Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
Course Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy Major

The major consists of a minimum of 9 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply towards the major.

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The Philosophy major meets the needs and interests of the following students: a) those who plan graduate study and teaching in the field; b) those who intend to go to law school; c) those who seek preparation for work in government, business, social service, journalism, or any field in which critical thinking is valued; and d) those who wish to approach a liberal arts education through a concentrated study of philosophy. The major also combines easily with other majors, and both the Law and Society major and the Cognitive Sciences Concentration count some Philosophy Department courses toward their requirements.

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Summary of Requirements

Note: No course may count towards more than one requirement.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions

The department suggests any of its 100-level courses as an appropriate first course in philosophy. (Some 200-level courses that are open without prerequisite may also be taken as first courses, though they are not intended as introductory courses.) From any of these courses, students may, with occasional exceptions, proceed to any of the department’s advanced offerings. For the purposes of the major it is desirable, though not mandatory, that the course in Deductive Logic (PHIL 200)  or that in Reason and Argument (PHIL 201)  should be completed early in one’s philosophical studies. Students interested in majoring in philosophy should consult with a member of the department concerning course sequence planning. It is possible to complete the Philosophy major even if it is not started until the junior year.


The department offers an Honors Program to qualified senior majors. The Program involves intensive study and writing under faculty supervision for an academic year. It culminates in the preparation of a lengthy written thesis, and a defense of the thesis before departmental faculty and, typically, an external examiner from another college or university. Questions should be directed to the department’s Director of the Honors Program.

Philosophy Major Course Lists