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Undergraduate Philosophy Major and Minor Requirements

Consult the Course Catalog for specific major or minor requirements.

Usual Major Requirements

The following requirements went into effect in August 2015 and only apply to students who first enrolled at S.U. for the Fall 2015 semester or later. If you enrolled at S.U. prior to Fall 2015, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Kara Richardson (kricha03@syr.edu).

The major requires 30 credit hours in philosophy, at least 24 credits of which are numbered 300 or above. Only courses in which a student receives a grade of at least C count towards the major.

Each student must fulfill the following requirements:

1. Logic: PHI 251

2. Philosophy Majors' Seminar: PHI 401

3. History of Philosophy: at least two of the following:

  • PHI 307 - Ancient Philosophy
  • PHI 308 - Classical Islamic Philosophy
  • PHI 311 - The Rationalists
  • PHI 313 - British Philosophy
  • PHI 317 - Political Philosophy: The Social Contract Tradition and its Critics
  • PHI 391 - History of Ethics
  • PHI 418 - Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche
  • PHI 510 - Topics in Ancient Philosophy

4. Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language, and Logic: At least one of the following:

  • PHI 321 - Twentieth Century Theories of Knowledge, Reality, and Meaning
  • PHI 351 - Logic and Language
  • PHI 373 - Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
  • PHI 375 - Philosophy of Biology:What Can Evolution Explain?
  • PHI 376 - Philosophy of Mind
  • PHI 377 - Philosophy of Psychology
  • PHI 378 - Minds and Machines
  • PHI 381 - Metaphysics
  • PHI 383 - Free Will
  • PHI 385 - Personal Identity
  • PHI 387 - Epistemology
  • PHI 551 - Mathematical Logic
  • PHI 552 - Modal Logic
  • PHI 555 - Philosophy of Mathematics
  • PHI 565 - Philosophy of Language
  • PHI 573 - Philosophy of Physical Science
  • PHI 575 - Philosophy of Social Science
  • PHI 576 - Philosophy of Mind

*Other appropriate course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies

5. Value Theory: At least one of the following:

  • PHI 317 - Political Philosophy: The Social Contract Tradition and its Critics
  • PHI 379 - American Slavery and the Holocaust
  • PHI 391 - History of Ethics
  • PHI 393 - Contemporary Ethics
  • PHI 394 - Environmental Ethics
  • PHI 395 - Philosophy of Art
  • PHI 396 - Stem Cells and Society
  • PHI 397 - Philosophy of Law
  • PHI 398 - Medical Ethics
  • PHI 417 - Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • PHI 493 - Contemporary Ethical Issues
  • PHI 593 - Ethics and the Health professions

*Other appropriate course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Majors in Ethics and Political Philosophy

The Philosophy Department administers or co-administers the Political Philosophy major and the Integrated Learning Major in Ethics.

Information about the Political Philosophy major.

Information about the Integrated Learning Major in Ethics.

Philosophy Minor

To complete a minor in philosophy, students must take 18 credits, 12 of which must be in philosophy courses numbered above 299. Only courses in which the student received a grade of C or higher will count towards the minor requirements. Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course may be used toward satisfaction of the minor requirement, but no more than 6 credits of such coursework may be used for this purpose.

Minors in Logic and Cognitive Science

The Philosophy Department is home to the minors in Logic and Cognitive Science.
Information about the Logic minor.
Click here for information about the Cognitive Science minor.