The major consists of 30 hours (ten 3-credit courses) in philosophy, including PHIL 101, 201, 301, 302, and six other elective philosophy courses to be determined in consultation with the department’s undergraduate advisor. However, a student may request permission to take up to 6 hours (two 3-credit courses) of the required 18 hours of philosophy electives in another field or other fields. Such a request should be supported by considerations showing how the substitution(s) would strengthen the student’s major in philosophy. The advisor must approve the substitution(s) in advance.
The department offers an honors program for students pursuing a major in philosophy. Students in this program must complete a substantial thesis, pass an oral examination on the thesis, and maintain a B average in philosophy courses. To be eligible for admission, a student should have an overall grade point average of B or better, and a grade of B or better in each philosophy course already taken. A student normally should have taken at least four, and at most seven, philosophy courses at the time of application for admission. An honors student should register for PHIL 399, Directed Study (3), to do honors work. Interested students should apply for admission to the program during the first semester of junior year.
The department offers a range of possible minor programs, each of which must include PHIL 101 and four other courses in philosophy at the 200 or 300 level (excluding PHIL 390 and 399), chosen to meet the specific needs of students majoring in other fields. The undergraduate advisor will assist students in devising minor programs.
Philosophy courses fulfill breadth requirements in humanities and social sciences for Engineering majors and breadth requirements in humanities for Arts and Sciences majors. PHIL 101, PHIL 102, PHIL 201, and PHIL 317 have no prerequisites.
PHIL 201 may be used to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement for Arts and Sciences majors. PHIL 316, PHIL 356, and PHIL/RLGN 221 may be used to satisfy the global and cultural diversity requirement for Arts and Sciences majors.
Interdisciplinary Major in Philosophy and History of Science and Technology
The department of Philosophy and the Program in History of Science and Technology (Department of History) together offer an undergraduate major in Interdisciplinary Major in Philosophy and History of Science and Technology (HPST). The purpose of this major is to develop a humanistic understanding of the nature and development of science and technology through the combined use of philosophical and historical methods. The major provides a foundation for graduate study in a range of academic disciplines and careers in business, medicine, law, public policy, and science journalism. It may also be profitably combined with a program in one of the sciences. Within the major, a student may seek an emphasis on technology, physical science, or biological or medically-related science.
The HPST major requires 33 credit hours from courses in philosophy and in history of science and technology. In addition, there is a science requirement of at least 15 hours of science and/or engineering courses. Requirements are Phil 101, 202, and 303; HSST 390 or Phil 390; and four of the following five courses: Phil 302, HSST 201, 202, 251, and 252. Three more Phil and HSST courses must be taken at the 300 level or above, with at least 3 credit hours in each field.
Also required is a coherent sequence of at least 15 hours of science and /or engineering courses, 6 hours of which should be taken at the 300 level or above. The intent is to provide a sequence roughly equivalent to a minor in science or engineering. Any minor in science or engineering will fulfill this requirement. There is no minor in HPST. Students inclined to seek such a minor or Case sequence are encourage to do so in either HSST or Phil. Students who major in HPST are not permitted to take a second major in philosophy or in history of science in technology.