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Concentration in Ethics and Public Policy

Why Study Ethics and Public Policy?

Due diligence in decision-making

  • What is good public policy regarding abortion or capital punishment?
  • How should the care of those with HIV-related diseases be funded?
  • How can the problems of housing and homelessness be effectively addressed?
  • Should population control be a requirement for receiving foreign aid?

These are the kinds of questions that makers of public policy deal with on a daily basis, and their decisions can affect thousands of people — at home and abroad — in both intended and unintended ways. An understanding of ethical analysis as a complement to policy analysis can help decision-makers craft policies that are based on sound moral principles, making them more sensitive to the needs of all stakeholders, and ultimately more successful.

As a student in the ethics and public policy concentration, you’ll explore the relationship between ethics and public policy in theory and through case studies. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss some of the most controversial and pressing issues of our time.

While you can combine this concentration with any major, it’s an especially good complement to majors in community, youth, and education studies; economics; environmental science; geography; international development and social change; management; philosophy; political science; sociology; and women’s and gender studies.

Minimum number of courses to complete this concentration: 6

Hands-On Learning

As a complement to this concentration, you can engage in a variety of related experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad, and research.


A foundation in ethics and public policy is an asset to those seeking careers in policy-related fields such as law, government, public administration, or health care.

Program Director

Professor Arden Ali     Phone: 1-508-793-7326