May 26, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Record 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

Prerequisite for Major

Students must have passed at least one philosophy course (a course with the PHIL mnemonic) with a grade of C or better before declaring the philosophy major.  The only exception to this policy shall be the following: if a student is currently enrolled in a philosophy course the DUP, in consultation with the instructor of said course, may allow a student to declare the major.

Requirements for Major

The philosophy major requires a total of 30 credits of courses numbered 2000 or higher.  Students who double major may count any six credits from their second major towards the philosophy major.   These 30 credits must include one course satisfying each of the following requirements:

A. Metaphysics and Epistemology

 (one of the following classes)

B. Logic

 (one of the following classes)

D. History

 (either option A or option B)

Academic Standards

Normally, courses being applied to the major must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Students who incur a C- in a Philosophy course are placed on probation as majors for the following semester. Further, students whose cumulative GPA in major courses falls below 2.0 will also be placed on probation for the following semester. Absent significant improvement in their academic performance, these students may be discontinued as a major in Philosophy.

The Distinguished Majors Program in Philosophy

The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) is designed for students who wish to pursue their studies in philosophy beyond the requirements of the regular major. It requires both the study of a broad range of philosophical areas and a more concentrated examination of a single topic in the form of a senior thesis. DMP students must complete 36 credits of course work in philosophy, no more than 12 of which are at the 2000-level. Courses at the 1000-level cannot be counted towards DMP requirements. The area requirements for the DMP are the same as for the major, except that:

(i) the logic requirement must be fulfilled by taking PHIL 2420 or 5420 and

(ii) Distinguished Majors must take a Seminar for Majors (PHIL 4010, 4020, or other designated course.)

In addition, six of the required 36 credits must be used for the thesis and allocated as follows: PHIL 4993 (Directed Readings) to be used as a pre-thesis research course and PHIL 4999 (Senior Thesis). (The Seminar for Majors and PHIL 4993 will satisfy the college DMP requirement for 6 credits of advanced course work.) Depending on program performance, Distinguished Majors will graduate with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction.

Students normally apply to the DMP at the end of their third year. Students applying at this time must have completed at least six philosophy courses, and must have and maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 in all philosophy courses taken. In addition, they should have an overall GPA close enough to 3.4 to make it likely that they will be able to satisfy the College requirement of a final cumulative GPA of 3.4 for graduation with distinction.

Application materials: (i) a brief proposal of a thesis topic; (ii) an up-to-date transcript; (iii) a note from a faculty member indicating that he or she is willing to supervise the applicant’s thesis; (iv) a writing sample.

The Philosophy Minor

The requirements for the Philosophy Minor are 15 credits of philosophy courses. No more than three credits may be below the 2000 level. The program of study should be developed in consultation with a departmental advisor.

Additional Information

For Additional Information about the above programs , contact Ross Cameron, Director of the Undergraduate Program, 209 Cocke Hall (

The Minor in Bioethics

Bioethics is a field of intellectual inquiry that examines moral questions at the intersection of biology, medicine, law, public health, policy, and ethics - all broadly construed. Unlike the traditional fields that contribute their respective problems and perspectives to this broadly based inquiry, bioethics is not a unitary “discipline” with its own distinctive methods and credentialing institutions. It is an interdisciplinary “field” populated by scholars, teachers, and clinical practitioners from a wide variety of traditional disciplines, such as philosophy, religious studies, law, medicine, nursing, social work, public health, the medical humanities (literature and history), and social sciences (politics, sociology, economics, anthropology).

Requirements for a Minor in Bioethics:

21 credit hours including one course at the introductory level either RELG 2650 (Theology, Ethics, Medicine) or PHIL 1740 (Life and Death); BIOL 1210 (Human Biology and Disease) or BIOL 2010 (Introduction to Biology:  Cell Biology and Genetics); 6 credit hours in ethical and/or political theory (one of these two courses must be in ethics; and one must be at the 3000 level or higher–i.e., one theory course may be at the 1000-2000 level); and 9 credit hours at 3000-level or higher in bioethics electives or closely related courses, 6 credits of which must be in regular bioethics courses.  

The biology requirement cannot be automatically satisfied by substituting advance placement credits from high school.  Students with advance placement credits in hand may satisfy the requirement by taking one other university-level biology course at the 3000 level or higher.

In order to fulfill the bioethics electives requirement of 9 credit hours, students may opt to take one course that, while not specifically focused on bioethics, still relates in a substantial way to the issues or methods of bioethics–e.g., BIOL 4250 (Human Genetics), ECON 4160 (The Economics of Health), ANTH 3129 (Marriage, Morality and Fertility), SOC 4260 (Health Care Systems). A list of such courses will be kept current by Professor John Arras, Program Director.  

While most such electives should be at the 3000-level or higher, some exceptions will be approved (e.g., for ANTH 2270 “Race, Gender and Medical Science”). Which courses will so count will be up to the discretion of the Program Director.  

Students may take up to 3 credits for an appropriately structured internship in partial fulfillment of the Bioethics Electives requirement.  

A maximum of 12 credit hours may be double counted both towards the student’s major and this minor. The type and number of courses that will be eligible for double counting for each student will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director in collaboration with students and their academic advisers. The Director of the Bioethics Minor will work with closely related departments (e.g., Philosophy and Religious Studies) to ensure that appropriate limits are set on the number of bioethics electives that may count towards their respective majors.

Additional Information

For more information see

Course Descriptions

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs