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The Philosophy concentration offers courses covering subjects from the philosophy of religion to the philosophies of science and literature. It also provides survey courses on various periods in the history of philosophy. Concentrators can expect to strengthen their knowledge of and skills in ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, logic, epistemology and metaphysics. Students are asked to identify an area of specialization. There is also a related, but separate concentration in physics and philosophy. 

Standard Concentration 

10 courses total, of which no more than one may be below PHIL 0350, and at least three must be at or above PHIL 0990.

One course in Ancient Philosophy, e.g.1
Ancient Philosophy
Myth and the Origins of Science
One course in Early Modern Philosophy, e.g. 1
Early Modern Philosophy
British Empiricists
17th Century Continental Rationalism
Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
One course in Epistemology or Metaphysics, e.g.1
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
One course in Ethics or Political Philosophy, e.g.1
Moral Philosophy
Political Philosophy
The Nature of Morality
Moral Theories
One course in Logic, e.g.1
Mathematical Logic
Advanced Deductive Logic
One seminar1
A course from the PHIL 0990 series
Or any seminar at the 2000-level, which may be counted for one of the other requirements
Specialization: Three related courses from one single area of philosophy: e.g., logic and language; philosophy of science; epistemology; philosophy of mind; moral philosophy; political philosophy; ancient philosophy, etc. See Notes below for further details. 3
Reading Course (PHIL 1990): a reading course for one semester involving one professor and one student, leading to the preparation of a substantial resarch paper on a particular topic. The Reading Course may accompany a 1000-level course being taken concurrently. In this case, the 1000-level course would provide a general overview of the topic and the reading course would consist of a deeper foray into the topic. A one-semester Reading Course may also be a first step towards writing an Honors Thesis.
Senior Seminar (PHIL 0990): Seminars aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates, on varying topics each year, requiring the completion of a substantial research paper.
Graduate Seminar (PHIL 2000-level): seminars mainly aimed at graduate students, but also open to advanced undergraduates, requiring the completion of a substantial research paper.
Honors Thesis: a piece of work expected to be more substantial than the above-mentioned research papers, typically researched and written over the course of the entire senior year (possibly starting with a relevant Reading Course in the first semester) under the supervision of a thesis advisor (possibly, though not necessarily, the specialization advisor). For honors, see below.
Total Credits10


  • No more than one course may fulfill both a general distribution requirement and a specialization requirement.
  • No more than two courses from departments other than the philosophy department may be counted among the ten courses required for the concentration; no more than one of these two outside courses may count toward the three specialization requirements.
  • The specialization and the courses that will fulfill it are standardly declared at some point in the course of the Junior year. Those making a Concentration Declaration at an earlier time (e.g. at the end of their Sophomore year) may make a provisional choice of courses which can be revised at a later date with the approval of the department's DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies). 
  • Concentrators who aim at a general acquaintance with the discipline of philosophy may forgo a specialization and devise an appropriately balanced program of courses beyond the requirements with the approval of the DUS.

Honors Requirements:

  • Philosophy GPA must be greater than 3.5.  (This refers to the GPA at the beginning of the senior year in all philosophy courses, and including at least six courses).
  • Thesis (see Capstone Options)

Prior Concentration Requirements

For declarations made prior to January 2013, there was one standard concentration in Philosophy with two optional tracks. For requirements please refer to the Bulletin Archive from prior years.