Ethics Bowl

ethics bowl

Openings on the Villanova University Ethics Bowl Team Each year the Villanova Ethics Program sponsors one team consisting of five undergraduate students to prepare, travel, and compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. The competition begins with ten regional matches in the fall that feed the national competition, held in the early spring.

The Ethics Bowl competition is presented annually by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics as a method of involving students in deliberating and debate on difficult ethical cases and controversies. The national competition, which draws together the top 32 teams from the regional rounds, is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

At the regional competition, the participating teams compete in three rounds. The teams are given a dozen or more complex ethical and policy cases to study in advance of the competition, though they are not told what questions they will be asked about any case. For each match, one team is required to present a view on a case and then respond to questions from the opposing team and judges. Then the roles are reversed, and the opposing team presents an argument surrounding a different case, after which they respond to questions. Teams are evaluated at the end of each match for the quality of their arguments, responses, and counter-responses. The top three to four teams advance to the national competition.

At the national competition, the 32 participating teams compete in three rounds in the morning, using a format similar to the regional competitions. The top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals, which are held in the evening.

Interested students should send their name, year, major (or possible major), along with a statement of interest by email, to Dr. Mark Wilson.

Applicants are encouraged to include information about their coursework and background in ethics, along with any questions about the Ethics Bowl team that they may have. Team members meet twice a week from around late September until the November regional event. If they are successful in being selected to participate in the national competition, they will again meet twice a week from the beginning of second semester until the national competition.


Here are some of our past and upcoming events. Visit this section often to keep up-to-date on all of the exciting things happening in the program.

Annual Ethics Lecture

Ethics for Lunch Schedule

Annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium

Annual Praxis Award in Professional Ethics

Learn more about the Catherine of Siena Ethics Teaching Fellowship

Returning Soldiers' Project