Program Requirements

About the major

Philosophy is a part of nearly every area of study. Most of the great intellectual movements, theories, and belief systems in our society owe something to philosophy. Traditional philosophical inquiries into ethics, justice, beauty, logic, and knowledge inevitably intersect with studies of religion, art, literature, law, science, gender, race, and more. Students read classic works of philosophy that are central to our intellectual heritage as well as contemporary works in such areas as bioethics, philosophy of law, and philosophy of the arts that address issues of great contemporary importance.

Philosophical inquiry is both personal and communal. Students must develop their own perspectives and reach their own conclusions, but learning comes through give and take. Philosophy courses emphasize presenting ideas clearly, listening open-mindedly to others’ ideas, and being willing to revise ideas when presented with persuasive arguments. To achieve these ends, classes are discussion oriented and limited in size. Faculty are approachable, and students receive personalized attention. Each major works one-on-one with a faculty member on a student-developed research project.

A Philosophy major consists of 31 semester credit hours and requires successful completion of a senior essay.

About the minor

A minor consists of a minimum of 15 hours in Philosophy.

Departmental honors

Majors may attain departmental honors in Philosophy by meeting the following requirements:

  • A 3.5 GPA in Philosophy courses.
  • Successful completion of one of the following courses: PHI 360 (Great Philosophers), PHI 390 (Special Topics in Philosophy), or PHI 393 (Advanced Topics in Ethics)
  • Completion of a senior essay that is evaluated as “excellent” by all members of the Philosophy Department.