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Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

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.

  • Ethics Course Requirement 3 hrs
  • PHIL 330 Ethics 3 hrs

Foreign Language Requirement: 6 sem.

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 201 Introduction to Western Philosophy 3 hrs
  • PHIL 202 (RELI 202) Introduction to Eastern Philosophies and Religions 3 hrs
  • PHIL 210 Logic 3 hrs
  • PHIL 490 Thematic Seminar in Philosophy 3 hrs

Electives 27 sem. hrs

  • Twenty-seven hours selected from the following courses:
  • HIST 303 (PHIL 303) History and Philosophy of Modern Science 3 hrs
  • PHIL 321 Ancient Philosophy 3 hrs
  • PHIL 322 Modern Philosophy 3 hrs
  • ENVS 332 (PHIL 332) Environmental Ethics 3 hrs
  • PHIL 333 Topics 3 hrs
  • HIST 340 (PHIL 340) History and Philosophy of Revolution 3 hrs
  • PHIL 350 (RELI 350) Philosophy of Religion 3 hrs
  • PHIL 358 Existentialism 3 hrs
  • PHIL 390 (RELI 390) The Buddha and Buddhism 3 hrs
  • PHIL 401 Significant Philosophers 3 hrs
  • PHIL 402 (POSC 402) Classical Political Philosophy 3 hrs
  • PHIL 403 (POSC 403) Modern Political Philosophy 3 hrs
  • PHIL 430 Philosophy of Law 3 hrs
  • PHIL 433 Topics 3 hrs
  • PHIL 460 Biomedical Ethics 3 hrs

Electives 31-34 sem. hrs

Total 120 sem. hrs

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


The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree is available at the following locations:

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