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Ethics and Technology Minor

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The Ethics and Technology Minor exposes students to the moral complexity of new and emerging technological developments in our society, and encourages them to think critically about their impact on our shared future.

Topics that may be explored in a course of study include: algorithmic bias, data privacy, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, genetic engineering, biotechnology, entrepreneurial decision making, and more. More broadly, the Ethics and Technology Minor advances one of Stanford's long-range efforts to address the ethical implications and societal consequences of technological and scientific advances.
The Ethics and Technology Minor combines foundational courses in ethical reasoning with a diverse set of interdisciplinary courses from across the university, allowing students significant choice in tailoring their program to suit their interests.  For instance, a student with primary interests in data science could have the flexibility to choose up to three different courses in their focused area to supplement the foundational requirements.
A minor in Ethics in Society requires six courses for a minimum of 25 units.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 unitsCourses credited to the Ethics in Society minor may not be double-counted toward major requirements.*
*Exception:  Majors in the Engineering School may double-count CS 182/CS 182W for their Technology in Society requirement.


The requirements for the Ethics and Technology Minor are outlined below:

Three Foundational Courses

  1. CS 182 or CS 182W / ETHICSOC 182 (Ethics, Public Policy, and Technological Change) – 5 units*
  2. ETHICSOC 20 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy) or ETHICSOC 171 (Justice) – 4-5 units
  3. One ETHICSOC elective at the 100-level or above – 4-5 units

*Note:  CS 182 was previously listed as CS 181 in Winter 2018.

Three Ethics and Technology Electives

Students are required to supplement the foundational courses with three additional electives from the list below.  These courses cover various topics in technology, human values, and social innovation from an interdisciplinary perspective and are drawn from across the university.  The list is updated regularly and students are invited to petition the program director to add a course that is not currently listed and coheres with the aims of the minor.

Courses must be 3 units or more to fulfill the minor requirement.

To apply:

You can acess the application here. Please submit your application to Pam Goodman at and feel free to reach out to her for more information.  Please note that submitting an application is required before declaring the minor in axess.