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Bachelor's Degree Programs

Major in Philosophy

Philosophic inquiry aims, ultimately, at a general understanding of the whole of reality. It draws on the insights of the great historical philosophers, on what has been learned in all other major fields of study, and on the rich perspectives embodied within ordinary ways of thinking. Philosophers address a diverse array of deep, challenging, and profoundly important questions. Examples include the nature of the self and of personal identity; the existence or nonexistence of God; the nature of time, mind, language, and science; the sources and limits of human knowledge; the nature of the good life; the foundations of state authority; the requirements of social justice; and the nature of art, beauty, and aesthetic experience. Philosophical questions are addressed not by reference to empirical information alone, but by means of analysis, synthesis, argument, and the construction and evaluation of philosophical theories.

What attracts students to philosophy is the intrinsic interest of its subject matter. But the study of philosophy has practical benefits as well. Philosophy majors are practiced in the close reading of complex texts, in the careful analysis and evaluation of arguments, in original and creative thinking, and in the clear, precise, and persuasive communication of ideas. The skills thus acquired are not only a source of deep personal satisfaction, but a strong asset in any profession. That the study of philosophy is highly effective in enhancing academic skills is evidenced by the fact that philosophy majors receive exceptionally high scores on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and other standardized admissions tests.

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy (PHIL) requires satisfactory completion of the following:

  • completion of general education and distribution requirements as indicated in the School of Liberal Arts section of the IUPUI bulletin that was current when the student declared a major in Philosophy,
  • completion of a total of 30 credit hours, with a minimum grade of C in each course,
  • completion of a minimum of 15 credit hours in the Philosophy major at IUPUI (effective Fall 2015).

Students planning a double major should consult the Department of Philosophy about courses most suitable to their academic interests and career goals.

Major Requirements:

Choose one of the following basic survey of philosophy courses (3 cr.)

  • PHIL-P 110: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL-S 110: Introduction to Philosophy- Honors

Choose one of the following basic courses in ethics (3 cr.)

  • PHIL-P 120: Ethics
  • PHIL-S 120: Ethics – Honors

Choose one of the following basic courses in logic (3 cr.)

  • PHIL-P 162: Logic
  • PHIL-P 265: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

A minimum of 15 credit hours at the 300-400 level Philosophy courses.        

Additional Electives to reach the minimum of 30 credits required for the major may be taken from this list(3 cr. each):

  • PHIL-P 208: Causality and Evidence
  • PHIL-P 237: Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL-P 280: Philosophical Problems (may be repeated for credit when topics vary)