Online College Courses for Credit


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

  • 42 partners accept credit transfer.*
    See Partners
  • Sophia courses have been transferred for credit to over 300 institutions*. See the List
  • Recommend for credit to the ACE and DEAC college and university networks. (See below for details.)

Category: Humanities

This course is ACE Credit® recommended for transfer to many different colleges and universities.* Learn more
This course is DEAC-approved as meeting the criteria for Approved Quality Curriculum (AQC) status. Learn more


42 partners accept credit transfer.* See Partners

One Login, Everything You Need

You don't need any textbooks for our courses—we use video and text-based tutorials to teach the material.

Start Instantly

There is no need to wait for the first day of class; with Sophia you can sign up and instantly start your education.

Learning Built for Your Life and Your Schedule

Each course allows you to work at your own pace after work, on a break, or on the go. Access the course anytime, anywhere by phone, tablet, or computer.


Introduction to Ethics

Course Description
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.

Assessments & Grading

This is a pass/fail course. You must complete 11 Challenge assessments (these are like quizzes) and 4 Milestone assessments (these are like tests) with an overall score of 70% or better.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and articulate the goals of ethics as a discipline
  • Analyze and evaluate philosophical arguments
  • Define, describe, and apply key terminology in moral theory
  • Articulate the essential features and commitments of major approaches to ethics
  • Identify and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of major approaches to ethics
  • Apply a variety of moral theories to evaluate real-life situations and actions
  • Recognize the sources and effect of bias in ethical decision making
  • Analyze ethical considerations for contemporary ethical issues

Sophia's Many Ways™
This course provides you access to Sophia's Many Ways™ learning model. This model provides you with various instructional styles for each learning objective. With this unique model, you can find a method that appeals to your individual learning preference.

by Lanita R. on June 2, 2019
This course was super hard. I would suggest taking it through Capella University rather than Sophia. None of the questions matched with the lessons. If I could give it a zero stars, I would. I barely passed the class and I am a 4.0 GPA student! This class needs to be reviewed and redone by Sophia!
by Derek E. on January 23, 2020
Not my favorite class to take, but its a required course. That being said this is what you should do to pass. 1. Read everything, don't skim through. 2. Take notes, writing things down helps you remember better. 3. If it doesn't make sense after reading it the first time, read it again until it does. 4. They do not want you to know just the definition. They want you to know how to apply the context to scenarios. Good luck.
by Ronald U. on June 3, 2019
I would not recommend this course to anyone. Like others have said the questions are very poorly worded and confusing. Some were double or even triple negatives, misleading, and even grammatically incorrect. Find another avenue to fulfill this requirement.
Sophia replied on June 4, 2019

Ronald, Congratulations on your successful, and rapid, course completion. We do appreciate your feedback provided throughout the course. We hope you will find your next Sophia course more satisfactory. Thank you.

— Mike F. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Ashley T. on October 12, 2019
I barely passed because I rushed through this course. So, I advise against doing so! This class is was a bit difficult because I didn't take notes, and relied on memory, which will not get you through this course! There are many terms and theories that can be easily confused. Take notes!
by Sheila J. on June 23, 2019
Of the 7 courses I have taken, I felt this one to be the most challenging to date. The material is short, but I found I needed to read and read again to gain understanding of the material, which is not typical for me. Finished each unit with reading material in about 3.5 hours each.
by Mark G. on June 13, 2019
The material was fine, but the questions in the Milestones were intentionally ambiguous. The answers offered for these questions were vaguely written to feed into the ambiguity of the questions, which allows the reader to infer an incredible amount of difference in what was asked and what is meant to be asked. The questions need revamped and a difference between exactly what is being asked and what the answers are referring to will be essential.
by Javon W. on June 8, 2020
I appreciate a demanding curriculum but I found this course to be unnecessarily difficult due to poor question wording and an overall lack of explanation. The questions in the challenges and milestones often seemed to be extremely ambiguous, making it extremely difficult to comprehend what was being asked. Also, the lack of explanations for why certain answers were correct (that have been present in the challenges and practice milestones in every other Sophia course I've taken) only made the process more frustrating. Being told an answer is wrong but not being explained why insulates that I should know the material before I've grasped it.
by earl p. on June 25, 2020
This course is too vague and filled with the interpretations and feelings of the instructor who created it rather than the pure realities of the topics. By taking this course i can quite obviously and easily determine the moral and religious views of the instructor, as well as his most likely political and ethical biases. This is not the intentions of academia, of science and the pursuit of knowledge. I could care less about how you love your life or view the world, and you shouldnt manipulate a course with your personal biases to try and influence future learners into seeing the world through your lens. I am very disappointed with this particular experience, and especially being subjected to the concept of "what is right or wrong is determined by this instructors personal biases".


  • Q: What does "Try it for Free" mean?

    A: The Free Trial allows you to access the course of your choice, or multiple courses. It gives you access to the first unit ("Challenge 1") in the course. This will let you meet the course instructors, sample the instructional content, and answer a set of assessment questions in the Challenge. You can also read the Student Guide and watch an Orientation Video to learn more about the course format, requirements, and resources.

    Any work you complete in the Free Trial is saved, so if you decide to register, you do not need to repeat it. Of course, we also let you reset it and start over if you wish.

  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for membership, such as financial aid or military benefits?

    A: Sophia is not a college or university and is not eligible for financial aid, military benefits, or other third-party payments. A Sophia membership is considered an out-of-pocket educational expense.

  • Q: When do the courses start and how long do I have to complete a course?

    A: You choose your own course start date and have 60 days from your chosen start date to complete each course. Sophia courses are self-paced, so many students complete a course in less 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 courseroom, and are included as part of a Sophia membership.

  • Q: How am I graded in the course?

    A: Sophia courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, with 70% overall required to pass the course. Your score is based upon points earned in the formative assessments ("Challenges"), summative assessments ("Milestones"), and if applicable, the authentic assessments ("Touchstones"). Currently, our Foundations of English Composition, English Composition I, and Public Speaking courses contain Touchstones.

  • 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.

  • Q: Are the tests proctored?

    A: Sophia courses utilize keyboard biometrics as an alternative to proctoring. No webcam is needed for a Sophia course.

  • Q: I'm taking a course where I have to submit Touchstones. How long does it take for my Touchstone to be graded once it's submitted?

    A: We provide our faculty graders with up to 7 business days to grade a Touchstone. The actual time may vary based on volume and grader capacity.