Concentration in Philosophy

Students must earn a "C" or better in each course taken to fulfill a concentration requirement.

Advisory Board:

Dr. Nicholas Baima
Dr. Ashley Kennedy
Dr. Mark Tunick


The essence of philosophy is formulating and asking questions. Philosophy teaches not what is true, but rather how to think in ways that are conducive to discovering truth. How you ask a question can determine the likelihood of success in finding an appropriate answer, and in taking philosophy, you learn methods for asking the kinds of questions that can lead to understanding and knowledge of the world. Philosophy is critical thinking. It requires deep consideration, reflection, and evaluation of ideas, principles, approaches, and even of the very tools and processes of understanding, reflection and evaluation themselves. When you engage in philosophy you build your mental muscles, improving your clarity of expression, honing your analytical skills, and gaining appropriate tools for logical and critical evaluation. Being skilled in philosophical thinking allows you to go beyond narrow views about nearly any issue and instead arrive at a more nuanced and in depth understanding. By studying philosophy, you become adept at understanding the support for and implications of a view, thus allowing you to formulate alternatives, evaluate competing claims, and develop beliefs that you can be confident are supported by good reasoning. 

Philosophy is not for everyone. It is not for people who are content to rest with their assumptions about the world, or who are unprepared to delve into deep questions about the nature of things. It is for those of us who want to understand; who want not just to live, but to live responsibly and to live well; who cannot imagine living their lives without pondering the deeper questions, and asking why. 

There are three main areas of philosophy: 

Metaphysics: examines the nature of reality, including the nature of the mind and body.

Epistemology: examines what knowledge is and sound reasoning methods.

Ethics: examines morality, political theories, and what it means to live well. 

In addition, there are ancillary topics in philosophy.

History of Philosophy: examines philsophical developments and ideas related to a particular time. (e.g. ancient Greek Philosophy)

Special Topics: examines philosophical issues related to a narrow domain: (e.g. philosophy of medicine).

There are two tracks in philosophy. Student choosing a philosophy concentration will take 36 credit hours in philosophy, which includes 15 required credits, 15 elective credits, and a 6 credit thesis.

Students may also choose an interdisciplinary philosophy concentration, in which they take 15 credits in philosophy and 15 in other disciplines or interdisciplinary area such as physics, psychology, literature. fine art. women's studies, or political science and write a thesis combining philosophy and the selected area. Students selecting this track must consult with both their philosophy advisor and an advisor from the area selected. 

Available Options:
Philosophy concentration; Interdisciplinary Concentration in Philosophy and another area of study; Minor Concentration in Philosophy.

Concentration in Philosophy

Course # Course Name Credits
PHH 3100 OR PHI 3150; and PHH 3400 Ancient Greek Philosophy OR Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy; and Modern Philosophy 6
PHI 2101 Introduction to Logic 3
PHI 3670 Honors Ethical theory 3
PHI 3300 OR PHI 3320 OR PHI 4400 Theory of Knowledge OR Philosophy of Mind OR Philosophy of Science 3
  15 credits of philosophy electives (see list below) 15
  Honors Thesis (IDS 4970) 6
  Total 36


Interdisciplinary Concentration in Philosophy and Another Discipline

Course Name Credits
15 credits in Philosophy courses from the list below. At least 9 credits must be at the 3000 or 4000 level 15
15 credits in another discipline 15
Honors Thesis (IDS 4970) 6
Total 36


Philosophy Courses

Course # Course Name   Credits

PHH 3150
Honors Greek and Roman Philosophy   3
PHH 3930 Honors Special Topics in the History of Philosophy    3
PHI 2010 Honors Introduction to Philosophy   3
PHI 2642 Honors Ethics of Social Diversity   3
PHI 2361 Honors Ways of Knowing   3
PHI 3653 Honors Ethics in Business, Government and Society   3
PHI 3692 Honors Artificial Intelligence Ethics   3
PHP 3502 Honors Hegel's Political Philosophy   3
PHI 3633 Honors Biomedical Ethics   3
PHI 3456 Honors Philosophy of Medicine   3
PHI 3682 Honors Environmental Philosophy   3
PHI 3644 Honors Obligations (Ethics)   3
PHI 3704 Honors Philosophy of Religion   3
PHI 4906 Honors Directed Independent Study   1-4
PHI 4915 Honors Directed Independent Research in Philosophy    1-3
PHI 4930 Honors Special Topics in Philosophy   3
PHI 4959 Honors Study Abroad in Philosopy   3
PHP 3502 Honors Hegel's Political Philosophy   3
PHP 3522 Honors Seminar in Nietzsche   3
POT 3021  Honors History of Political Theory   3

Senior Thesis: The thesis or project will integrate the student's studies and demonstrate her/his understanding of key areas of philosophical inquiry and its application in selected areas of study, as well as his/her readiness to pursue graduate study. The thesis will be written under the direction of a thesis advisor and committee and defended orally. Traditional textual formats as well as digital media may be employed.

Restrictions: Students are expected to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in the concentration. Courses receiving a grade lower than C may not be included for credit in the concentration. 

Minor concentration in Philosophy (15 Credit Hours)

The Philosophy Minor Concentration is designed to offer students significant coursework in the history of philosophy and in other key areas of philosophical inquiry. It is further designed to provide a course of study that complements an individual's concentration. Students are to select the appropriate combination of courses with the help of an advisor. At least 9 hours of coursework must be at the 3000 or 4000 level; 6 hours may be at the 2000 level, for a total of 15 credit hours. Students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average in courses taken for the minor concentration.
Either Honors Ancient Greek Philosophy, Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, or Honors Modern Philosophy I, and 12 additional credit hours selected from the philosophy requirements or electives above.