Course Descriptions

REL 292  Basics of Bioethics is an examination of Western philosophical and religious understandings of moral issues brought on by advances in health care, science and technology. In this course, students will learn the “Principles approach” to bioethics, as well as other ethical approaches to the difficult moral issues raised by contemporary medical science and its clinical applications. To that end, case analysis will be used extensively in this course. The course is designed to help facilitate connections for students between medical/scientific advances, ethics, religious values, and American public policy about technology and health care. Each class session will alternate between theoretical and medical/scientific considerations, and the concreteness of bioethical case analyses. Students who have credit for SSI1/SSI2 150 and are considering this course should consult with the instructor. Cross-listed as REL 292.

BE 400  Bioethics Integration Seminar   BE 400 is the capstone course required of all students who aim to attain the Interdisciplinary curricular designation of Emphasis in Bioethics on the transcript upon graduation. In this senior seminar students will pull together the ethical implications of the courses they have taken toward the BE designation. Students will individually or collaboratively examine a bioethical case issue from the variety of disciplinary perspectives that comprise the program in an attempt to understand the full complexity of the issue. The course will rotate among Bioethics Program core faculty from different disciplines, who will help model for students the challenges and promises of cross-disciplinary integration on particular issues of relevance. The following themes will serve as semester-long focal points depending on which of the core faculty is teaching the course in any given year: Moral Philosophy, Ethics of Research, Narrative Medicine, Health Inequalities, Patient/Physician Interactions, Animal Models in Science & Art, Emerging Technologies in Science & Ethics. Prerequisite: BIOE/REL 292.


  • BIOL 101 (Recommended for nonmajors) or BIOL 111
  • BIOL 212 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 311 Genetics

  • BIOL 362 Nanobiology

  • BIOL 370 Conservation Biology

  • BIOL 375 Developmental Biology

  • BIOL 404 Molecular Biology

  • BIOL 441 Cancer Biology

  • NRSC 350 Methods in Neuroscience

  • NRSC 450 Seminar in Neuroscience

  • PSYC 312 Applied Psychological Measurement

  • PSYC 320 Psychological Disorders


  • PHIL 228 Philosophy of Mind Fall 2016

  • PHIL 280 Social & Political Philosophy

  • PHIL 281 Moral Philosophy Fall 2016

  • PHIL 285 Environmental Ethics

  • PHIL 378 Philosophy of Law

  • PHIL 389 Race & Philosophy

  • STS 333 Evolution and Ethics Spring 2017

Humanities & Social Sciences

  • BUS 478 Environmental Law

  • COMM 252 Health Communication Campaigns

  • CONN 320 Health and Medicine* fall 2016

  • CONN 357 Animal Minds* fall 2016

  • CONN 387 Never-Never Land*

  • Offered summer 2016, spring 2017

  • CONN 393 The Cognitive Foundations of Morality and Religion*

  • CONN 478 Animals, Law, and Society* Offered fall 2016

  • ECON 225 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics offered fall 2016

  • ENGL 348 Illness and Narrative: Discourses of Disease  offered fall 2016

  • ENGL 331 Medical Autobiography Offered spring 2017

  • SOAN 360 Sociology of Health and Medicine offered fall 2016

  • SOAN 370 Disability, Identity, and Power  offered fall 2016

  • STS 318 Science and Gender*

  • STS 366 History of Medicine

  • STS 302 Cancer & Society offered fall 2017

  • STS 375 Science & Politics  offered summer 2016

  • IPE 331 The International Political Economy of Food and Hunger Fall 2016

  • IPE 389 Global Struggles Over Intellectual Property* Fall 2016

* Can also satisfy the Connections core requirement.

For complete descriptions of the elective courses, please consult the relevant departments in which these courses appear.