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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Online Business Ethics Courses


Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is offering two free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to the public. Already over 6,000 executives, professors and students have enrolled, and we invite you to join them.

The MOOCs are hosted on the platform and are taught by Kirk O. Hanson, longtime professor of business ethics at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Santa Clara University.



This course explores the nature of ethics, its role in a business career, and how to make practical ethical decisions.

This course ran from September 10 - October 19, 2018. Enrollment is now closed. Please check back later for a future enrollment date.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Module One: Introduction to Business Ethics
  • Module Two: Roles and Ethics
  • Module Three: Dilemmas and Decisions
  • Module Four: Ethical Decision Models


This course is designed to provide an overview of the role of the manager in shaping the ethics of the organization. Management theorists and ethics experts have increasingly concluded that this responsibility, to create and sustain the ethical organizational culture, is a fundamental task of every level of management. The course also provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in the life of a manager. It provides practical advice on general strategies for managing ethics and practical tools for shaping the ethical culture of a manager's team, work group, or organization.

The course ran from November 5 - December 14, 2018. Please check back later for a future enrollment date.

Overview and Course Expectations

The courses are self-paced. To be successful, students should plan about two hours per module to interact with the course content, which includes introducing yourself, watching the video vignettes, posting to case discussions, completing and posting to exercises, taking end-of-module quizzes, submitting a 400 word ethical analysis, and completing peer reviews of three other student ethics analyses. Further instruction is provided with in each module and in the Student Overview Module that lists the course requirements.

Letter of Completion and Badges

Students who complete all of the course requirements will receive a letter of completion from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and a digital badge from the instructor. No academic credit is granted.

What Students Are Saying

"I found the course very useful and it helped me add a different perspective to my thinking."
Greg Tong

“The course was very interesting. It provided a brief introduction to ethical behavior skills in the field of business and how ethical dilemmas could be solved in all of life.”
Ali Ibraham

"I teach a number of courses on governance, risk and controls and also teach a half day course on ethics for professional accountants. This is an opportunity for me to access resources to help further my own learning that can only help to further the knowledge of others."
Lisa Dorian

"I took both courses Business Ethics for the Real World and Creating an Ethical Corporate Culture as requisites for my new job as Communications Manager. My experience was great, I found the lectures very engaging, the activities interesting and down to earth cases study. These courses helped me a lot to develop the company's ethical corporate culture, with interesting tips and step by step work. Would recommend the courses to everyone that's interested in this topics! Keep up the good work!"
Luisa Fainchtein


Contact Keith Yocam at for questions or further information.