Ethics Minor

Program Director: Mark Doorley, Ph.D.
Associate Director: Brett T. Wilmot, Ph.D.
Office Location: 104 Saint Augustine Center
Telephone: 610-519-4692


Here at Villanova University, we believe that at the heart of every human endeavor we find assumptions about what it means to live well as human beings in the world and in relationships with others—human, non-human, and divine. The aim of the Ethics Program is to provide students with opportunities to explore these assumptions, to understand their origins in our great intellectual traditions, and to engage them critically using methods and resources both theological and philosophical.

MINOR (18 credits)

Villanova University prides itself on presenting an educational alternative built around a clear ethical core, in particular, the moral teachings of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The ethics minor allows students to pursue the study of ethics explicitly and in depth as part of their undergraduate education. The minor contributes directly to the mission of the university. A focus on a particular set of questions/issues within ethics not only benefits students’ intellectual and moral development and contributes to the public perception of the university but also has tangible benefits for students as they apply for graduate studies, fellowships, and job on completion of their studies.

Program Notes

  • Students choose a focus of study and pursue courses listed below, in consultation with their Ethics faculty advisor. To view examples of potential ethics minor foci, click here.
  • Each semester the upper-level courses that will count toward the minor will be marked in the Master Schedule, in the Attributes section with “Fulfills ethics minor requirement.” These will also be listed on the Ethics Program website. It is important for students to be sure they take the upper level courses that are affiliated with their focus of study.
  • The ETH 30xx courses will be planned five semesters in advance so that students will know what will be offered in future semesters, for planning purposes. This information will be available on the Ethics Program website.
  • Students are able to do service work in lieu of one of their elective courses in all focus areas. The service must be related to their focus of study, amount to at least 60 hours of service, and not be credit-bearing or paid work. Students will register for ETH 4975 Ethics Independent Study (3 cr) and must complete their service and associated assignments in that same semester. Students must get approval of their service site from the Associate Director of the Ethics Program.

Required Courses

Item #
Upper-Level Ethics Elective  +
Philosophical Ethics Course  +
Theological Ethics Course  +
Two Electives in the Student's Chosen Focus  +


The above program requirements are applicable to students entering Fall 2021. Please consult the appropriate archived handbook available on the homepage for years prior to these requirements. In order that programs offered by Villanova University reflect current advances and additions to knowledge and upgraded professional requirements, Villanova University reserves the right to change programs and requirements without prior notice. Students generally are bound to the requirements in effect and published online for the year in which their class begins its first year of study. Special requirements may be in effect for students who have left the University and are being readmitted. Students are advised to check with the web catalog or with their college offices regarding changes that may affect them. Additional academic information may be obtained from the various college offices and the web sites listed for the particular policies, programs and services found in this catalog.