Concentration in Philosophy

Advisory Board:

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


Philosophy, quite generally, is critical thinking. It requires deep consideration, reflection and evaluation, be it of ideas, principles, approaches, or even of the very tools or processes of understanding, reflection and evaluation. The essence of philosophy is formulating and asking questions. How one asks a question can determine the likelihood of success in finding an appropriate answer. Philosophy teaches students not what is true, but rather how to think. It is exercising mental muscles; and engaging in philosophy means improving clarity of expression, honing analytical skills, and gaining appropriate tools for logical and critical evaluation. Being skilled in thinking about things philosophically makes one good at going beyond narrow views about nearly any issue. It makes one adept at drawing out the implications of an approach and thereby providing a sound basis for formulating alternatives and evaluating competing claims.

Philosophy is not for everyone. It is not for persons who are content to rest with unquestioned assumptions, or who are unprepared to delve into deeper questions. It is for those of us who want to understand; who want not just to live, but to live responsibly and to live a good life; who cannot imagine living their lives without pondering the deeper questions and without asking why.

Philosophy courses can generally be grouped into four areas, though several may fall into more than one area:

  1. History of philosophy
  2. Logic
  3. Theory of value: ethics, both theoretical and applied, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of law
  4. Speculative philosophy: theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, philosophy of the natural and social sciences, philosophy of religion, environmental philosophy

There are two tracks in philosophy. Students choosing a philosophy concentration will take 30 credit hours in philosophy, which includes 15 required credits and 15 elective credits. Students may also choose an interdisciplinary philosophy concentration, in which they take 15 credits in philosophy and 15 in other disciplines or interdisciplinary area: e.g. physics, psychology, literature, fine art, women’s studies, political science; and they will 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 Name Credits
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Modern Philosophy I 6
Introduction to Logic 3
Ethical theory 3
Theory of Knowledge 3
15 credits of philosophy electives 15
Honors Thesis (IDS 4970) 6
Total 36


Interdisciplinary Concentration in Philosophy and Another Discipline

Course Name Credits
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Modern Philosophy I 6
Introduction to Logic 3
Ethical theory 3
Theory of Knowledge 6
15 credits in another discipline 15
Honors Thesis (IDS 4970) 6
Total 39



Required Courses

Course # Course Name   Credits
PHH 3100 Honors Ancient Greek Philosophy   3
PHH 3400 Honors Modern Philosophy I   3
PHI 2101 Honors Introduction to Logic   3
PHI 3670 Honors Ethical Theory   3
PHI 3300 Honors Theory of Knowledge   3



Philosophy Electives

Course # Course Name   Credits

PHH 3150
Honors Greek and Roman Philosophy   3
PHH 3930 Honors Special Topics in the History of Philosophy    3
PHI 1933 Honors Freshman Seminar in 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
PHI 3882 Philosophy of Literature   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 or Honors Modern Philosophy I, and
12 additional credit hours selected from the philosophy requirements or electives listed above.