Philosophy Major (B.A.)

Philosophy is the rational inquiry into our most basic beliefs and values. Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This examination involves seeking answers to questions like these:
 
How should I live? • What is truth? • How is the mind related to the body? • Do we have free will? • What is justice? • How should we make ethical judgments when there seems to be no clear right or wrong answer? • Are we more likely to know what is real through reason or through the senses? • How am I related to the world and to others? • What is the value of art? • How does technology mediate our engagement with the world and with others? 
 
A philosopher’s examination into these issues is grounded on evidence, reasoning, and argument. If you are a curious person who enjoys intellectual challenges, then you may find a philosophy classroom invigorating.
 
What many people do not know about studying philosophy is that it is practically valuable. How so? Philosophy students acquire the following set of cognitive transferable skills, which are valuable in many professions within the 21st-century knowledge economy:    
 
• Logical reasoning
• Problem solving and creative thinking
• Clear and persuasive writing
• Abstract conceptualization
• Mental dexterity
• The ability to develop and assess different perspectives and frameworks
 
Common professions for philosophy majors:
 
• Technology
• Business
• Law
• Government
• Advertising
• Journalism
• Sales
• Human Resources
• Activism
• Teaching
• Public Policy

120 credits of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA.

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science3
H. Mathematics 3
I. Natural Science Laboratory4
J. Physical Education1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives3
3. Social Science Perspectives 3
L. Interdisciplinary Studies 3
Total Credits42

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages3-6
World Cultures0-3
Total Credits3-9

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements42
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements36
Free Electives39-33
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Required Courses
Logic
PHIL 264Critical Reasoning and Arguments3
Value Theory6
Complete 2 courses from the following:
History of Ethics
Social and Political Philosophy
Philosophies of Art
Special Topics in Fields in Philosophy
Knowledge and Reality6
Complete 2 courses from the following:
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Mind
Knowledge, Belief and Truth
Existence and Reality
Special Topics in Fields of Philosophy
History3
Complete 1 course from the following:
History of Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy: Modern Philosophy
Special Topics in Periods of Movements
Traditions in Contemporary Philosophy3
Complete 1 course from the following:
American Philosophy
Analytic Philosophy
Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Special Topics in Periods of Movements
Seminar
PHIL 424Seminar in Philosophy3
Major Electives12
Complete 4 courses from the list below. Only 1 course may be at the 100 level.
Total Credits36

Major Electives

PHIL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHIL 102Ethics3
PHIL 106Logic3
PHIL 200History of Ethics3
PHIL 202Ethics and Business3
PHIL 204Philosophical Issues in Biomedical Ethics3
PHIL 206Philosophical Issues in Law and Justice3
PHIL 212Social and Political Philosophy3
PHIL 214Ethics of Love, Sex and Desire3
PHIL 231American Philosophy3
PHIL 233Contemporary Philosophers3
PHIL 237Asian Philosophy3
PHIL 239Existentialism3
PHIL 260Philosophies of Art3
PHIL 262Philosophy of Religion3
PHIL 266Philosophy of Science3
PHIL 270Philosophy of Mind3
PHIL 271Philosophy of Sport3
PHIL 280Philosophy of Technology3
PHIL 288Introduction to Cognitive Science3
PHIL 290Special Topics in Fields in Philosophy3
PHIL 295Special Topics in Periods and Movements3
PHIL 310Knowledge, Belief and Truth3
PHIL 312Existence and Reality3
PHIL 316Philosophy of Law3
PHIL 324Legal Reasoning3
PHIL 330Philosophy and Death3
PHIL 331History of Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy3
PHIL 333History of Philosophy: Modern Philosophy3
PHIL 337Analytic Philosophy3
PHIL 339Contemporary Continental Philosophy3
PHIL 376Feminist Jurisprudence3
PHIL 390Special Topics in Fields of Philosophy3
PHIL 395Special Topics in Periods of Movements3
PHIL 397Special Topics in Periods of Movements3
PHIL 446Independent Study in Philosophy3-12

This recommended four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
GENERAL EDUCATION: (A) New Student Seminar 1
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C1) Writing 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C3) Communication 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K3) Social Science – Social Science Perspectives 3
PHIL 100
Introduction to Philosophy
or Ethics
or Logic
3
Free Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C2) Literature 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (H) Mathematics 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K1) Social Science – American and European History 3
Philosophy Value Theory area course 1 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Second Year
Fall
GENERAL EDUCATION: (G) Computer Science 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K2) Social Science – Global Cultural Perspectives 3
PHIL 264 Critical Reasoning and Arguments 3
PHIL elective course 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (D) Fine and Performing Arts 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (I) Natural Science Laboratory 4
World Cultures 3
Philosophy History area course 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits16
Third Year
Fall
GENERAL EDUCATION: (L) Interdisciplinary Studies 3
Philosophy Value Theory area course 2 3
Traditions in Contemporary Philosophy area course 3
PHIL Elective course 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F1) Humanities – Great Works and Their Influences 3
World Language 1 3
Philosophy Knowledge and Reality area course 1 3
PHIL Elective course 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Fourth Year
Fall
World Language 2 3
Philosophy Knowledge and Reality area course 2 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (J) Physical Education 1
PHIL 424 Seminar in Philosophy 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits13
 Total Credits120