Requirements for the Major:
Eleven courses in philosophy, of which seven should be numbered 200 or above; of these seven courses, three (excluding PHL 408 /PHL 418 , PHL 498 , PHL 499 , and Independent Study) should be numbered 400 or above. The eleven courses should include:
Requirements for Honors in Philosophy:
To be eligible for departmental honors, the candidate must (1) complete all requirements for a major in Philosophy, or for an ID major in Philosophy and another discipline; (2) have a minimum grade point average of 3.3 in philosophy; (3) have received at least three “A” or “A-” grades in philosophy courses, excluding the PHL 498 - Philosophy Honors Thesis 1 / PHL 499 - Philosophy Honors Thesis 2 ; (4) receive a grade of “A” or “A-” on their thesis; (5) publicly defend the thesis; and (6) be voted honors by a committee of three faculty members appointed by the department or, in the case of an ID major, by the Departments. In addition, the candidate must satisfy all College-wide requirements for honors or ID honors.
In satisfying departmental honors requirements, neither PHL 498 or PHL 499 , neither PHL 408 or PHL 418 , neither PHL 411 or PHL 412 counts towards the total number of advanced courses (≥ 400 level) you need to take to fulfill your philosophy major, but both courses do count towards the number of intermediate level courses (≥ 200 level) that you need to take.
Course Selection Guidelines
Course Numbering: While our course numbers reveal levels of difficulty (so that 100-level courses are introductory, 200-level and 300-level courses are intermediate, and 400-level courses are advanced), philosophy courses afford great flexibility. In other words, students, including non-majors, can sometimes take courses at the 200 and 300 level, even if they have not taken an introductory in philosophy. Please contact the professor offering any given course for further information and advice.
Senior Writing Requirement: Students who take Departmental Honors and ID majors who are required to write a senior thesis by their other major Department will satisfy this requirement by writing a senior thesis. All other students will in PHL 408 /PHL 418 significantly develop a paper that they have written.
All students are strongly advised to consult the advising information on the Philosophy Department’s Website.
Introductory Courses, whether issues-oriented or historically-oriented, do not presuppose any prior acquaintance with philosophy. They may be taken in any order. For more advising information, consult the Philosophy Department website.
Intermediate Courses do not presuppose any prior acquaintance with philosophy. They may be taken in any order; and are pitched at a level that is more appropriate for second and higher year students than for first year students. However, in some cases an order for taking intermediate courses is recommended (for this and other advising information, consult the Philosophy Department website).
Advanced courses may be taken in any order, although in some cases certain orders will be recommended. Unlike Introductory and Intermediate courses, most advanced courses presuppose that the student has already taken at least two philosophy courses. Although first and second year students will be allowed to take advanced courses, these courses are pitched at a level that is more appropriate for third and fourth year students. For more advising information, consult https://www.union.edu/academic/majors-minors/philosophy/.