The mission of the undergraduate program in Philosophy is to train students to think clearly and critically about the deepest and broadest questions concerning being, knowledge, and value, as well as their connections to the full range of human activities and interests. The Philosophy major presents students with paradigms and perspectives of past thinkers and introduces students to a variety of methods of reasoning and judgment formation. Courses in the major equip students with core skills involved in critical reading, analytical thinking, sound argumentation, and the clear, well-organized expression of ideas. Philosophy is an excellent major for those planning a career in law, medicine, business, or the non-profit sector. It provides analytical skills and a breadth of perspective helpful to those called upon to make decisions about their own conduct and the welfare of others. Philosophy majors who have carefully planned their undergraduate program have an excellent record of admission to professional and graduate schools.

There are three ways of majoring in Philosophy:

  • The General Program

  • The Special Program in the History and Philosophy of Science

  • The Special Program in Philosophy and Literature

A student completing any of these programs receives a B.A. degree in Philosophy. There is also a major program offered in Philosophy and Religious Studies. To declare a major, a student should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Study and see the Undergraduate Student Services Administrator to be assigned an adviser and work out a coherent plan. The department recommends proficiency in at least one foreign language.