May 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Interim Catalog 
2020-2021 Interim Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy, B.A.

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   Member of the Division of Humanities


Joseph Neisser


Joseph Cummins (also Classics)
Jennifer Dobe
John Fennell
Johanna Meehan
Tammy Nyden

The study of philosophy enables students to confront in a disciplined and constructive way fundamental questions and problems, both theoretical and practical, about themselves and their relation to the world. Philosophy enriches thought, imagination, understanding, and experience as a whole. Even beginning students of philosophy find themselves reflecting upon things they formerly took for granted, and they can often apply their philosophical perspectives to issues treated in their other courses.

Most courses in the philosophy curriculum require only the introductory course as a prerequisite; the department invites all students to construct programs in philosophy related to their studies in other disciplines. Qualified students are encouraged to study a foreign language to supplement their study of philosophy. The study of philosophy contributes valuably to academic pursuits and to the pursuit of almost any career.

The department requires that students who major in philosophy take the survey courses in ancient and modern philosophy, two area requirements, and two advanced seminars. The department expects that each major will pursue as broad a liberal education as possible and build a suitable background for special interest in philosophy.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits

Core Requirements: 12 credits

Area Requirements: 8 credits

4 credits from one of the following to be completed before the end of the sixth semester:


4 credits from one of the following to be completed before the end of the seventh semester:


 With permission of the department chair, a special topic course may substitute for one or more of the 200-level required courses.

Elective Courses: 4 credits

  • Taken from the 200 or 300 level of Philosophy courses, or PHI 101  or PHI 102 .

Additional Information:

  • Only either PHI 101 or PHI 102 may be counted toward the 32-credit minimum.
  • The required 300-level seminars are normally taken in the student’s senior year.
  • With permission, up to four of the 32 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department.
  • For students who plan to attend graduate school, four semesters of a foreign language are strongly recommended.


To be considered for honors in philosophy, graduating seniors must also satisfy the following departmental requirements:

  • After seven semesters of college work, a 3.60 grade-point average in philosophy and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50.
  • Knowledge of a nonnative language at a level demonstrated by
    1. completion of fourth-semester college coursework in a modern language or demonstration of equivalent competence, or
    2. completion of three semesters of college coursework in a single language, or
    3. completion of two semesters of college coursework in Latin or Greek.
  • Completion of   or examination showing equivalent competence.
  •   or an approved MAP (PHI 499) that meets the description of the Senior Essay (PHI 491 ).
  • Presentation of a paper to a colloquium of students and faculty during one of the students’ final two semesters.

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