Philosophy Major

Philosophy majors examine fundamental human questions such as: What can we know? What exists? What is right? They approach these questions through rigorous study, emphasizing clarity of thought and expression, careful reasoning and problem-solving, and the analysis of diverse viewpoints. These intellectual skills, combined with broad exposure to the liberal arts, are highly valued by the business community and by schools providing graduate training in law, medicine and other disciplines. In addition to major courses, Philosophy majors will take courses in a broad range of business subjects, including finance, accounting, statistics and strategy. By combining skills in critical thinking with business study, these students gain a distinct advantage in the job market.

While acquainting students with philosophy’s rich history, the major emphasizes the application of philosophical methods to contemporary problems, especially problems in ethics. The department regularly offers courses in environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, and multiple types of courses in business ethics. Majors will have a chance to broaden their knowledge of ethical issues in business by close engagement with the university’s nationally recognized Center for Business Ethics.

In addition to the specific major requirements described below, students must also complete the General Education Curriculum, and additional degree requirements for Arts and Sciences majors, including focused-course requirements, additional electives, modern language requirements and a Minor in Business Studies or Business Studies Major.

CourseTitleCredits
A philosophy major requires completion of eight courses that include the following areas:
Epistemology or Metaphysics
Select one of the following:3
Theories of Knowledge
Theories of Reality
Consciousness and Experience
Normative Theory
Select one of the following:3
Ethics
Social Philosophy
Liberty, Morality and Law
Applied Ethics
Select one of the following:3
Business Ethics: Corporate Social Responsibility
Business Ethics: Philosophy of Work
Business Ethics: International Business Ethics
Healthcare Ethics
Disability, Values & Society
Environmental Ethics
Four additional electives, chosen in consultation with the Philosophy major advisor 112
PH 402Seminar in Philosophy3
1

With the approval of the Philosophy major advisor, students are permitted to take up to two electives outside of Philosophy that are relevant to the student’s choice of focus in the major - e.g., students interested in the philosophy of science may take up to two courses in NAS, while students interested in the philosophy of law may take up to two courses in LTFP, etc.