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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

  • Guaranteed to transfer to our 17 partner network institutions.* 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

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No Credit Card Required


You can get started for just $79 using our 3-part Payment Plan. Learn More
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


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

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Sophia offers all of our students a free trial to make sure our courses are right for you. Sophia wants you to be completely satisfied with your learning experience. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

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We offer a 3 part payment plan option to provide flexibility and allow students to fit courses into their budget.

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Course marketing page

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 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

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.


299 Student Reviews
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 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 Sarah T. on September 24, 2018
Interesting course!
by Ruby M. on April 2, 2017
I loved this course I felt I learned more than regular courses. It was direct to the point. Tutorials were very informative.
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 Aaron B. on March 28, 2019
Very difficult course, but it was very insightful. I have read many books on Philosophy and took some College classes on it, and I must say this goes a little further than an introduction should. My only other problems with it is that some are REQUIRED video lessons, and they use trick questions to throw you off. (If Glen is reading this, know that I do not like you.)
Sophia replied on March 29, 2019

We take feedback seriously and appreciate your review! Tutorials are provided for support only - they are never required. That's the beauty of competency-based education! Someone like you, with prior learning knowledge, can tackle assessment questions without spending unnecessary time on tutorials. We understand that not all tutorial authors will be a favorite! That's why we design our courses with Many Ways to Learn accompanied with a tool that allows you to select your favorite instructor (so your preferred approach to learning is always front and center). Instructors are as unique as our learners; our hope is that you find an instructor that works best for you! Thank you Aaron for helping us be better. Happy learning!

— Kelly N. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Leslie R. on April 5, 2017
Don't hesitate to take this class. It was very informative and interesting. I completed it quickly, but feel I learned much from this course. My critical thinking skills have improved and I am more interested in ethics than I ever believed. The ID verification milestone went well additionally. I have never had a proctored test online before, but it went smoothly.
Sophia replied on April 5, 2017

Hi Leslie— Congratulations on your successful course completion! We're so glad to hear you had a great learning experience, and we hope to see you in a future Sophia course!

— Chloe S. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Ashley P. on January 4, 2017
Megan was great and made the material easier to comprehend.


  • 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 tuition, such as financial aid or military benefits?

    A: Sophia courses are not eligible for most third party payment methods. Course tuition is paid by the student, using a credit or debit card. Tuition is due at the time of course registration. Sophia offers a payment plan option for course tuition.

  • 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 in the course tuition.

  • 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.

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