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Ethics and Leadership Initiative

Undergraduate Certificate

The ethics and leadership undergraduate certificate aims to rise to the challenges set out by this Initiative: 

  • In your role as a student, a friend, a community member and a future employee, you do and will continue to face situations in which it is not clear which action is best or right. Ethics provides the tools necessary to weigh values and discern what you ought to do. 
  • However, even when the right action becomes clear, it is rarely an easy task to perform that action. This is where Leadership comes in. Leaders are people who do not follow, but rather act from their own set of values.

The goal of the certificate is to provide a foundation and a framework that both directly helps cultivate Ethics and Leadership, as well as indirectly aids students in learning these lessons in their other courses and lives more broadly.

See below for specific requirements. For more information, please email 

Certificate Components

Traditional courses and mini-courses allowing intimate and focused peer discussion.

Individual mentorship and a capstone project.

Co-curricular and experiential learning to put the lessons of the classroom into practice.

Certificate Details

One Credit: Foundations of Ethics and Leadership

Capstone: Culminating Experience

Choose one of the following: 

ANT325: Anthropology of Human Rights

HRS200: Introduction to Human Rights

PHL304: Philosophy of Human Nature

PHL310: Social Philosophy

PHL371: Philosophy and Human Rights

PHL375: Ethical Theory

POL318: Public Integrity and Political Leadership

REL250: Special Topics*

REL261: Faith Traditions: Human Rights

REL363: Faith & Justice

*When topic is "Faith Traditions: Moral Reasoning" or otherwise approved

**Additional courses may be approved by the director on a case-by-case basis.

Choose two of the following: 

ANT340: Place, Culture and Social Justice

MUS302: Ethics and American Popular Music

PHL312: Ethics

PHL313: Business Ethics

PHL314: Philosophy of Law

PHL315: Medical Ethics

PHL316: Engineering Ethics

PHL317: Ethics of War

PHL318: Family Ethics

PHL319: Information Ethics

PHL321: Environmental Ethics

PHL331: Science, Values, and Society

POL300: Political Issues

POL308: Morality Policy

POL331: Nationalism & Ethnopolitics

POL333: Politics of Human Rights

POL340: Gender, Women’s Rights and Global Politics

POL341: Power, Gender & Performance

POL426: Leadership in Building Communities

REL367: Christian Ethics & Health Care Issues

REL368: Christian Ethics & the Business World

REL369: Christian Ethics & Engineering

SOC204: Modern Social Problems

SOC339: Social Inequality

SOC342: Social Movements

SOC371: Sociology of Human Rights

SOC/SWK380: Health and Inequality

SOC384: Food Justice

SWK201: Social Work Practice & Profession

SWK401: Community Field Experience

Students are required to engage in at least three co-curricular activities for a total of at least 15 hours. Activities must be approved by the program coordinator. Current offerings include, but may not be limited to:

Ethics and Leadership Initiative Offerings

  • Ethics and Leadership Internship
  • Speaker and Film Series
  • Workshops, such as Giving Games
  • Essay and Art Contests
  • Ethics and Leadership Competitions

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community Offerings

  • River Stewards
  • Dayton Civic Scholars

Brook Center Offerings

  • Ally Training
  • Green Dot Training

Student Leadership Programs Offerings

  • Leadership Development Workshops
  • Fall Leadership Conference
  • Women’s Leadership Immersion
  • Collegiate Leadership Competition

Center for Social Concern Offerings

  • REAL Dayton
  • Breakouts
  • Plunges
  • Cross-Cultural Immersions
  • Table of Plenty (dialogues on social justice issues)
  • Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
  • UD Summer Appalachia Program

For more information, please email 


Ethics and Leadership Initiative

1401 S. Main St., Suite 200
Dayton, Ohio 45409