ERG 501 is designed to help SEAS graduate students cultivate ethical awareness, reflection, and practical tools regarding their research practices for future work at or beyond the University. ERG 501 encourages graduate engineering students: to consider the social and ethical impact of their research; and to develop disciplines of “ethical reflection and analysis” in their professional conduct and throughout the engineering process. Though specific Codes of Ethics within varying engineering societies are useful, they are not sufficient in preparing engineers for the social and ethical challenges that arise in today’s complex systems.

The course is a mixture of lectures, short readings, class discussions, guest engineer interviews, and group presentations. The course provides the mandated Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for graduate students supported by government grants and is required for successful completion of the program.

ERG 501 is a P/D/F course only. In order to receive a “Pass” for the course, three requirements must be met:

1.   Attendance: Because ERG501 is a mandated RCR training course for graduate students, attendance is required for compliance purposes.

2.   Group Presentation: Students will be formed into small groups to present to the wider class an ethical case study or scenario of engineering.

3.   Reflection Paper: Each student is must submit a three-page reflection paper at the completion of the course.