Philosophy Department

Majoring in Philosophy

Requirements for the Undergraduate Major in Philosophy

(A total of 10 courses)

  1. PHL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy)
  2. PHL 110 (Intro Logic), 201 (History of Ancient Philosophy), 202 (History of Modern Philosophy) and 300 (Seminar for Majors).
  3. Five additional Philosophy courses, meeting the following conditions.
    1. At least three of the courses must be advanced courses in Philosophy. Advanced courses are those numbered above PHL 202.
    2. At least one of the courses must be in ethics (PHL 102, 103, 118, 220-230, 308, 311).
    3. At least one of the courses must be selected from either Logic and Related Courses (PHL 211-219), or Traditional Philosophical Disciplines (PHL 240-249), or Philosophy of Science (PHL 250-259).
    4. At least one of the courses must be an advanced Philosophy course designated with a ‘W’, to indicate upper-level writing credit. These courses are available with the permission of the instructor.
  4. A relevant course in an allied field may be substituted for a Philosophy elective (in group 3 above), with the permission of the Philosophy Department’s undergraduate advisor.

Departmental Honors

Students who have at least a 3.7 GPA in a philosophy major and show promise of being able to complete an honors thesis are eligible to pursue a degree with honors. Honors in Philosophy will be awarded to graduating concentrators who complete 4 credit hours of an Honors Tutorial (PHL 392), 4 credit hours of an Honors Thesis (PHL 393) (including an oral examination), and 4 credit hours of a graduate seminar in philosophy, or in an undergraduate seminar approved for honors credit.

The bachelor's degree with various degrees of distinction is offered on recommendation of the Department and is based primarily on the grade-point average in philosophy (3.4: distinction; 3.6: high distinction; 3.8: highest distinction). Performance in undergraduate seminars and in independent study is sometimes considered.

Majors with a Special Emphasis

Concentrators wishing to emphasize a particular sub-field of interest may make use of the following optional guidelines, which offer potential plans emphasizing Law and Ethics, History of Philosophy, or Logic and the Philosophy of Science. Note that these plans do not affect how the Philosophy major is listed on your transcript (i.e., no information about a special emphasis will appear on the transcript): the only official requirements are the general major requirements above.

Philosophy Major with Emphasis on Law and Ethics:

(A total of 10 courses)

  1. PHL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy)
  2. PHL 110 (Intro Logic), 201 (History of Ancient Philosophy), 202 (History of Modern Philosophy) and 300 (Seminar for Majors).
  3. Five additional courses, meeting the following conditions.
    1. At least three of the courses must be advanced courses in Philosophy. Advanced courses are those numbered above PHL 202.
    2. At least four courses in law, ethics, or reasoning (PHL 102-6, 118, 220-230, 308, 311).
    3. At least one of the courses must be selected from either Logic and Related Courses (PHL 211-219), or Traditional Philosophical Disciplines (PHL 240-249), or Philosophy of Science (PHL 250-259).
    4. At least one of the courses must be an advanced Philosophy course designated with a ‘W’, to indicate upper-level writing credit. These courses are available with the permission of the instructor.
  4. An advanced course in an allied field may be substituted for a Philosophy course in requirement (3) above, with the permission of the Philosophy Department’s undergraduate advisor.

Philosophy Major with Emphasis on History:

(A total of 10 courses)

  1. PHL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy)
  2. PHL 110 (Intro Logic), 201 (History of Ancient Philosophy), 202 (History of Modern Philosophy) and 300 (Seminar for Majors).
  3. Five additional courses, meeting the following conditions.
    1. At least three of the courses must be advanced courses in Philosophy. Advanced courses are those numbered above PHL 202.
    2. At least one of the courses must be in ethics (PHL 102, 103, 118, 220-230, 308, 311).
    3. At least one of the courses must be selected from either Logic and Related Courses (PHL 211-219), or Traditional Philosophical Disciplines (PHL 240-249), or Philosophy of Science (PHL 250-259).
    4. At least three courses in the history of philosophy from among PHL 221, 260-269, 303, 318, 324.
    5. At least one of the courses must be an advanced Philosophy course designated with a ‘W’, to indicate upper-level writing credit. These courses are available with the permission of the instructor.
  4. An advanced course in an allied field may be substituted for a Philosophy course in requirement (3) above, with the permission of the Philosophy Department’s undergraduate advisor.

Philosophy Major with Emphasis on Logic and the Philosophy of science:

(A total of 10 courses)

  1. PHL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy)
  2. PHL 110 (Intro Logic), 201 (History of Ancient Philosophy), 202 (History of Modern Philosophy) and 300 (Seminar for Majors).
  3. Five additional courses, meeting the following conditions.
    1. At least three of the courses must be advanced courses in Philosophy. Advanced courses are those numbered above PHL 202.
    2. At least one of the courses must be in ethics (PHL 102, 103, 118, 220-230, 308, 311).
    3. At least three courses in logic (211-219) or philosophy of science (250-259).
    4. At least one of the courses must be an advanced Philosophy course designated with a ‘W’, to indicate upper-level writing credit. These courses are available with the permission of the instructor.
  4. An advanced course in an allied field may be substituted for a Philosophy course in requirement (3) above, with the permission of the Philosophy Department’s undergraduate advisor.

Double Major

Philosophy majors often have a second major, and majors in other areas often have a philosophy minor; see the undergraduate advisor for details.

More details about majoring in philosophy (such as requirements for majors with special emphasis, honors majors, etc.) can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

APA Statement

APA Statement on the Philosophy major.

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