Undergraduate Certificate in Ethics

The Undergraduate Certificate in Ethics in the Faculty of Arts positions students to become ethical leaders in the humanities, business, civil service, law, healthcare, science, and other professions. The curriculum provides a broad understanding of central ethical theories together with core competencies in their application to emerging ethical issues in individual and social life. The Certificate in Ethics is a valuable credential for future professionals, public and private sector employees, as well as those planning to pursue graduate degrees.

Who can take an Ethics Certificate?
This Certificate is offered by the Faculty of Arts, but is open to undergraduate students in all Faculties at the University of Alberta. If you are in a Faculty other than Arts, please consult with your advisor to confirm this certificate will fit in your program.
How do I apply?

Sign up through the Declaration or Change of Certificate(s) Google Form. Applications must be submitted by the application Deadline for Graduation (see Academic Schedule).

What are the requirements?

Students must complete:

  1. All program requirements for any undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta
  2. PHIL 250, Contemporary Ethical Issues
  3. An additional *15 credits in ethics from the approved course list

See the University Calendar for course requirements for the Certificate in Ethics.

Other courses with appropriate content can be approved by the Undergraduate Program Director upon request. You must meet with the Undergraduate Program Director or Advisor to ensure the required paperwork is submitted to the Faculty of Arts office.

Advisor Contact Information
Please contact our Undergraduate Advisor at philudgr@ualberta.ca or our Undergraduate Program Director if you have any questions.

Breadth and Depth of Knowledge: 

  • You will develop and demonstrate an understanding of the nature and historical development of current ethical theories, methods, and concepts.
  • You will be able to apply these theories, methods, and concepts to practical ethical issues arising in civic, business, professional, and personal life, such as those concerning the treatment of non-human animals, the employment of artificial intelligence systems, environmental conservation, scientific practice, and social justice.
  • You will recognize the value and limits of diverse methods, approaches, and traditions in approaching contemporary ethical problems


Critical Reasoning: You will be able to analyze arguments presented in academic, popular, and social media, identifying key ideas, evaluating evidence, and formulating carefully reasoned responses. Using these skills, you will be able to reflect upon and critically assess the evidence and arguments for your own ethical beliefs, values, and principles. 

Communication: You will be able to synthesize and communicate complex ideas persuasively in oral and written communications, visual presentations, and other media to a variety of audiences, including colleagues, academics, and the general public. 

Problem solving: You will be able to analyze ethical problems from different perspectives, anticipate adverse effects of possible responses, and develop original and fruitful solutions. 

Interpersonal skills: You will be open to new ideas, worldviews, opinions and values, and able to mediate between conflicting positions and offer respectful, constructive feedback in collaborative settings. 

Research Integrity: You will employ discipline-appropriate methods in conducting inquiries, acknowledge and avoid potential sources of bias, and ensure fairness and impartiality in your assessments and conclusions.