Make the right choice

The Professional Ethics minor at St. Edward’s University will help you make ethical decisions in your professional life. This minor requires 18 total hours. 

Students take Ethical Analysis, an Internship in Philosophy and four electives, choosing from:
  • Legal Ethics
  • Ethics and Public Policy
  • Special Topics in Philosophy (when relevant to applied ethics)
  • Medical Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Business Ethics

Ethics plays a role in our lives as individuals, groups, organizations, and as a society. We use ethics to understand what’s right or wrong, what's good or bad, and what’s fair or unfair. Ethics is nearly unavoidable because it affects how daily life and the choices we make.

In your professional capacity, you may find yourself making decisions that affect many people, such as:
  • Should you fire employees to keep costs down and please stakeholders? 
  • If you design your own fashion line, how do you make sure the people making your clothes are treated fairly? 
  • What should you do if a colleague comes to work under the influence of marijuana? 
  • Should you only serve sustainable food at your restaurant? 

A minor in Professional Ethics will equip you with the reasoning skills needed to navigate an increasingly complicated world with a lot of grey areas. 


Outside of the Classroom

Food & Philosophy Ethics Series

A recurring event designed to stimulate intellectual conversations about current topics.

Past discussions have centered around topics such as:
  • Decisional Capacity and the Adolescent: Reconsidering the Doctrine of the Mature Minor
  • Genetically Engineering Our Children
  • Drug Peddlers & Politicians: Why Al Capone is Morally Superior to Al Gore

For more info, contact: markc [at] (Dr. Mark J. Cherry), 512-448-8536]

Film Screenings

Watch a film and engage in thoughtful discussion afterward about issues presented in the film.

Examples of past films include:
  • Made in Dagenham
  • The Cantinera
  • Which Way Home

For more info, contact: jennrm [at] (Jennifer Mata), 512-428-1280

Fusion Discussion Group

Faculty, staff, and students discuss their diverse and distinct perspectives on important and relevant issues. A brief reading is selected for discussion during lunch. Past discussion topics have included:

Meet the Faculty

Research Interests

  • Ethics and bioethics
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • The democratic values of inclusion
  • Self-governance in legal studies
  • Applied ethics

Published Work

The faculty in the Philosophy department at St. Edward's University have collectively authored more than 20 books and several dozen articles for professional publications and research journals. These include work for The Annals of Bioethics, the book series Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture, The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, and more.

Why They Teach

"I teach because I believe it is important for students to have an intellectual “tool kit” that will help them succeed in their lives beyond college." Stephen C. Dilley, PhD
"My approach to teaching, like many philosophers, is about asking individuals what an author means and how and why they agree or disagree with the author’s arguments." Jack Musselman, PhD
"I hope that through my courses I’m able to show my students what is possible in the world of knowledge and learning." William J. Zanardi, Ph