Biomedical Ethics

The minor in Biomedical Ethics is designed to introduce students to ethical issues that arise in health care and health care research. The minor is an interdisciplinary program that consolidates course offerings from the Departments of Biology, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Psychological Sciences, and Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and from the School of Business and School of Nursing.

Biomedical Ethics is a relatively new and fast-growing discipline. Students electing the minor are required to have a basic background of biology coursework, and will take a curriculum that includes 18 credit hours, beginning with a course on basic ideas and concepts in Biomedical Ethics, followed by a choice of other relevant humanities courses. The minor will be suitable for students in almost any major, especially students pursuing further academic work or careers in medicine, law, the health or life sciences, health policy and administration, informatics or forensics.


18 Units - Including 6 upper division units with GPA 2.0 or higher and grade of C- or better, 4 upper division units must be taken at USD.  Courses taken in the minor may not be counted toward the major but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and CORE Curriculum requirements.

PHIL 331Biomedical Ethics3
Select 3 Units From:3
Survey of Biology
Topics in Human Biology
Survey of Biology with Lab
Topics in Human Biology with Lab
Introduction to Evolution
Bioenergetics and Systems
Genomes and Evolution
Select 12 Upper-Division Units From:12
Health Communication
American Indian Health and Spirituality
Death and Dying
Abnormal Psychology
Health Psychology
Health Psychology of Women and Ethnic Groups
Internship in Psychology
Health and Society
Introduction to Health Care Delivery Systems

Additional courses may be used to satisfy the elective requirement in the Biomedical Ethics minor, if the focus is biomedical in nature. Examples include: BIOL 494, COMM 494, MKTG 494, PHIL 334. Consult the Program Director for information about these courses. 

Program Director

Gary Jones, PhD, Philosophy