Philosophy Degree Requirements
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
The B.A. program in philosophy requires at least 27 credit hours in courses offered by the department. One of these courses may be a 100-level course. All others must be at the 200 level or above, including two courses in the history of philosophy (P201 and P214); one course in logic or the history and philosophy of science (either P250 or any course in history and philosophy of science, e.g., X100, X200, X220, X303, or X336); one course in ethics or social and political philosophy (any one of P325, P340, P341, P342, P343, P344, P345, or P393); and one course in metaphysics or epistemology (any one of P310, P311, P312, P313, P360, and P366). Other courses should be chosen in consultation with a departmental adviser.
Minor in Philosophy
Students can earn a minor in philosophy by meeting the following requirements: (1) completion of at least 15 credit hours in courses offered by the department of which at least 12 credit hours are courses at the 200 level or above; (2) one course in the history of philosophy (either P201 or P214); (3) one course in metaphysics or epistemology (any one of P310, P311, P312, P313, P360, or P366); and (4) one course in ethics, logic, or the history and philosophy of science (any one of P250, P325, P340, P341, P342, P343, P344, P345, P393, X200, X220, X303, or X336).
Majoring in Philosophy
The First Course
Students majoring in philosophy usually begin by taking a 100-level philosophy course in their freshman or sophomore year, e.g., P110 Introduction to Philosophy, P105 Critical Thinking, or P140 Elementary Ethics. P110 is our basic beginning survey course. It introduces students to basic areas, figures, terms, and problems in philosophy. Although a 100-level philosophy course is not required for the major, students planning to major in philosophy are advised to begin with a course at this level.
Coursework in the Major
Prospective majors should choose their philosophy courses so that, by graduation, they have taken at least 27 credit hours of coursework in philosophy. Of these 27 required credit hours, 24 must be in courses at the 200 level or above and 15 must be in courses from the following four required subject areas: (1) the history of philosophy (two courses required), (2) logic or the history and philosophy of science (one course required), (3) ethics or social and political philosophy (one course required), and (4) metaphysics or epistemology (one course required). (See the statement of degree requirements above for a listing of courses that satisfy these area requirements.) Because courses in the four required subject areas might not be offered every semester, it is important that students planning to major in philosophy not pass up opportunities to take these courses when they are offered.
The department requires that all philosophy majors in their senior year participate in one or the other of two graduation assessment options: a proseminar option or a portfolio option. In the proseminar option, the student enrolls in the senior proseminar (P495) to prepare a paper suitable for public presentation. The paper is to be completed under the supervision of a project committee and then presented to the IUSB Philosophy Colloquium (or to some other appropriate group or forum). In the portfolio option, the student submits a portfolio of three or more papers. These papers are read and evaluated by a committee consisting of at least two full-time department members. The point of the portfolio is not just to collect and evaluate examples of a student's best work but to help the student achieve a larger perspective on his or her work in philosophy and to provide specific guidelines for further progress.