This program allows you to earn a Certificate of Proficiency, a qualification that recognizes a focus of philosophical study of values in moral, social and legal contexts. You will gain knowledge of ethical theories which have been influential in shaping our thinking about rights, citizenship, democracy, virtue and our obligations to others.

Quick facts
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

What you will learn

You will develop rigorous, critical thinking about practical issues in ethics, justice and the law. You will explore the fundamentals of ethical theory and its application to contemporary issues and debates such as ethics in technology, scientific research and business, as well as ethical questions pertaining to sexuality, our relations with animals, and medical practice.

PHIL 236.3: Ethics and Technology

An overview of ethical issues related to the impact of modern technology on society, on scientific research, on the activities of corporations and professionals, and how technology affects our understanding of ethical responsibility. Specific topics that may be considered include issues in biotechnology (including genetic engineering and genomic medicine), information technology (including data privacy and the use of encryption technologies), as well as related issues such as intellectual property rights and risk assessment.

PHIL 234: Biomedical Ethics

An examination of contemporary biomedical ethical issues such as the definition of a person, determination of life and death, euthanasia, abortion, prenatal diagnosis and intervention, problems in the physician-patient relationship, reproductive technologies, genetic engineering and accessibility to health care.

PHIL 262: Social and Political Philosophy

An examination of philosophical theories of political organization. Such issues as justice and power, rights, freedom and the public good will be discussed.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

The certificate provides both students already enrolled in a philosophy programme and those who do not wish to complete a full major, but do want to explore the area more deeply, an opportunity to make a substantive commitment to the study of value theory. It also enables students with a strong interest in philosophy but who want to pursue degrees in fields such as Law, Medicine, Business, Education or Journalism to receive a formal acknowledgement of their success in this widely acknowledged and accepted area of study.


Some career opportunities include:

  • Law
  • Public policy
  • Business administration
  • Ethics consultant
  • Education
  • Journalism and Media
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Other fields involving social policy issues.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $746 per 3 credit unit class $3,611 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,121 per year $1,121 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

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The two year Certificate in Ethics, Justice and Law is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science, through the Department of Philosophy. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from here or another institution.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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If you are interested in more information about this certificate, please contact student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca