Ethics at ϲ

As a Jesuit institution, we are dedicated to creating a more just and ethical society. This commitment shapes the classes and the activities we offer and the opportunities you'll have on The Heights. We also have special events throughout the year focused on understanding the role that ethics plays in your life.  

Ethics, Values & Professional Life Minor

The Ethics, Values and Professional Life minor helps you set your personal and professional goals in an ethically informed way. You'll learn how to think about values, responsibilities and virtues in real life contexts and professional fields. Our goal is to help you live more a meaningful, ethically sound, and professionally fulfilling life.

Applied Ethics in the Curriculum

At ϲ, you'll complete a course in Moral Philosophy as part of the . Some majors will require you to take an additional course in Applied Ethics as part of your studies:

  • and : Developers of software technology need to have an ethical framework in order to make better decisions to improve and safeguard user experiences. Should a developer report a security vulnerability to their supervisor? What if a developer sees their software producing biased results against a certain class of people? What if their supervisor says to ignore the vulnerability or biased results?
  • Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity professionals must identify and mitigate risks, improve protection and detection strategies, and develop and carryout response and recovery processes. What should someone do if that individual discovers a high-risk item not being addressed? What if a flaw is found in a protection or detection strategy? Who should the organization communicate with when a cybersecurity attack has occured? How open should the organization be about the potential impacts of an attack?
  • : All undergraduate Business majors are required to take an additional course in Applied Ethics, bringing together pressing issues that overlap between business and other fields, such as medicine, public policy, environmental science, and engineering. Madden graduates are distinguished as professionals who are prepared to excel in their fields in a way that is grounded in ethical understanding and integrity - one of the many reasons that Madden is ranked among the best business schools in the country.

The Manresa Program

Student researchers

Your time in college is filled with a lot of questions: What are my talents? What are my career goals? Who am I as a person? Through the Manresa Program, you'll begin answering those questions as soon as you set foot on campus. Never alone, you will go on a journey of personal, professional and spiritual growth with a diverse set of faculty, staff, administrators and peers. While all bring a different set of experiences and challenges, all help you answer the enduring life question: What is my role in this world, and how can I best fulfill it?

The Manresa Program will help you deepen and clarify your core values, enhance your understanding of the needs of the world around you, and learn to think – and act – creatively in order to put your talents to work for the greater good.

. It’s a decision that will be with you a lifetime.


"As an institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition, we have a responsibility to encourage our students to think not just about how they will support themselves, but how they will spend the rest of their lives. That is perhaps what we do best at ϲ, and that is the kind of critical thinking and immersion that our commitment to ethics is designed to support." -Thomas Brockelman, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy


Ethics Bowl

The Association of Practice and Professional Ethics (APPE) runs the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) debate competition, which provides students with the opportunity to engage in debate over contemporary ethical issues with students from various colleges and universities around the US. 

The ϲ Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Team competes each November. Teams of students spend the weeks leading up to the competition formulating their position on each case in preparation for collegial and productive debate with other Ethics Bowl teams.  

For more information about ϲ’s Ethics Bowl team, contact Professor Joseph Spino

Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics

Pamela Johnson graduated summa cum laude from ϲ in 1983 with a major in accounting and a minor in philosophy. She continued on to pursue a highly successful career in accounting at a time when women were not always taken seriously. Despite the challenges, she thrived and became a leader in her field. She developed a reputation for accuracy and integrity. She had a passion for mentoring others and was respected and admired by those who knew her. As the person everyone looked to for guidance and leadership, she was also deeply loved by her family. In her work and life, Pam became exactly the kind of person that we aim to cultivate at ϲ.  

Established in 2019, the Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics is awarded to the two best papers in ethics every year. In awarding this prize, we honor essays that demonstrate the sorts of qualities that we hope to instill in our students – namely, the ability to think critically about moral claims, the desire to seek validation for one’s beliefs and values and to be vigilant about one’s biases, and the maturity to listen to one’s opponents and to be fair minded and open to criticism. By honoring these papers, we honor Pamela Johnson, and those like her, who so beautifully exemplify the ideals of philosophy at Jesuit liberal arts colleges like ϲ. 

Past Winners: 

2022

  • First Prize: Aliah Mahsie, “Treatment of Animals” (Professor Daniel Murphy)
  • Second Prize: Becka Eckdale, “Vaccine Patents: Should they stay or should they go?” (Professor Joseph Spino)

2021

  • First Prize: Layalee Ashkar, “The Immorality of Capital Punishment" (Professor Daniel Murphy)
  • Second Prize: Hanna Donovan, "An Argument for the Death Penalty in Response to Murder" (Professor Daniel Murphy) 

2019

  • First Prize: Deanna Pomeroy, “Plan B: Defending the Morality of Abortion” (Professor Daniel Murphy)
  • Second Prize: Maria Musumeci, “Research Ethics: For the Good of Society” (Professor Beth Mitchell)

CNY Moral Psychology Workshop

The CNY Moral Psychology Workshop is an opportunity for philosophers to present papers in progress and to receive useful feedback on their work. Its goal is to bring together those interested in moral psychology for fruitful interaction and discussion, and thereby, emphasize how moral psychology remains an important, coherent, and distinct variety of philosophical inquiry.

For information, please visit the website:  or contact Professor John Monteleone at [email protected]