Core: Level III

Level III of Critical Thought and Inquiry is the core capstone. Addressing complex, real-world issues, students apply learning and hone their research and presentation skills.


CTI 400-424: Core Capstone
In the Capstone courses at Level III, students will propose their own solutions to ethically complex, "real-world" issues. For example, in recent classes students could choose one of four issues or areas to work in:

  • Debating the revolution in sex and reproduction (in vitro fertilization, surrogate and donor pregnancies, etc.)
  • Analyzing the ethical and environmental problems in creating free market economics in Russia.
  • Debating the line between "private" and "public" in tobacco regulation and school vouchers.
  • Debating the law and ethics of the death penalty.



CTI Capstones, offerings vary each year
Note: at least one Capstone is normally offered during the 8-week summer session.

  • CTI 401. Birth by Any Means? 4 cr. hrs.
    In the United States today, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a virtually unregulated field of medical practice. In this capstone course, students will consider competing ethical frameworks on the technological creation of life. Students will also develop careful proposals on whether and how to regulate ART in a variety of settings, from the law and public funding to counseling briefs for hospitals.
  • CTI 402. Capitalism and Democracy: What makes a good society? 4 cr. hrs.
    This course examines the challenges, the dilemmas, and the fundamental issues at stake
    in creating democratic political systems with market economies. It also explores the stresses placed by globalization on developed capitalist democracies today.
  • CTI 404. State & Society. 4 cr. hrs.
    This course will focus on current debates over the proper scope of the public sector in American life. Students will examine contending perspectives on where and how to draw the line between the public and the private. The contending perspectives might include libertarianism and social justice liberalism, as well as Roman Catholic and Calvinist views of "natural law." Students will then consider two current public questions: the regulation of tobacco and school vouchers.
  • CTI 406. Capital Punishment. 4 cr. hrs.
    This course will examine the current debate surrounding capital punishment. Students in
    this course will examine arguments in favor of and against the death penalty in the United States, and will also investigate the differing religious opinions, both Christian and non-Christian, that exist concerning this topic. Finally students will learn about the role that scientific evidence, specifically DNA testing, plays in this debate, and will also learn about the social justice issues that are imperative to understanding this topic.
  • CTI 408. Health Care at Any Cost? 4 cr. hrs.
    As healthcare costs stretch our national resources, we are faced with choices about personal and societal health. In this course, students will explore the current US healthcare system and how health values are shaped by and shape consumerism. We examine justice in healthcare and how current trends will impact future healthcare delivery. Students will critically appraise selected issues relating to healthcare and use a research process for analyzing cost in managed healthcare situations.
  • CTI 409. Immigration: Do Fences Make Good Neighbors? 4 cr. hrs.
    This course will examine the issue of U.S national identity as found in our conceptions of citizenship and national boundaries. We will raise these questions:What does it mean to be an American? What should it take to enter the United States legally? What does it mean to acquire United States citizenship? The goal of this examination will be to understand how various conceptions of national identity, citizenship, and national borders shape the current debates over immigration policy. After exploring the ethical, economic, biological and social issues regarding immigration, students will create an immigration policy. That policy will be assessed as to its internally consistency, fit with the U.S. Constitution, moral soundness, and comprehensiveness in defining the bounds of legal immigration as well as consequences of illegal entry. 
  • CTI 410. Private Solutions for Public Problems: In Billionaires We Trust. 4 cr. hrs.
    Increasingly, high profile individuals and corporations from are using their dollars and influence to try to solve social problems. In doing so, they are effectively creating public policy despite their status as private citizens. This course examines the role of private philanthropy in solving public problems. The ethics and values of philanthropy rooted in the evolution of the third sector, primarily in the United States, will be analyzed. Attention will be given to legal and philosophical issues associated with philanthropic endeavors, including the social responsibility of the corporation, looking at how profit motive interacts with social causes. We will discuss models of philanthropic and charitable organizations, their operational practices, and issues arising from their existence and activities. In order to frame our discussion on philanthropy, each semester a major global issue currently being impacted by private philanthropy will be addressed, such as climate change or the global AIDS epidemic.




  • Dr. Rein Staal, Coordinator, Professor of Political Science
  • Dr. Gary Armstrong, Professor of Political Science 
  • Dr. Kenneth Alpern, Professor of Oxbridge Honors Program 
  • Dr. Michael Cook, John W. Boatwright Chair, Professor of Economics 
  • Dr. Alan Holiman, Professor of Political Science 
  • Dr. Kelli Schutte, Associate Professor of Business, Department Chair
  • Mrs. Liz Hoyt, Assistant Professor of Business
  • Dr. Elaine Reynolds, Professor of History, Department Chair

AllofE Solutions