The major consists of 30 hours (ten 3-credit courses) in philosophy, including PHIL 101, 201, 301, 302, and six other elective philosophy courses to be determined in consultation with the department’s undergraduate advisor. However, a student may request permission to take up to 6 hours (two 3-credit courses) of the required 18 hours of philosophy electives in another field or other fields. Such a request should be supported by considerations showing how the substitution(s) would strengthen the student’s major in philosophy. The advisor must approve the substitution(s) in advance.
The department offers an honors program for students pursuing a major in philosophy. Students in this program must complete a substantial thesis, pass an oral examination on the thesis, and maintain a B average in philosophy courses. To be eligible for admission, a student should have an overall grade point average of B or better, and a grade of B or better in each philosophy course already taken. A student normally should have taken at least four, and at most seven, philosophy courses at the time of application for admission. An honors student should register for PHIL 399, Directed Study (3), to do honors work. Interested students should apply for admission to the program during the first semester of junior year.
The department offers a range of possible minor programs, each of which must include PHIL 101 and four other courses in philosophy at the 200 or 300 level (excluding PHIL 390 and 399), chosen to meet the specific needs of students majoring in other fields. The undergraduate advisor will assist students in devising minor programs.
New Minor in Ethics
The minor in ethics allows undergraduate students in any field to pursue a concentration of studies in ethics from multiple perspectives: theoretical and practical, philosophical and empirical/ interdisciplinary. The goal is to encourage analytical reflection on the principles and situations of ethical action, social, interpersonal, or individual, in historical and contemporary contexts. The ethics minor requires PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy, PHIL 205 Contemporary Moral Problems, PHIL 206 Contemporary Moral Issues: Experiential, PHIL 305 Ethics, one other PHIL course at the 200-300 level, and one of several identified courses in a field other than philosophy.
Philosophy courses fulfill breadth requirements in humanities and social sciences for Engineering majors and breadth requirements in humanities for Arts and Sciences majors. PHIL 101, PHIL 102, PHIL 201, and PHIL 317 have no prerequisites.
PHIL 201 may be used to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement for Arts and Sciences majors. PHIL 316, PHIL 356, and PHIL/RLGN 221 may be used to satisfy the global and cultural diversity requirement for Arts and Sciences majors.
Undergraduate major in the History and Philosophy of Science
The purpose of the major is to develop a humanistic understanding of the nature and development of science through the combined use of philosophical and historical methods. The major provides a foundation for graduate study in a range of academic disciplines and for careers in such areas as business, medicine, law, public policy, and science journalism. It also may be profitably combined with a program in one of the sciences. Within the major, a student may seek an emphasis on the philosophy of science, the history of the physical sciences, or the history of the biological and medically related sciences.
The history and philosophy of science major requires 30 credit hours from courses in philosophy and in history of science and technology:Any four of the following seven classes:
Five electives approved by the major advisor Total Units 30
Minor in History and Philosophy of Science
Students who minor in history and philosophy of science are required to complete 15 credit hours, as follows:Any three of the following five classes:
Two electives approved by the minor advisor Total Units 15