Major and Minor

Declaring a major or minor

Students should select a major advisor from the following list of professors of Philosophy (links to email addresses):

Students will meet with their advisor to discuss the major and to have their major plan approved in DegreeWorks. We encourage students to select an advisor based on their areas of philosophical interest. See the Faculty section of the Philosophy website for faculty Areas of Interest.

  1. Request a meeting with a prospective major advisor. (Note: Exemptions, special permissions, and proposals need to be addressed by the Department Chair.)

  2. Review the requirements of the major and minor*, and fill in your worksheet with your proposed course of study. *The requirements have recently changed, please check the ORC of the year of your matriculation; previous ORC can be found here.

  3. Bring the completed major worksheet to your advisor's office.

  4. Be prepared to discuss your philosophical interests, specific courses that you would like to take, and any questions you may have regarding the major.

  5. Confirm your proposed course of study for approval by your advisor in DegreeWorks.

Watch for occasional email announcements (events of interest, major degree requirements, Commencement, etc.) from the Philosophy Department.

Educational Aims and Learning Outcomes

Students who major or minor in philosophy learn to follow complex lines of reasoning, expose presuppositions, weigh evidence, craft arguments, make objections and replies, offer creative answers to philosophical questions, and construct independent solutions to philosophical problems. Majors in philosophy are knowledgeable about the main contemporary and historical areas, authors, concepts, methodologies, techniques and problems of philosophy. The benefits of a philosophy major extend well beyond philosophy, and our students go on to pursue careers in many areas, including law, medicine, finance, the arts, and academia.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the major, students will be able to:

  • Understand the structure and evaluate the success of an argument.
  • Demonstrate understanding of two periods in the history of philosophy.
  • Accurately understand and explain philosophical source material.
  • Articulate a philosophical position and argue for it persuasively.
  • Produce a substantive research paper in a focused area of philosophy.