graduate-level writing assignments, and (e) attend additional meetings with the instructor to discuss the additional material and assignments.


Students who wish to pursue the Ethics Certificate must meet the admission requirements of the Texas Tech Graduate School. Interested students should contact the Philosophy Department's Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Amy Flowerree, at amy.flowerree@ttu.edu.

Department of Philosophy