Requirements for the Major

Ethics and Public Policy Requirements for the Major

The major requires completion of 37 hours of coursework with eight foundation courses chosen from four areas. Students must also complete four courses from one field of specialization. Courses appearing in both the foundation and field areas may be used for one requirement or the other, not both.

The foundation courses of the major serve two functions: to introduce students to each of the fields involved in the major and to provide students with the basic reasoning skills needed for more advanced study. All students are required to take either Principles of Reasoning or Introduction to Symbolic Logic in order to gain facility with abstract, formal reasoning. The other foundation courses give students an introduction to the four disciplines represented in the major: philosophy, economics, political science and sociology. These courses will provide a background for students to make an informed selection when choosing their field.


Philosophy Foundation:

Reasoning--one of the following:

  • PHIL:1636  Principles of Reasoning: Argument and Debate (GE: QFR)
  • PHIL:2603  Introduction to Symbolic Logic

Value Theory--one of the following:

  • PHIL:1034  Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (GE: HP)
  • PHIL:1401  Matters of Life and Death (GE: VSD)
  • PHIL:2402  Introduction to Ethics (GE: VSD)
  • PHIL:2422  Feminist Ethics
  • PHIL:2432  Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PHIL:2435  Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL:2436  The Nature of Evil
Economics Foundation
  • ECON:1100  Principles of Microeconomics (GE: SS)

and one of the following:

  • ECON:1200  Principles in Macroeconomics
  • ECON:3380  Business and Government
  • ECON:3650  Policy Analysis (prereq: ECON:1100) (Fall Only)
  • ECON:3760  Health Economics
Sociology Foundation

Theory--one of the following:

  • SOC:1010  Introduction to Sociology (GE: SS)
  • SOC:1030  Contemporary Social Problems (GE: DI)

Law and Sociology--one of the following:

  • CRIM:1410  Introduction to Criminology
  • CRIM:1447  Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • CRIM:2430  Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • CRIM:2460  Policing in Modern Society
  • CRIM:3425  Women, Crime, and Justice
  • SOC:1219  Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America
  • SOC:2130  Sociological Theory
  • SOC:2810  Social Inequality (GE:VSD)
  • SOC:3510  Medical Sociology
Political Science Foundation

Foundation--one of the following:

  • POLI:1100  Introduction to American Politics (GE: SS)
  • POLI:1300  Introduction to Political Thought and Action
  • POLI:1400  Introduction to Comparative Politics (GE: IGI, SS)
  • POLI:1700  Introduction to Political Analysis

 Policy courses--one of the following:

  • POLI:1501  Introduction to American Foreign Policy (GE: IGI, SS)
  • POLI:3111  American Public Policy


Students select one of the following four fields of specialization and complete four courses in their chosen field. Some courses may be listed in more than one foundation area and/or specialization field; students may use a course to fulfill only one requirement for the major.

Economics Field
  • ECON:3100  Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON:3345  Global Economics and Business
  • ECON:3350  Industry Analysis
  • ECON:3380 Business and Government
  • ECON:3620  Economic Growth and Development
  • ECON:3625  Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • ECON:3640  Regional and Urban Economics
  • ECON:3650  Policy Analysis
  • ECON:3760  Health Economics
  • ECON:4160  Public Sector Economics
Philosophy Field
  • PHIL:2402  Introduction to Ethics
  • PHIL:2415  Bioethics
  • PHIL:2422 Feminist Ethics
  • PHIL:2429  War, Terrorism, and Torture
  • PHIL:2432  Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PHIL:2435  Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL:2436  The Nature of Evil
  • PHIL:3342  Multiculturalism and Toleration
  • PHIL:3430  Philosophy of Human Rights
  • PHIL:3510  Neuroethics
  • PHIL:3604  Introduction to Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL:3902  Workshop: Analytical Skills for the LSAT
  • PHIL:3920  Philosophy in Public
  • PHIL:4375  Rawls's Political Philosophy
  • PHIL:4480  Analytic Ethics
  • PHIL:4481  Issues in the Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL:4482  History of Ethics
  • PHIL:4485  Political Philosophy
Sociology Field 
  • CRIM:3415  Global Criminology
  • CRIM:3416  Race, Crime, and Justice
  • CRIM:3417  Community Corrections
  • CRIM:3420  Juvenile Delinquency
  • CRIM:3437  American Crime
  • CRIM:3450  Criminal Legal System
  • CRIM:4400  Internship in Criminal Justice and Corrections
  • CRIM:4420  Criminal Punishment
  • CRIM:4430  Interpersonal Violence in Society
  • CRIM:4440  Sociology of White-Collar Crime
  • CRIM:4450  Juvenile Justice: A Sociolegal Perspective
  • CRIM:4460  Sociology of Law
  • SOC:2830 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC:3171  Drugs and Society
  • SOC:3510  Medical Sociology 
  • SOC:3525  Public Opinion
  • SOC:3610  Organizations and Modern Society 
  • SOC:3650  Education, Schools, and Society
  • SOC:3880  The Sociology of Networks
  • SOC:4200 Sociology of Religion
  • SOC:4540  Political Sociology and Social Movements
Political Science Field
  • POLI:2417   Comparative Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3101   American Constitutional Law and Politics
  • POLI:3102   The U.S. Congress
  • POLI:3104   Immigration Politics
  • POLI:3110   Local Politics
  • POLI:3111   American Public Policy
  • POLI:3114   Women and Politics in the United States
  • POLI:3116   The Presidency
  • POLI:3117   Bureaucratic Politics & Public Administr
  • POLI:3118   Interest Groups
  • POLI:3120   The Criminal Justice System
  • POLI:3121   The Judicial Process
  • POLI:3126   Environmental Policy
  • POLI:3127   Legislative Policy Seminar
  • POLI:3128   Politics of the US National Park System
  • POLI:3160   Solving Policy Problems Through Research
  • POLI:3204   Public Opinion
  • POLI:3300   Postmodern Political Theory
  • POLI:3302   Current Political Theory
  • POLI:3305   Modern Political Theory
  • POLI:3306   Problems of Democracy
  • POLI:3350   Games of Politics
  • POLI:3400   Political Economy
  • POLI:3410   Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3411   Democracy: Global Trends and Struggles
  • POLI:3423   The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3424   Global Development
  • POLI:3425   South Asia: Politics, Identity, Conflict
  • POLI:3427   Latinas, Latinos, Latinx, and the Law
  • POLI:3503   Politics of Terrorism
  • POLI:3509   International Courts: The Intersection of Law and Politics
  • POLI:3512   International Conflict
  • POLI:3516   The Politics of International Economics
  • POLI:3517   Global Justice
  • POLI:3518   Water Wars: Conflict and Cooperation
  • POLI:3519   Politics of Aging
  • POLI:3522   Ending Wars and Keeping Peace
  • POLI:3530   Diplomacy Lab
  • POLI:3560   Public Policy and Persuasion
  • POLI:3601   Politics of Film
Self-Designed Field

In rare circumstances, a student may petition the Ethics and Public Policy Faculty Steering Committee to designate a self-designed field.  The field is to consist of four 3000 and above courses that bear in an interconnected, coherent way on issues relevant to the major.

Proposals may be submitted to and should include:

  • a one page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your academic rationale for the proposed EPP field
  • a list of at least eight 3000 and above courses offered at The University of Iowa for the most recent four semesters (may include previous, present and future semesters). You must include the course number, course title, current course description, and a 3-4 sentence explanation as each course's relevance to your proposed field and your EPP major. 


Qualified students may earn a bachelor's degree with honors in ethics and public policy. In order to graduate with honors in the major, students must:

  • Earn a UI g.p.a. of at least 3.50 and a major g.p.a of 3.50.
  • Complete an honors thesis on a signifigant topic in their Field within the major.
  • Additonal requirements for honors will vary by the Field.  For information on those additional requirements, please contact either the member of the steering commitee in your Field or Senior Academic Advisor, Colleen Kelley