Guide to Academic Planning 2017-2018

Philosophy

General Comments

Classes for first-year students First-year students are encouraged to take any 100-level or 200-level philosophy course whose topic interests them.

Classes for non-majors Any philosophy course except PHIL 487 and PHIL 497 may be taken by a properly interested student if there is no stated prerequisite or by obtaining consent of the course instructor.

Major

Eleven courses distributed as follows:

  • PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 302 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy
  • PHIL 306 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • PHIL 205 Critical Reasoning OR PHIL 245 Introduction to Logic
  • One ethics course from:
    • PHIL 201 Ethics in the face of Poverty OR PHIL 215 Ethics and Society OR PHIL 225 Ethics and Medicine OR PHIL 270 Environmental Philosophy OR PHIL 315 Ethics in Relation to Friend, Kin and Community OR PHIL 330 Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar or PHIL 497 Senior Thesis
  • Five other philosophy courses, at least three of which must be 300-level or  above.

Topics not covered in courses described below are available to majors through   individually arranged independent studies.

Minor

  • PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 302 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy
  • PHIL 306 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • Three other philosophy courses, at least one of which must be 300-level or above.

Philosophy and Religious Studies Major

A total of ten courses in philosophy and religious studies to include:

  • No fewer than four courses in philosophy; two must be chosen from
    • PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy
    • PHIL 302 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy
    • PHIL 306 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • No fewer than four courses in religious studies
  • PHIL 370/RELI 370 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar or PHIL 497 Senior Thesis or RELI 497 Senior Colloquium
  • at least four other courses 200-level or above.

Philosophy and Religious Studies majors cannot major or minor in either philosophy or religious studies.

Course Planning

In consultation with their advisors, Philosophy and Religious Studies majors should work out a two or three year plan according to their area of emphasis. It is perhaps advisable to take at least one of the two required courses from the history of philosophy sequence during one’s sophomore year and to take PHIL 370 (or RELI 370) during one’s junior year. PHIL 487, PHIL 497, or RELI 497 must be taken the senior year. The remaining six electives, four of which must be 200-level or above, may be spread across the years according to the student’s needs and interests. Remember that one’s total set of ten classes for the major must include at least four from each department.

Outline of a typical major, beginning the sophomore year

Fall Spring
Second Year PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy  PHIL 302 17/18th Century Philosophy 
  PHIL 200-level Open  
Third Year PHIL 306 19th Century Philosophy PHIL 200/300-level Open 
  PHIL 200/300-level Open  PHIL 300-level Open 
or
PHIL 490 Topics
Fourth Year PHIL 300/400-level Open  PHIL 300/400-level Open 
  PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar
or
PHIL 497 Senior Thesis
PHIL Open

Outline of a possible major, beginning the junior year

Fall Spring
Third Year PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy  PHIL 302 17/18TH Century Philosophy 
   PHIL 200-level Open PHIL 200/300-level Open 
     
   PHIL 200-level Open  
Fourth Year PHIL 306 19th Century Philosophy  PHIL 300-level Open 
  PHIL 300/400-level Open PHIL 300-level Open
or
PHIL 490 Topics 
  PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar
or
PHIL 497 Senior Thesis
 

Senior Capstone Experience

In the fall semester of their senior year, majors take either PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar or PHIL 497 Senior Thesis. See course descriptions for details.

Notes for philosophy majors:

Students intending to continue their study of philosophy in graduate school should work closely with their advisor to develop an appropriate course of study. In general, it is recommended that one include PHIL 330 Ethical Theory and PHIL 245 Logic in his or her program of studies. Also one should sample both the Continental European Tradition, by taking courses such as PHIL 240 or a Topics course dealing with this tradition, and the British American Tradition, by taking courses such as PHIL 380, PHIL 385, or PHIL 390.

Majoring in philosophy can provide excellent preparation for students planning to seek graduate or professional degrees in other fields, including law, medicine, journalism, business administration, and others. Furthermore, a major in philosophy is an excellent choice for students who do not plan to seek further graduate training but desire a major that will prepare them to lead intellectually rich and reflective lives. Such students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor in order to develop a curricular plan consonant with their particular interests.