The Undergraduate Certificate in Ethics, Values, and Society (CEVS) is an academic program for undergraduates to explore questions about ethics, politics, and social justice across topics and subject areas. We believe that ethics and values are an integral part of every major and discipline. In particular, the Certificate enables students to combine more practical and applied inquiries into ethical and social/political issues (perhaps pursued in the student's major) with grounding in the theoretical foundations of such inquiries.

The grounding in the main theories of ethics and political philosophy provided in the Foundational Philosophy Courses in the Certificate will add depth and richness to the student's studies in other, more applied and content-specific classes.

Certificate courses are organized around five themes with which most of the courses can be associated. Students are encouraged (not required) to select their Certificate courses with a thematic focus in mind:

  1. Institutions: This theme concerns questions of ethics and justice in political, economic, legal, educational, and other institutions. Issues regarding international justice and human rights are also covered by this theme.
  2. Culture and Identity: This theme explores and critiques conceptions of ethics and justice in relation to issues of culture and identity, including issues concerning class, race, gender, and sexual orientation.
  3. Environment: This theme covers the just distribution and use of environmental resources, as well as the ethical treatment of non-human animals.
  4. Health: This theme covers the just distribution and use of health resources, problems in bioethics, and related issues.
  5. Information Ethics: This theme examines ethical issues regarding media and the use of information technology.


The Undergraduate Certificate in Ethics, Values, and Society is meant to enhance a bachelor's degree. The certificate is available to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM and to students who previously have received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university. Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.


To obtain the certificate, the student must complete, with a minimum grade point average of 2.500, at least 18 credits (at least 6 courses) in approved CEVS courses, of which at least 12 credits must be in Letters and Science courses, with 6 of those at the 300 level or above. At least 12 credits must be earned in residence at UWM, and at least 9 of the credits taken in residence must be at the 300 level or above. No more than 12 credits from any one department may count toward the certificate. Courses for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit bases. The following are required:

Philosophy Foundation
Select one of the following:3
Introductory Ethics
Modern Ethical Theories
Great Moral Philosophers
Social/Political Philosophy
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
The Philosophy of Law
Select 9 credits (at least 3 courses) 9
Select 3 credits in a 500-600 level undergraduate seminar 13
Total Credits18

The capstone requirement is fulfilled through a 500-600 level undergraduate seminar focused on issues of ethics, value, and/or social justice. An appropriate seminar will be offered in the Philosophy Department at least once per academic year. 


Select from among the following courses that focus substantially on themes of ethics, value, justice, and the like.

AFRIC 261Survey of African-American Political Philosophy3
AFRIC 265Psychological Effects of Racism3
AFRIC 329Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa3
AFRIC 341Black Politics and City Government3
AFRIC 351Sexuality, Gender, and Health in Africa and the Diaspora3
AFRIC 416Race and Social Justice in the United States3
ANTHRO 440Medical Anthropology3
ANTHRO 104Lifeways in Different Cultures: A Survey of World Societies3
COMPLIT 230Literature and Society: (with appropriate subtitle)3
COMPLIT 232Literature and Politics: (with appropriate subtitle)3
COMPLIT 309Great Works of Modern Literature: (with appropriate subtitle)3
COMPLIT 350Topics in Comparative Literature: (with appropriate subtitle)3
COMPLIT 360Seminar in Literature and Cultural Experience: (with appropriate subtitle)3
COMPLIT 464Seminar in Comparative Literary Criticism:3
ECON 328Environmental Economics3
GEOG 309Nationalities and Nations of the World3
GEOG 464Environmental Problems3
GEOG 564Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice3
GLOBAL 361Environment and Sustainability3
INFOST 120Information Technology Ethics3
INFOST 661Information Ethics3
ITALIAN 258Contemporary Italian Society and Culture3
ITALIAN 357Topics in Italian Culture in Translation: (with appropriate subtitle)3
JAMS 461Media Ethics3
JEWISH 261Representing the Holocaust in Words and Images3
JEWISH 321The Holocaust and the Politics of Memory3
JEWISH 368Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust3
JEWISH 449Modern Jewish Thought3
PHILOS 235Philosophical Aspects of Feminism3
PHILOS 237Technology, Values, and Society3
PHILOS 243Moral Problems:1
PHILOS 244Ethical Issues in Health Care:3
PHILOS 337Environmental Ethics3
PHILOS 435Existentialism3
PHILOS 542Punishment and Responsibility3
PHILOS 562Special Topics in Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy:3
SOCIOL 350Environmental Sociology3
TRNSLTN 411Ethics in Translation and Interpreting3
WGS 150Multicultural America3
WGS 200Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: A Social Science Perspective3
WGS 201Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: A Humanities Perspective3
WGS 301Queer Theory3
WGS 302Gendered Bodies:3
WGS 303Feminist Activism and Movements:3
WGS 401Global Feminisms3
WGS 410Feminist Theory3