Oct 28, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy, BA

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Philosophy involves rigorous, persistent reflection on a wide range of issues, such as how one ought to live, the existence of God and the problem of evil, the relation between mind and body, and the ways in which beliefs may be justified. Students in philosophy courses learn to:

  • understand important periods, themes, movements, and figures in the history of philosophy;
  • apply ethical theories to major social issues;
  • analyze arguments using the principles and methods of logic;
  • develop their own philosophical views and arguments;
  • evaluate responses to problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and other areas of philosophy.

The study of philosophy can have a significant impact on one’s beliefs and values, and it helps develop a variety of intellectual skills and abilities which students can put to use in their lives, whatever they choose to do after they graduate. Among those skills and abilities are the capacities to engage in thinking that is critical, disciplined and creative; to express oneself effectively and appreciate the ideas and perspectives of others; to uncover and examine assumptions; to understand, construct, and evaluate arguments on different sides of issues; and to deal reasonably with questions to which there are no easy answers.

Studying philosophy also prepares students well for professional careers in such fields as law, ministry, psychology, business, and medicine, and for postgraduate work in philosophy. In recent years, philosophy majors have achieved exceptionally high scores on admissions tests to law schools and business schools (the LSAT and the GMAT) and on the GRE. They have been extremely successful in gaining admission to law schools and medical schools.

Students may select philosophy as a major or as a minor. Philosophy courses are also offered as electives for students in all fields of study.


Degree Requirements

Students majoring in philosophy must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of philosophy course work, at least 21 of which must be at the upper-division level. The course work must be selected from the groups of courses listed below .


  Sem. Hrs.
  1. University Core Curriculum Programs  
  2. First-Year Seminars (when applicable)*
  3. Major Requirements
  4. University Electives
  5. Foreign Language Requirements
  Total 120 (122)

*First Year Seminars

First-Year Seminars or Electives

6 hours from Prescribed Electives; students may select (a) courses from the list below, or (b) any other upper-level philosophy courses that they are not using to satisfy the requirements of the groups listed above.

Students are encouraged to take PHIL 1301 and PHIL 2303 as early as possible in their pursuit of the major.

*May not be taken for both Philosophy credit and Core Curriculum credit. Students who take the course for Core Curriculum credit must take an upper level Philosophy course to meet this Basic Philosophy Course requirement.

 **May count towards either the History of Philosophy requirement or the Metaphysics and Epistemology requirement (but cannot be counted towards both requirements).

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