Guide to Academic Planning 2018-2019

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 possible philosophy majors First year students who think they might major in philosophy usually begin the required history sequence their sophomore year, beginning with PHIL285 Ancient Philosophy. In their first year they could take any 200-level course whose topic interests them.

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

Course Planning

Philosophy majors: In consultation with their advisors, Philosophy majors should work out a two- or three-year plan. A typical major will begin the required history sequence in the sophomore year taking PHIL 285 and 302 and then taking PHIL 306 in the fall of the junior year. PHIL 205 or 245 should be taken in the sophomore or junior year as well as one of the required ethics courses. PHIL 487 or 497 must be taken in the senior year. There is considerable freedom in choosing courses depending on one’s post-graduate goals, so close consultation with one’s advisor is recommended. See the example of typical philosophy major in the chart below. The major can also be initiated in the junior year as indicated in the second chart below.

Outline of a typical philosophy major:

Fall Spring
First Year  PHIL 200-level open 
Second Year PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy 
PHIL 200-level open

PHIL 205 Critical Reasoning
    or
PHIL 245 Logic 
PHIL 302 17/18th Century Philosophy

Third Year PHIL 200/300-required ethics course
PHIL 306 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 200/300-level Open 
Fourth Year PHIL 300/400-level Open
PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar
or
PHIL 497 Senior Thesis 
PHIL 300/400-level Open 


Outline of a possible major, beginning the junior year

Fall Spring
Third Year PHIL 200-level open

PHIL 205 Critical Reasoning
or
PHIL 245 Logic
PHIL 285 Ancient Philosophy 

PHIL 200/300-level open
PHIL 200/300-level required ethics course
PHIL 302 17/18TH Century Philosophy 
Fourth Year PHIL 306 19th Century Philosophy 
PHIL 300/400-level open
PHIL 487 Senior Major Seminar
  or
PHIL 497 Senior Thesis
PHIL 300/400-level open
PHIL 300/400-level open 



Philosophy and Religious Studies majors:

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/RELI 370 Faith and Reason during one’s junior year. PHIL 487, PHIL 497, or RELI 497 (with RELI 397 as a prerequisite) 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.

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.