Philosophy Honors Track

(minimum of 120 credits required)

Honors-Level Enrichment

An Honors designation, in order to be meaningful, should indicate that a student has achieved a high level of academic excellence in the context of a challenging and extraordinary program.  Hence, students who seek an honors designation in philosophy should not only achieve success in challenging course work but also demonstrate academic excellence in substantive academic experiences.

Those students seeking Honors designation in philosophy must be eligible for admission into the Honors in Philosophy track.  Once admitted, they must fulfill the Honors capstone requirement in order to successfully receive the Honors in Philosophy designation.

Briefly, the Honors capstone requires that the student engage in a thesis research project that will lead to the completion of a senior thesis, focused on a subject area of philosophy (e.g., epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, logic, etc.) or on a particular philosopher.  The objective of the project should be to provide students with opportunity to gain a deeper historical understanding of the relevant philosophical subject.  For more detail about this requirement, please see 'Honors Capstone Requirement' below.

Requirements for Eligibility to the Honors in Philosophy Track

To be eligible for the Honors in Philosophy Track, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completed 60-90 credits
  • Officially declared the major in philosophy
  • Complete all core philosophy courses in a timely manner
  • Avoid any academic irregularities (cheating, plagiarism, etc.)
  • Have an overall GPS of 3.5
  • Have a GPA in philosophy courses of 3.5
  • Complete PHI 4938 (Senior Seminar) with a minimum grade of "B"

Requirements for Admission to the Honors in Philosophy Track

To be admitted to the Honors in Philosophy Track, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Meet all of the requirements for eligibility listed above
  • Officially apply for the Honors in Philosophy track no later than the beginning of the Fall semester of their graduating year
  • Submit a sample philosophical essay that meets with the approval of the faculty of the philosophy department

Requirements for Honors in Philosophy Designation

To receive the Honors in Philosophy designation, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Register for PHI 4972 (Honors Thesis in Philosophy)
  • Write a thesis proposal, accompanied by a tentative bibliography to be used in researching the thesis
  • Request a specific philosophy faculty member to serve as thesis mentor
  • Produce and defend a satisfactory honors thesis (see 'Honors Capstone Requirement' below for more details)

Honors Capstone Requirement (Honors Thesis)

Any student seeking an honors designation in philosophy is required to complete a writing project informed by the intent of the student to draw together his/her entire honors experience.  The final requirement that a student must satisfy in order to receive honors in philosophy is as follows:

  • Register for PHI 4972 (Honors Thesis in Philosophy)
  • Produce a senior thesis of significant originality and scholarship that focuses on a subject area of philosophy or a particular philosopher
  • A thesis committee of at least two faculty members, including the thesis mentor, will be appointed
  • The thesis committee will review the thesis prior to the oral defense
  • The student must defend the thesis in front of the thesis committee, a month prior to the graduation date
  • If revisions are required, these must be competed and turned in to the committee prior to the graduation date

Note:

The Honors Thesis is distinct from the Senior Seminar paper.

Notes to Consider:

  • PHI 4972 (Honors Thesis in Philosophy) is not requirement for the B.A. in philosophy. It is a requirement that must be fulfilled only if a student wishes to receive an Honors in Philosophy designation.
  • Students who do not pass the thesis requirement, either by writing an unsatisfactory thesis or by failing the oral defense, and who receive a grade of 'Unsatisfactory' in PHI 4972 will not receive credit for the course and will, therefore, not receive the Honors in Philosophy designation.
  • Since PHI 4972 is graded on a 'Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory' basis, receiving a grade of 'Unsatisfactory' on PHI 4972 will not harm a student's GPA and the student will still be able to graduate with a B.A. in philosophy, provided that student has met all of the departmental, college, and University requirements for the B.A.
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