Associate Professor Lisa Bellantoni, Ph.D., Chair
Assistant Professor Kristen L. Zacharias, Ph.D.

The goals of study in philosophy are to give the student insight into the traditional problems of philosophy and some of the main historical answers to them; to make the student critically conscious of his or her own values and presuppositions relating to these problems, as well as the assumptions of other special fields of learning; and to encourage the student to formulate an integrated knowledge of the self and its place in the world.

Major in Philosophy


Twelve courses are required for a full major in philosophy. These include a minimum of nine courses in philosophy: Critical Thinking (150); either seven core courses with two courses in each of three of the areas and one from the fourth area OR six core courses with two in two areas, one in each of the other two areas and a Senior Thesis (481); and a Seminar (391 or 491).  Three additional elective courses are also required, which may be chosen from the core courses, independent study, and/or with departmental approval, from a related area outside the Philosophy Department. The core courses are to be chosen from the following:

- History of Philosophy. Select from the history of philosophy sequence: PHI 210/310, 211/311, 214, 216/316, 314, 315

- Reality and Knowledge. Select from courses dealing with what exists in the world and the nature of what exists (metaphysics), and what we can know about what there is (epistemology), as well as other modes of thinking and knowing (such as scientific and religious): PHI 120, 140, 220/320, 225, 245, 280/380, 326.

- Value Theory. Select from courses dealing with human values and the application of value to various social, moral and political issues: PHI 203, 204, 206, 230/330, 250, 260/360, 270/370, 314, 315.

- Difference and Diversity. Select from courses dealing with perspectives about different formations of identities (such as class, race and gender) and the diversity within them, and about various philosophical, cultural and historical traditions: PHI 130, 135, 217, 218, 219, 222, 228/328, 257.

Note: Special Topics courses (183, 283, 383) may count for a designated core requirement.

No single course may be used to satisfy more than one core requirement. Total courses required: 12 (nine to 12 in philosophy with up to three in a related field.) No course used for the major may be applied to the General Studies requirement.


Combined Major in Philosophy


Combined philosophy majors will take a total of seven required philosophy courses, including one course from each of the four core areas; Critical Thinking (150); a Seminar (391 or 491); and one additional core course or a Thesis (481). A Thesis can count as one of the core courses.  No course may be used to fulfill more than one core requirement. One philosophy courses may be counted for both the combined major in philosophy and as a General Studies Foundations.