Model Plans of Study
The following guidelines are offered to assist philosophy students in planning their curriculum. The philosophy undergraduate advisors are also available to help students at any time.
A student is able to count two introductory 1000-level courses toward the major, so these might be taken in the first or second year. The 1000-level courses that count toward the major are PHIL 1033 The Meaning of Life, PHIL 1034 Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, PHIL 1401 Matters of Life and Death, PHIL 1636 Principles of Reasoning, and PHIL 1861 Introduction to Philosophy. A student is not required to take any 1000-level courses for the major, but a 1000-level course often serves as an important introduction that helps a student to determine which particular topics they might want to pursue at a more advanced level. All of these 1000-level courses also meet university general education requirements.
The philosophy major requires a course in ancient philosophy and a course in early modern philosophy. The ancient philosophy course is PHIL 2111, and the early modern philosophy course can be any one of the following three: PHIL 2114 Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, PHIL 2115 Modern Philosophy, and PHIL 2116 Eighteenth-Century Philosophy. It is suggested that these courses be taken in the student’s second or third year, as they are foundational and help to set up material that is encountered in later courses.
That would leave six more courses to complete the major. Two of the remaining courses need to be in the category – Metaphysics & Epistemology – and two need to be in the category – Value Theory. Note that our higher-level courses do not have official pre-requisites, but in many cases they are more advanced versions of courses that appear at the 2000- or 3000-level. For example, there are 2000- and 3000-level courses in metaphysics (2437), knowledge and skepticism (2442, 3005), philosophy of mind (2538, 2542), ethical theory (2402) political philosophy (2432), philosophy of law (2435), and multiculturalism (3342), and there are 4000-level courses that involve a more intensive discussion of the same or similar topics. Any student is strongly advised to take a 2000-level course on a given topic before taking the more advanced 4000-level analogue. As always, the philosophy undergraduate advisors are happy to meet with students to help to plan any such aspects of their schedule.
A student also needs to complete PHIL 2603 Introduction to Symbolic Logic. This should be done in the second or third year, or in the first semester of the fourth.
A final note is that, of the ten total courses that a student takes for the major, two need to be at the 4000-level or above. These two courses can be among the courses that a student is already taking in the Metaphysics/Epistemology or Value Theory categories, or they might just be elective courses that remain after a student has completed all other requirements. Students in their senior year, especially those considering law school, graduate school, or other professional schools, are strongly encouraged to take a 6000-level seminar to meet the 4000-level or above requirement.