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Parr Center Ethics Scholars

As of 2020, the Parr Center is pleased to be able to offer a structured program for Carolina undergraduates from all fields of study who are interested in ethics. Students who participate in the program invest significant time and effort in ethical reflection, leadership, and skills development over two years. In recognition of their special concentration on ethics, students who complete the program are recognized as Parr Center Ethics Scholars by an official designation on their University transcript. The creation of this program has been made possible by a generous donation from the Center’s founding donor, Gary Parr, whose support we gratefully acknowledge.

Check out our Parr Center Ethics Scholar Handbook or read the information below to learn about the program requirements.


Two Years as a Parr Center Ethics Fellow

The Parr Center Ethics Fellow program is a selective co-curricular program for which students are chosen based on a written application and a personal interview with Parr Center staff. Criteria for selection are the student’s interest in deepening their ethical competencies through co-curricular enhancement and their potential contribution to team-based and project-based moral learning.

Fellows must participate in all required Fellow activities. The Ethics Fellow program kicks off yearly with a full-day orientation/retreat with Parr Center staff. Next, Fellows meet twice each month throughout the academic year for student-focused lectures by scholars across UNC. In addition, Fellows must attend several of the Parr Center’s public lectures each year. After training with Parr Center staff, Ethics Fellows serve as moderators at the North Carolina and National High School Ethics Bowls competitions each year on our campus. Finally, Fellows pursue team-based projects in ethics at the Parr Center throughout the academic year. They spend at least two hours per week working with their teams and are closely supervised by Parr Center staff. As an Ethics Fellow, Parr Center Ethics Scholars will spend about 85 hours per year, 170 hours in total, on these co-curricular activities at the Parr Center. To learn more, click here!

Photo Credit: Alex Berenfeld

At Least Two Academic Courses in Ethics

Scholars are required to take a minimum of two academic courses in ethics during their time at UNC. The first class can be any of the courses on a master list maintained by the Parr Center. The second class serves as a capstone course in ethics and can take the form of either mentored research or mentored experiential learning.


One course drawn from a master list of UNC courses. These courses are centrally concerned to nourish student reflection on ethics and ethical problems.

List of UNC Courses in Ethics

One capstone course in ethics, for which Scholars may choose between mentored research and mentored experiential learning. These experiences serve to deepen and put into practice student knowledge of ethics and ethical problems. Scholars typically complete this requirement with a member of the Parr Center academic staff.

Mentored Research

Scholars who elect the mentored research route write a research paper in ethics. Scholars are encouraged to select a member of the Parr Center academic staff as a mentor; in this case, Scholars would enroll in PHIL 396: Directed Readings or another course number as appropriate. However, Scholars may request approval for a different mentor from the Parr Center Director. Scholars interested in pursuing this option should contact Program Director Sally Moore at

Mentored Experiential

Scholars who elect the mentored experiential learning route complete an experiential learning project in ethics. Scholars typically select a Parr Center academic staff member as a mentor and enroll in PHIL 261: Ethics in Action or PHIL 292: Fieldwork in Philosophy. However, Scholars may request approval for a different mentor from the Parr Center Director. Scholars interested in pursuing this option should consult example courses in the Parr Center Ethics Scholar Handbook and contact Program Director Sally Moore at

At Least One Relevant Skills Training Course Offered By a Campus Unit

Approved skills training courses help Scholars learn to include and lead others in ethical pursuits. Below is the current listing of approved Skills Training Courses. Scholars may complete an alternative skills training course upon the approval of the Parr Center Director.


Training CourseCreated By...
Carolina United RetreatUNC Student Life and Leadership
EmbodyEmbody Carolina
Green ZoneCarolina Veterans Resource Center
HAVENCarolina Women's Center
Mental Health First Aid Training UNC School of Social Work
Rethink Psychiatric IllnessUNC Campus Y
Safe Zone LGBTQ Center
Undocu Carolina Ally TrainingLATINX Center

Final Reflection and Public Presentation

Participants in the program will submit a log of their experiences and activities from the above list each semester. Parr Center staff will review the cumulative records before graduation to ensure completion of all program requirements.


Seniors in their last semester will submit a 750-1000 word essay, articulating how participation in the Parr Center Ethics Scholar Program has enhanced their ethical reflection, leadership, and practice. In addition, Parr Center staff provide individualized feedback to help Scholars make meaning from their experience in the program.

In addition, Seniors will present their ethics research or project at a public poster show open to the public or an approved conference or symposium open to the public. The Parr Center holds an annual End of Year Celebration & Poster Show where Scholars may fulfill this requirement.

Two Fellows smile, standing next to their organized and informative academic poster. They are at the End of the Year Poster Show and Celebration.

Questions? Email our Director of Undergraduate Programming, Sally Moore.