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Philosophy (B.A.)

The study of philosophy promotes rational and critical thinking and provides a sense of our intellectual traditions from the ancient, medieval, and modern periods.

The philosophy major aims to develop a critical and articulated understanding of basic beliefs and value judgments. Students of philosophy become acquainted with the intellectual foundation of much of Western culture and find opportunities to compare it to the tenets of other cultures. They also learn to analyze problems through a variety of methods.

Philosophy majors become qualified for careers in which a liberal arts degree is desirable. It is the recommended undergraduate major for students intending to pursue advanced studies in philosophy, religion, or theology, or in many areas of professional study, such as law. Internships in a variety of human service agencies or congressional offices add to the practical dimension of the study.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to

  • demonstrate an awareness of the broad and deep understanding of issues concerning fundamental problems of human existence;
  • synthesize and assess ethical and moral arguments;
  • articulate the role of reason in the understanding and in the creation of personal world views;
  • conduct appropriate research to develop considered responses to questions about philosophical problems using their knowledge of philosophical claims and theories; and
  • demonstrate epistemic virtues such as intellectual curiosity, courage to engage in independent inquiry, humility to hold beliefs provisionally, and a commitment to perfect one’s personal world view.

Degree Requirements — Philosophy

Liberal Arts Core and University Requirements

See University Requirements and the Liberal Arts Core for details. Philosophy majors will satisfy the three-course university Writing-Intensive (WI) requirement by taking the following: PH 415 Asian Philosophy, PH 425 Philosophy of Biology, and PH 440 Philosophy of Mind.

Major Requirements

To fulfill the requirements of the major, all students in this program will take the following coursework in a sequence determined in collaboration with a faculty advisor. Some courses also satisfy Liberal Arts Core and/or University Requirements.

PH 200 Introduction to Philosophy

PH 300 Modern Logic

PH 400 Internship

PH 422 Senior Seminar

Eighteen (18) credits in philosophy electives

Sample Degree Plan — Philosophy

Please note that this is a sample plan; all students must consult with an advisor in making course selections.

Year One — Fall

EN 101 Composition I (WR core course)*

Mathematics (MT) core course*

Introductory History (HI-1) core course § *

Introductory Social Science (SS-1) core course*

DSC 101 DISCOVER First-Year Seminar*

Year One — Spring

EN 102 Composition II (WR core course)*

PH 200 Introduction to Philosophy (PH-1 core course) § *

Natural Science (NS) core course*

TRS 100 Theological Inquiry (TRS-1 core course)*

One (1) elective

Year Two — Fall

One (1) philosophy course

PH 309 Ethical Theory (PH-E core course)*

Fine Arts (FNA), Advanced History (HI-2), or Advanced Literature (LT-2) core course*

Introductory Literature (LT-1) core course*

Introductory Social Science (SS-1) core course*

Year Two — Spring

PH 300 Modern Logic §

One (1) philosophy course §

Advanced Social Science (SS-2) core course*

Advanced Theology/Religious Studies (TRS-2)*

One (1) elective

Year Three — Fall

One (1) philosophy course, which should be at the 400-level (Writing Intensive) §

Three (3) electives

Year Three — Spring

Two (2) philosophy courses, one of which should be at the 400-level (Writing Intensive) §

Fine Arts (FNA), Advanced History (HI-2), or Advanced Literature (LT-2) core course*

Introductory Social Science (SS-1) or Natural Science (NS) core course*

Two (2) electives

Year Four — Fall

One (1) 400-level philosophy course §

Four (4) electives

Year Four — Spring

PH 400 Internship § *

PH 422 Senior Seminar § *

Three (3) electives

§ Requirement for the major

* Fulfills Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements. See University Requirements and the Liberal Arts Core and Course Descriptions for further information.

Philosophy (Minor)

Minor Requirements

PH 200 Introduction to Philosophy

Twelve (12) additional credits in philosophy courses

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EN 090 Introduction to College Reading

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EN 201 World Literature: The Ancient World

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EN 303 Literary Nonfiction

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EN 330 Chaucer and the Courtly Love Tradition

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EN 385 Approaches to Teaching Secondary English

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EN 429 Topics in Performance

EN 433 Research

EN 490 Major Author(s)

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