Philosophy is an open inquiry that goes beyond looking up answers in a book. It involves the disciplined examination of our most comprehensive goals, standards, and criteria. The study of philosophy provides an excellent foundation for careers in law, journalism, and management, which require clear, precise, and disciplined thought and uses of language.
Students majoring in philosophy must complete 30 credit hours in philosophy (24 required, 6 elective). With the exception of PHIL 110 or PHIL 111 (Deductive or Inductive Logic), these courses must be above the 100-level.
The following courses are required:
- Two electives [200-level or above]
- Logic [PHIL 110]
- Two courses in the History of Western Philosophy [1 of PHIL 211, 212, 213, and 1 section of 414 (Alpha)]
- Three courses in the core philosophical fields [PHIL 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 308, 321, 402, 436]
- One course in Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese Philosophy [PHIL 330, 350, 360, 380, 406]
- Undergraduate Capstone [PHIL 449]
Student Learning Outcomes
Philosophy students acquire the skills:
- of careful reading and interpretation of philosophical texts,
- of writing clear, succinct and well-argued papers,
- of responding critically to the ideas advanced by others, and
- of expressing ideas logically and coherently
- acquire a basic knowledge of the History of Western Philosophy,
- become acquainted with at least on non-Western philosophical tradition,
- become acquainted with at least one major topic in the contemporary study of philosophy
- demonstrate the ability to write a paper on a philosophical topic on which they have conducted independent research
All new majors are required to meet with the Undergraduate Chair in their first semester. All Philosophy Majors will meet with the Undergraduate Chair twice per academic year – once in the Fall term, once in the Spring term – until graduation. These meetings are to make sure students are on track to meet all of their major requirements. Failure to meet with the Undergraduate Chair will lead to a hold on registration.
Students electing to attain a minor must choose to concentrate in one of five areas: Asian Philosophy, Ethics and Law, Science and Society, Humanities and the Arts, or History of Philosophy. The courses that will satisfy each area are listed below. Students must take three courses (9 credit hours) in one area of concentration and two more courses in philosophy (above 100-level) as electives for a total of 15 credit hours in philosophy.
Asian Philosophy: PHIL 330, 350, 360, 370, 380, 406
Ethics and Law: PHIL 300, 301, 302, 303, 310, 317, 318, 319
Science and Society: PHIL 308, 313, 314, 315, 316, 422, 438
Humanities and the Arts: PHIL 305, 306, 311, 417, 418, 436
History of Philosophy: PHIL 211, 212, 213, 414
General Distribution: 1 Core, 1 Asian, 1 Western and 2 Electives
[for corresponding courses see major requirements]