Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Minor?

Please complete the Declaration of Minor form (via DocuSign), being sure to enter "Nichole M. Flores" and "nmf5q [at]" as the "Declaration of Minor Contact." 

Who may apply for the Minor?

Any undergraduate at the University who successfully completes the required coursework can qualify for the Bioethics Minor.

When should I declare the Minor?

In general, students declare the minor near the end of the second semester of your second year.

How can I get my name on the Bioethics Program email list?

Just sign up here! You will then receive the weekly HES newsletter with program announcements (i.e. course lists for registration), special event information, and featured content such as faculty spotlights and publication news. 

Why is there no major in bioethics?

We don't have a structured major in bioethics because many advisers to the program have argued that students need the focus and depth that more traditional majors provide.

Even so, there are a couple of ways that a student might pursue a major in this field of interdisciplinary study: 

(1) an Echols interdisciplinary major, or

(2) the interdisciplinary major program: Student's seeking this option work with faculty advisers from three different disciplines (e.g.,  biology, religious studies, anthropology) in designing their own curriculum for their 3rd and 4th years. A thesis is also required. For more information about this program, see

Some good reasons to craft an interdisciplinary major in bioethics:

  • Your intellectual interests are animated by biomedical ethics or health care ethics in a unique manner that is not clearly legible within a more established academic discipline and/or another interdisciplinary major offered in the College or the broader University. 
  • You wish to write a thesis on health, ethics, and society (n.b.: a thesis is not necessary for students majoring through the Echols program).
  • You are planning on applying to graduate school in medicine, law, nursing, or public health--all of which are congenial to this kind of interdisciplinary major.

Some good reasons NOT to do an interdisciplinary major in bioethics:

  • You are on a pre-med track but you are not interested in majoring in biology or in any other traditional field.
  • You are planning on going to graduate school in a discipline like philosophy or religious studies (which definitely prefer that applicants major in their respective disciplines or adjacent ones which are clearly legible within a disciplinary framework).

Good alternatives to an interdisciplinary major in bioethics: