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In this course, students explore their own perspectives on the purpose and use of technology in the modern world. It invites students to develop their own set of tech values that inform how they will both use and design contemporary technology, by exploring foundational questions about the nature of humanity, society, and the universe. (Counts for the Religion, Theology, and Culture 1 requirement in the Core Curriculum)

This two-course sequence examines the connections between technological innovation and the common good across different cultures and historical periods. Exploring global case studies, students identify elements, and explore the complexity, of the cultures examined through course modules on significant objects, texts, ideas, issues, and/or events in historical context related to technology and the common good. Students examine both shared and diverse human experiences across cultures to connect the relevance of the past to the cultural present, as well as to personal worldviews, cultural assumptions, and values, in probing technology and the common good. (Counts for the Culture and Ideas 1 & 2 requirements in the Core Curriculum)

Making the case for the need for ethical analysis in the design of the most powerful technologies of the 21st century, this course applies normative ethical methodologies (e.g. rule, right and duty deontologies; consequentialism, virtue ethics) to the development and design of historical, contemporary, and emerging technologies. Using weekly case analysis and small group discussion, students apply the ethical methodologies learned to examine the ethics of specific historical events and contemporary technologies. (Counts for the Ethics requirement in the Core Curriculum)

  1. Module in ENGR-1 on “Professional Engineering” In this module, students are introduced to the concept of engineering as a “professional” discipline. We cannot live and operate in the world without some trust in the constructed world around us. The fact is, most of our engineered world is beyond the knowledge of the average user of that world. As a result, society must trust in the professional expertise of the engineers who design, build, and maintain our world.


  1. Modules in ENGR-197a and ENGR-197b (Senior Design) on “Designing for Ethics” As students begin thinking about their capstone “Senior Design” project, this series of modules teaches students how their moral and social commitments and values provide key inputs (and sometimes constraints) on their engineering design process.

Contact Us

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Heafey-Bergin, Bldg. 202
Sobrato Discovery, Bldg. 402

408-554-5474 fax