Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 353–358 | Cite as

A Survey of Ethics Training in Undergraduate Psychology Programs at Jesuit Universities

  • Thomas G. Plante
  • Selena Pistoresi


Training in ethics is fundamental in higher education among both faith-based and secular colleges and universities, regardless of one’s academic major or field of study. Catholic colleges and universities have included moral philosophy, theology, and applied ethics in their undergraduate curricula for generations. The purpose of this investigation was to determine what, if anything, Jesuit college psychology departments are doing to educate psychology majors regarding ethical issues. A survey method was used to assess the psychology departments of all 28 Jesuits colleges and universities in the United States. A total of 21 of the 28 schools responded and completed the survey. Five schools (23%) reported that they offered a course specifically on ethics in psychology, and three (14%) additional schools offered related courses. Of the eight (38%) that offered ethics-related courses, only one required its majors to take it, and only if they were enrolled in the mental health or forensic psychology tracks. For two (10%) of the schools, the ethics in psychology course counted as a university core ethics requirement; for two others (10%), the class met an elective university ethics requirement for psychology majors.


Ethics Psychology Undergraduates Jesuit education 



The authors wish to thank the Santa Clara University Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Simran Singh, MD, from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation for their support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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