Here’s a week-by-week breakdown of what you'll discuss:

Week 1: Introduction to Effective Altruism


In this week, participants will get to know each other and their facilitator. Topics discussed include, cause-neutrality, scope-insensitivity, and a framework for cause-prioritization.

Week 2: Rationality


In this week, participants will cover counterfactual reasoning and expected value and their application to altruistic endeavors.

Week 3: Expanding Our Compassion


In week 3, participants discuss who we should consider when taking action to do good, with a particular focus on the concept of sentience and the farmed animal welfare cause area. We also use the term “Cause X” to ask what opportunities we could be missing.

Week 4: Longtermism and Existential Risk

This week covers arguments for and against the philosophy of longtermism. Participants consider the positive impact of pandemic prevention and nuclear risk reduction.

Week 5: Effective Altruism in your Life

In week 5, participants discuss how the principles of Effective Altruism can be applied to their choice of career. Participants are also connected with high impact internship opportunities, professional impact-oriented career advising, as well as further opportunities within EA UW.

Who Should Apply?

The seminar is open to all members of the UW-Madison community. For others, please apply through EA Virtual Programs.

We recommend applying to this program if you:

  • Want to make a large positive impact through your career, giving, or volunteering
  • Can commit 2 hours a week to readings and exercises, in addition to the weekly 1-hour discussions
  • Can attend at least 4 out of the 5 weekly discussion sessions

We are committed to building a diverse group of members. We strongly encourage interested students to apply regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, etc. We also encourage undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, as well as individuals from all intellectual backgrounds and majors to apply.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you do more good.