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Online College Course

Introduction to Ethics

Introduction to Ethics

Sophia's Introduction to Ethics course explores philosophical approaches to understanding morality and evaluating moral actions. In this course, you will learn about a variety of normative ethical theories, and apply these theories to real world ethical issues. With an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of major approaches to ethics, you will build the critical thinking skills necessary to justify ethical positions. Full Description

3 semester credits

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  • Accepted or preapproved for credit transfer by 308 institutions. See the list
  • Recommended for transfer to many different colleges and universities.
  • Category: Humanities

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Guaranteed to transfer to our partner colleges and universities.* See Partners

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This course uses problem-based learning to help you apply knowledge to real-life situations. By using relatable scenarios, you'll learn how to think critically about ethical and philosophical inquiry, explore your own belief system, and better understand the role of ethics in everyday life. This course uses our Many Ways learning model that features multiple teaching styles to support your unique learning preferences.

Explore philosophical approaches to real-world ethical issues, learn about major approaches to ethics, and analyze various modes of ethical points of view. Key topics include:

  • Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics
  • Divine Command Theory, Conventionalism, and Egoism
  • Utilitarianism and Kantian Deontology
  • Virtue-based Ethics and Evaluating Personal Beliefs

Assessments & Grading
This is a pass/fail course. You'll complete 12 Challenge assessments (these are like quizzes) and 4 Milestone assessments (these are like tests), with an overall score of 70% or better.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, you'll know how to explain the goal of ethics, evaluate philosophical arguments, and understand key terminology. You'll be able to apply moral theories to real-world issues and interpret the role of bias in ethical decision-making.

For more course details and Learning Outcomes, download the syllabus.


198 Student Reviews
by Courtney R. on January 14, 2019
Good course. Glen was the best, in explaining the content. Spend more time on the first unit than the rest by a lot!
by Thomas G. on January 14, 2019
This course, in my personal opinion of course, was very informative. It teaches the fundamentals of Ethics and with multiple choices for your instructor you are more likely to find one to your liking and thus a better time learning from this course.
by Courtney C. on January 5, 2019
I felt some of the material wasn't fully covered from the videos as far as unit/milestone questions were concerned. There also seemed to be more than one correct answer to some of the questions, which was completely unfair, I lost a lot of points because of equivocal statements and technical wording; even after reading it carefully. All in all, it was tougher than I thought it would be, but still a pretty good program for the price.
by Dennis M. on January 3, 2019
overall good course with a lot of information.
by Rebecca M. on December 31, 2018
This course was in-depth, but at times, difficult. I used the PDF tutorials most of the time then listened to the female instructor if I needed extra help. Not only does she explain things well, but she is also easy to understand. I feel like you will need both the PDF tutorials and verbal lessons at times as not everything is explained well and the questions on the milestones are tricky.
by Sarah K. on December 26, 2018
Great course. I learnt a lot. Thanks.
by Janelle S. on December 20, 2018
I definitely did not like this subject, no fault of Sophia, but I did feel that some of the questions were tricky and could have been reasoned with at least 2 different answers. I am a registered nurse and this class absolutely was just a formality that had nothing to do with my career. I ended up with a 90% in the class due to good guessing on many of the answers. I am more black-and-white, and philosophy was harder than I expected. Either way, glad it is over, and good luck to those of you who take the class.
by Rajon B. on December 18, 2018
Glenn is now my friend. :-)


  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for tuition, such as financial aid or military benefits?
    A: Sophia courses are not eligible for most third party payment methods, and must be paid for by credit or debit card. Tuition is due at the time of course registration. Sophia offers both full and partial payment plans as part of the registration process.
  • Q: When do the courses start and how long do I have to complete a course?
    A: You choose your own start date and have 60 days to complete each course. However, because the courses are self-paced, you can complete them in fewer than 60 days.
  • Q: Where do I get the textbooks for my course?
    A: You do not need any textbooks for Sophia courses. All material is taught by video and text-based tutorials that are in the course room, and are included in the cost.
  • Q: How am I graded in the course?
    A: Your overall score is derived from how you do on two types of assessments: Challenges, which are formative assessments, and Milestones, which are summative assessments. Sophia’s English Composition I, Foundations of English Composition, and Public Speaking courses also include written assignments, called Touchstones, that also contribute to your overall score.
  • Q: How do I know which courses I should take?
    A: Consult with your academic adviser at your university to determine specifically which Sophia courses could fit into your program. You can download the course syllabus directly from our site to share with your school advisor.

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