Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Philosophy students design their own major around a basic structure that consists of a common core of six philosophy courses and four electives, two of which must be philosophy courses at the 300 level or higher. The designed major must be developed with the guidance of a philosophy faculty adviser and approved by the department chair.

To help guide the student, the philosophy faculty has developed four tracks that constitute pre-approved topic areas for the major. A major in philosophy may be earned by:
  1. completing six required core courses, and
  2. fulfilling the requirements for one of four tracks below or selecting four courses in consultation with the philosophy faculty adviser.
The following table summarizes all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. To see the description of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all philosophy courses. For one possible breakdown of the philosophy major by semester, see the Plan of Study below.


Requirements   Credits 
 Philosophy Core Courses  18
 PHIL 102. Introduction to Philosophy
 PHIL 104. Introduction to Ethics*
 PHIL 111. Introduction to Critical Thinking
 PHIL 210. Metaphysics
 PHIL 498. Senior Research Seminar**
 One of the following:
       PHIL 404. History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
       PHIL 407. History of Modern Philosophy
       PHIL 361. Evil and Modern Thought
3
3
3
3
3

3
3
3
   
 Philosophy Electives/Tracks  12
 Four courses selected in consultation with your faculty adviser
 
 OR one of the tracks below:

            TRACK 1: Philosophy, Law and Politics 
                 
PHIL 325. Philosophy of Law
                 PHIL 326. Legal Reasoning
12



 12 
                 And one of the following:
                       PHIL 327. Legal Ethics
                       PHIL 332. Social and Economic Justice
                       PHIL 351. Politics and Social Policy
                 And one of the following:
                       POLS 306. Courts in American Politics
                       POLS 420. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
                       POLS 421. Constitutional Law
                       HIST 410. U.S. Constitutional History
                       PHIL 324. Mock Trial


             TRACK 2: Philosophy and Social Justice 
                 PHIL 332. Social and Economic Justice
                 PHIL 301. Philosophy of Nonviolence OR PHIL 358. Philosophy of Gandhi
                 And two of the following:
                       PHIL 341. Environmental Ethics
                       POLS 240. Controversies of Social Policy
                       POLS 251. American Urban Conflict
                       POLS 315. Environmental Politics
                       POLS 351. Politics and Social Policy
                       POLS 420. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
                       SOC 205. Sociology of Inequality
                       SOC 413. Minorities
        
 12 
             TRACK 3: Philosophy, Art & Literature  
                 Two of the following:
                       PHIL 318/ARTH 321. Aesthetics
                       PHIL 319. Philosophy & Literature (Human Images)
                       PHIL 320. Existentialism
                       PHIL 409. Nietzsche
                 And one of the following:
                       PHIL 390. Literary Theory
                       ARTH 322. Contemporary Issues in Art
                       VA 341. Modern Art & Theory
                 And one of the following:
                       ARTH 101. Survey of Western Art I
                       ARTH 102. Survey of Western Art II
                       ENG 220. American Literature I
                       ENG 221. American Literature II
  

 12 
             TRACK 4: Philosophy, Ethics and Medicine
                  PHIL 335. Philosophy of Science and Medicine
                  PHIL 335. Philosophy of Science and Medicine
                  And two of the following:
                        PHIL 337. Death and Dying
                        PHIL 345. Values at the End of Life
                        PSYC 330. Health Psychology
                        SOC 408. Health and Illness
 12 
 Foreign Language*** 3
   
 General Education Requirements 37
    The General Education curriculum, a 37-hour program to help students appreciate a liberal arts education, includes required specific courses as well as selected courses from various distributions. For details, go to General Education Curriculum.
 General Electives   50
 Total  120

* PHIL 104 and one additional philosophy course are required General Education courses that will both count towards philosophy major requirements. As a result, in order to meet the 120 credit hour degree requirements, philosophy majors must take an additional six credit hours of general electives.

** A senior thesis is also required. Seniors must register for three credits of 498 in the fall semester of their senior year.

***The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.

Philosophy Prelaw Program

The department offers philosophy prelaw for those students interested in philosophy or a general arts education and in pursuing a legal career. It is generally acknowledged that a concentration in philosophy and the other arts provides an appropriate basis for the study of law. Students in the prelaw program complete the requirements of the Philosophy, Law and Politics track. Additional courses are selected in consultation with the department’s prelaw adviser (who has a law degree) that will assist the student in preparing for law school and beyond.

Philosophy as a second major

The department offers special advisement to students wishing to pursue the study of philosophy as a second, or double, major in conjunction with their primary field of study.





Plan of Study for a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Changes in the sequence of the plan of study below may be desirable. These must be made in consultation with the student’s academic adviser. To see the title of a course, simply pass the cursor over the course's number. To see the description of a course, click on its number.

 ◄ FIRST YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits 
PHIL 102 3 PHIL 104 3
PHIL 111 3 SBU 102 1
SBU 102 2 ENG 102 3
ENG 101 3 Foreign Language 3
Foreign Language/General Elective 3 General Education Requirements 6
Total 14 Total 16
  
 ◄ SECOND YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits 
General Elective 3 PHIL 210 3
General Education Requirements 12 General Electives 9


General Education Requirements 4
Total 15 Total 16
  
 ◄ THIRD YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits 
PHIL 404/PHIL 407/PHIL 361 3 Philosophy Electives
6
Philosophy Elective 3 General Electives
9
General Electives 9

Total 15 Total 15
  
 ◄ FOURTH YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits 
PHIL 498 3 General Electives 14
Philosophy Elective 3

General Electives 9    
Total 15 Total 14

 


Requirements for a Minor in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers minors in philosophy that enable students to pursue coursework that will supplement their major field of study. Each minor consists of three required courses (PHIL 104, PHIL 111, and either PHIL 102 or PHIL 210) and three electives at the 300 level or higher.

In addition to a general philosophy minor, minors corresponding to the four major tracks (see Curriculum & Courses page) are available. Their course requirements (in addition to PHIL 104, PHIL 111, and either PHIL 102 or PHIL 210) are described below.

To declare a minor, a special form must be filled out and filed with the Records Office by the end of the student's junior year. The appropriate form is available from the student's adviser or from the Office of the Registrar.

To see the description of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all philosophy courses. 

NOTE: All courses below are 3 credits

Track 1 Minor: Philosophy, Law and Politics

      PHIL 325. Philosophy of Law
      PHIL 326. Legal Reasoning
      One of the following:
           PHIL 327. Legal Ethics
           PHIL 332. Social and Economic Justice
           POLS 351. Politics of Social Policy
           POLS 306. Courts in American Politics
           POLS 420. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
           POLS 421. Constitutional Law
           HIST 410. U.S. Constitutional History
           PHIL 324. Mock Trial

Track 2 Minor: Philosophy and Social Justice
     PHIL 332. Social and Economic Justice
     PHIL 301. Ethics or PHIL 358. Philosophy of Gandhi
     One of:
          PHIL 341. Environmental Ethics
          POLS 240. Controversies in Public Policy
          POLS 251. American Urban Conflict
          POLS 315. Environmental Politics
          POLS 351. Politiccs and Social Policy
          POLS 420. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
          SOC 205. Sociology of Inequality
          SOC 413. Minorities

Track 3 Minor: Philosophy, Art and Literature
     Two of the following:
           PHIL 318. Aesthetics
           PHIL 319. Philosophy & Literature (Human Images)
           PHIL 320. Existentialism
           PHIL 409. Nietzsche
     One of the following:
           ARTH 322. Contemporary Issues in Art
           ENG 390. Literary Theory
           VA 341. Modern Art & Theory

Track 4 Minor: Philosophy, Ethics and Medicine
     PHIL 335. Philosophy of Science and Medicine
     PHIL 338. Medical Ethics
     One of the following:
          PHIL 337. Death and Dying
          PHIL 345. Values at the End of Life
          PSYC 330. Health Psychology (PSYC 101 prerequisite)
          SOC 408. Health and Illness