Program Requirements

About the major

Philosophy is a part of nearly every area of study. Many of the great intellectual movements, theories, and belief systems in our society owe something to philosophy. Subjects covered by philosophy courses include aspects of many other disciplines: ethics (applied and theoretical), logic, the nature and scope of human knowledge, art, film, literature, politics, law, gender, medicine, mind and body, and religion.

Students explore these areas by reading classic works of philosophy that constitute some of the most important works in the Western intellectual heritage, but may also study views expressed by virtually any culture, ethnic group, or worldview, including ideas extracted from today’s news. Philosophy is both personal and communal; each student must seek his or her own understanding and perspective, but learning comes through communication of ideas, critical analysis, and making your case to others.

Philosophy courses are generally discussion-oriented, with a high priority placed on engaging students and personalized attention. Lecturing to large numbers of students is not part of the Mercer Philosophy program. Typical class sizes for upper-division courses are less than 15 students. Many majors work one-on-one with a faculty member on student-developed research projects.

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:

  • Maintain an overall 3.5 grade point average in Philosophy
  • Complete satisfactorily one of the following courses: PHI 360 (Great Philosophers), PHI 390 (Special Topics in Philosophy), or PHI 393 (Advanced Topics in Ethics)
  • Have the senior essay evaluated as “excellent” by all members of the Philosophy Department.