Philosophy (B.A.)

Philosophy contributes to the liberal education of any student, whatever his/her predominant interest, by its emphasis on clear and cogent thought, by consideration of the interrelations of fact and value, by training in logic and the methodology of inquiry, and by a study and analysis of major philosophical outlooks.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University. Students who are planning to major in philosophy or who simply wish advice or consultation concerning course offerings and programs should see the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy. 

 

Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the departmental major  requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees.

Major Requirements 

Students planning to major in Philosophy should consult the department's undergraduate advisor as early as possible. Students may satisfy the major in either of two ways: with a traditional concentration or with a concentration in law, ethics and justice.

CORE COURSE (3-4 credits). All students (of either concentration) must take one of the following logic courses:

Select one of the following:3-4
Introductory Symbolic Logic
Honors Introductory Symbolic Logic
Advanced Symbolic Logic

Traditional Concentration

This option is primarily intended for those students whose interests in Philosophy are broad and general, and for those who are considering doing graduate-level work in Philosophy. A candidate pursuing this concentration must complete a minimum of ten courses in Philosophy, including the Logic Core Course (see above) as well as the following courses and selections from course groups (found in Philosophy Courses (PHI):

1. Two courses in the History of Philosophy group (one in ancient philosophy, and one in modern philosophy):
Ancient Philosophy (select one of the following):
(PL) Ancient Greek Philosophy
The Presocratics and Sophists
Plato
Aristotle
Modern Philosophy (select one of the following):
(PL) Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy
Continental Rationalism
British Empiricism
Kant
2. Select one course in the Value Theory Group
3. Select one course in the Philosophical Problems Group
4. Select four 5000-level courses (other than 5990 or 5993), which must total at least 14 credits

In addition, a major in philosophy must register for PHI 5993 (Writing Intensive Course in Philosophy) in association with some 3000-or 5000-level Philosophy class; this course is not counted toward the ten-course minimum.

NOTE: Courses taken at the 5000-level which are used to satisfy any of requirements 1-3 may also be counted toward requirement 4, though the ten-course minimum for the major must still be met. PHI 5990 (Directed Reading) will not count toward the 14 credits at the 5000-level, except under special circumstances, and with the permission of the supervising instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Law, Ethics and Justice Concentration

This option is intended for students who have a special interest in ethical issues, social justice, philosophy of law, or pre-law. A candidate pursuing this concentration must complete a minimum of ten courses in Philosophy, including the Core Courses (see above) as well as the following courses and selections from course groups:

1. One course in the History of Philosophy group
(PL) Ancient Greek Philosophy
(PL) Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy
The Presocratics and Sophists
Plato
Aristotle
Continental Rationalism
British Empiricism
Kant
2. Select one course from the Philosophical Problems Group
3. PHI 2320 - (PL) Introduction to Ethics
4. Select one of the following:
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Human Rights
Foundations of Law
Philosophy of Law
Special Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Or other approved course in social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, ore human rights. 1
5. Select one of the following:
(PL) Contemporary Moral Issues
(PL) Ethical Issues in Health Care
(PL) Professional Ethics
(PL) Environmental Ethics
Philosophy of Sex and Gender
6. Select four 5000-level courses (other than 5990 or 5993), which must total at least 14 credits 2
1

Students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval of courses not listed. 

2

Students must take either PHI 5280 or PHI 5300 and one additional course at the 5000-level from the Value Theory Group.

In addition, a major in philosophy must register for PHI 5993 (Writing Intensive Course in Philosophy), in association with some 3000-or 5000-level Philosophy class; this course is not counted toward the ten-course minimum.

NOTE: Courses taken at the 5000-level which are used to satisfy any of requirements 1, 4, or 5 may also be counted toward the "four 5000-level courses" requirement (requirement 6), though the ten-course minimum must still be met. PHI 5990 (Directed Reading) will not count toward the 14 credits at the 5000-level, except under special circumstances, and with the permission of the supervising instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Philosophy Honors

Admission to the honors program in philosophy is determined on the basis of the student’s overall record. The student will normally be required to have

  1. a minimum grade point average of 3.3,
  2. credit in at least three philosophy courses, and
  3. a ‘B’ or better average in philosophy courses.

To remain in the philosophy honors program, the student must maintain a ‘B’ or better average in philosophy courses.

Honors Requirements: To receive an Honors Degree, the candidate must complete the course requirements for the regular major. In addition the candidate must complete a total of at least fifteen credits of Honors-designated coursework, including:

  1. PHI 4890 during the candidate's senior year;
  2. one 4000-level seminar offered through the Honors College;
  3. at least six additional credits of Honors-designated coursework in Philosophy (other than PHI 4890); and
  4. additional credits of Honors-designated coursework as needed to reach the fifteen-credit minimum.

At graduation, the overall grade point average must be at least 3.3. If at any point the student fails to maintain Honors standards, his or her credits will automatically be counted towards the regular degree major. Students interested in becoming candidates for the Honors Degree in philosophy should consult the Department’s undergraduate advisor as soon as possible.