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Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

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The academic study of philosophy has been traditionally an essential part of the liberal arts. The study of philosophy seeks to develop the intellectual abilities important for life as a whole. Properly pursued, philosophy enhances analytical, critical and interpretive capacities that may be applied to any academic field. Philosophy is as old as human civilization, asking the most general and profound questions; philosophy begins in wonder and, at its best, seeks the path to wisdom. The major seeks to develop the individual's abilities to critically examine, analyze and appreciate these traditions and ideas - and, in the process, build personal self-expression, creativity and an appetite for life-long learning.

Mission and Goals
  1. Students will develop intellectual abilities important for life as a whole. Examples: the study of logic, critical examination of ethics, the study of scientific thought.
  2. Students will be prepared for the tasks of citizenship. Example: participation in democracy requires a citizen be sufficiently informed, have knowledge of political philosophy, and be aware of manipulation and demogoguery.
  3. Students will develop analytical skills and problem solving abilities. Example: philosophy courses require analysis and reflection on complex issues and texts.
  4. Students will develop writing and verbal skills. Example: every course demands cogent logical and creative responses to issues raised in debate, responses that eschew ill-informed and uncritical (often emotional) arguments.
  5. In a global world and economy, students need to clearly understand diverse assumptions and ways of thinking. Examples: students will read and analyze basic philosophical texts and practices of the world.
  6. Students will be acquainted with the basic methodologies employed in the study of philosophy. Example: courses require research and the practice of such methodologies.
  7. A good education in philosophy enhances the individual's ability to construct a personal and well thought-out value system. Example: examining past philosophies, the student will become aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and how and why many fail in practice.
  8. Assessment: all majors are required to take PHIL 490 Thematic Seminar. This culminating course requires:
    1. concentrated study of a particular issue in the chosen field,
    2. rigorous examination of the literature,
    3. a major research paper,
    4. giving and defending the paper to the seminar, a conference or college-wide audience

Degree Requirements


General Education Requirements

38-41 sem. hrs

  Ethics Course Requirement

3 hrs

  PHIL 330View Syllabus Ethics 3 hrs


Foreign Language Requirement

6 sem. hrs


Multicultural Requirement

3 sem. hrs

  (Courses from this list are noted in the major requirements below with an asterisk.)


Core Requirements

12 sem. hrs

  (All courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Courses in the major cannot be taken as Pass/Fail.)
  PHIL 201View Syllabus Introduction to Western Philosophy 3 hrs
  PHIL 202View Syllabus (RELI 202) Introduction to Eastern Philosophies and Religions 3 hrs
  PHIL 210View Syllabus Logic 3 hrs
  PHIL 490View Syllabus Thematic Seminar in Philosophy 3 hrs



27 sem. hrs

  Twenty-seven hours selected from the following courses:
  HIST 303View Syllabus (PHIL 303) History and Philosophy of Modern Science 3 hrs
  PHIL 321View Syllabus Ancient Philosophy 3 hrs
  PHIL 322View Syllabus Modern Philosophy 3 hrs
  ENVS 332View Syllabus (PHIL 332) Environmental Ethics 3 hrs
  PHIL 333Syllabus Not Available Topics 3 hrs
  HIST 340View Syllabus (PHIL 340) History and Philosophy of Revolution 3 hrs
  PHIL 350View Syllabus (RELI 350) Philosophy of Religion 3 hrs
  PHIL 358View Syllabus Existentialism 3 hrs
  PHIL 390View Syllabus (RELI 390) The Buddha and Buddhism 3 hrs
  PHIL 401View Syllabus Significant Philosophers 3 hrs
  PHIL 402View Syllabus (POSC 402) Classical Political Philosophy 3 hrs
  PHIL 403View Syllabus (POSC 403) Modern Political Philosophy 3 hrs
  PHIL 430View Syllabus Philosophy of Law 3 hrs
  PHIL 433Syllabus Not Available Topics 3 hrs
  PHIL 460View Syllabus Biomedical Ethics 3 hrs



31-34 sem. hrs



120 sem. hrs


PHIL 490 is the culminating experience course for all students receiving the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

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