Minor in Free Enterprise and Ethics


There is an increasing interest and demand from business students for guidance in exploring the ethical pressures, perspectives and conflicts faced in making real-world business decisions. In addition, the recent notoriety of ethical breaches in corporate America and political America puts a bright spotlight on temptations that sometimes compromise clarity in drawing ethical lines.

The purpose of the Free Enterprise and Ethics coursework is to help students develop a deeper awareness and understanding of the ramifications of a host of ethical issues, viewed from a variety of economic, societal, civic, legal and personal value system perspectives, as they relate to business practice in a free enterprise economy. It provides business students experience grappling with the kinds of realistic ethical decisions they will encounter as practitioners.

In addition, the minor's curriculum is intended to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of all aspects of the impacts of the economic principles of free enterprise on society, the business sector, and the individual. In doing so, the collection of course offerings provides comparisons with other prominent perspectives on market behavior and business practices, and focus on similarities and differences in their underlying value systems.

Application Procedure

Housed in the Department of Finance, students interested in the minor must apply in person by meeting with Dr. Christiansen for an interview. To be approved, the application requires the department chair’s signature. Please note the minor credential is not intended as a diploma or a degree.

The minor is offered only to undergraduates currently pursuing a College of Business major. Applicants may not be registered as special students. In addition, students must have a GPA of 3.2 or above to take part in the minor coursework.

Minor Requirements

The required number of credits for the minor is 12 hours. There is no time limit, other than that the minor curriculum must be completed between the time of a student’s admission to the College of Business and graduation from the College of Business. Transfer credits are not accepted.

All minor course credits can be counted toward a student’s 120 hour degree requirement. But none, other than The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (BUL 3310) which is a general business core requirement for all business majors, and Perspectives On Free Enterprise (GEB 4455), which qualifies as an elective for completion of the finance major undergraduate program of study, fulfills specific requirements for any major offered in the College of Business .

Program of Studies

All candidates for the minor must take and pass the following two courses offered in the College of Business:

  • BUL3310 - The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (3 credit hours)
  • GEB 4455 - Perspectives On Free Enterprise (3 credit hours capstone course)

Plus, all minor candidates must take and pass any two (2) additional three (3) credit hour courses of their choosing from a prescribed list of electives offered outside the College of Business.

The following represent current available courses, but the list below may not be offered or available every semester:

  • ECO 3004 - Debating Economic Issues (3). Prerequisites: ECO 2013, 2023. Economic analysis applied to current economic policy issues. Topics may include financial markets, Social Security, debt finance, health care, immigration, global climate change and environmental policy, regulation, welfare reform, labor market discrimination, drug policy and topics selected by students.
  • ECO 3303 - History of Economic Ideas (3). Prerequisite: any 2000-level ECO course. The evolution of economic ideas from ancient Greece to the modern period emphasizing the relationship between developments in economic analysis and cultural/technological changes. Critique of modern economic theory in terms of its sources and logical content.
  • ECO 3622 - Growth of the American Economy (3). Prerequisites: ECO 2013 and ECO 2023. Factors in the development of economic forces, resources, institutions and ideas relating to American economic growth analyzed through growth theories and issue debates on economic history.
  • ECS 3003 - Comparative Economic Systems (3). Prerequisites: ECO 2013, 2023.Theoretical and practical aspects of the principal forms of economic organization. Emphasis on the varieties of market-based systems and economies in transition from centrally-planned toward market economies.
  • PHI 2100 - Reasoning and Critical Thinking (3). An introductory logic course intended to provide students with an understanding of and practice in using reasoning to support conclusions and decisions. The course emphasizes acquisition of the skills necessary to draft clear, persuasive arguments and is particularly useful for those planning further studies in fields such as law or business.
  • PHI 2630 - Ethical Issues and Life Choices (3). A course that draws on ethical theories to explore the major ethical issues that one faces as one makes decisions about the kinds of activities to engage in and the kind of life to lead. Issues such as those involving life and death (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and social justice (e.g., discrimination, responsibility to future generations) are examined.
  • PHI 3641 - Business Ethics (3). An identification and a discussion of defensible solutions for moral and ethical problems as they arise in the conduct of business and economic transactions. International business settings and the ethical problems arising from the need to design products and services that appeal to diverse national and world populations are considered.
  • POT 3502 - Politics and Ethics (3). This course examines governing as the process of collective decision-making as a society's search for public ethics.
  • REL 3170 - Religious Ethics and Moral Problems (3). A discussion of contemporary moral problems such as deception, sexual activities and relations, and capital punishment from the standpoints of major religious traditions.
  • REL 3180r - Topics in Ethics (3). Consideration of themes and problems in modern ethics. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.

To be admitted to the College of Business, a student must have already taken and passed ECO 2013 and ECO 2023, identified as prerequisites to several of the ECO and ECS electives. The 3 credit hour course, The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (BUL 3310), is a general business core requirement for all business majors. Students must earn a "C-" or better. The 3 credit hour course, Perspectives On Free Enterprise (GEB 4455), qualifies as one of the two required electives for completion of the finance major undergraduate program of study. Students must earn a "C-" or better.

None of the other courses in the minor satisfies the requirements for any business major.Minor completion, in and of itself, does not satisfy partial requirements for any major in the College of Business, nor for any major in any other school or college.

Note: At Florida State, minors are not posted on transcripts and are not included on diplomas.