Philosophy
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BA in Philosophy

The degree program in philosophy covers the major issues and areas in philosophy and serves the needs of students who wish to pursue graduate studies in philosophy or emphasize philosophy while acquiring a broad liberal arts education. Students can use this major as preparation for such professions as law or government service, or complement other interests by taking a double major in philosophy and a related field of study.

This undergraduate program offers students the option of applying to the accelerated master's degree program.  See Philosophy, BA/Philosophy, Accelerated MA for specific requirements.

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see Academic Policies.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students must fulfill all requirements for bachelor's degrees, including Mason Core requirements. Students pursuing a BA in philosophy must complete additional college requirements for the BA degree in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students pursuing this degree must complete at least 33 credits within the major, earning a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. At least 21 credits must be at the 300 level or above, including at least 3 credits in PHIL 421 /422. If a course counts for the requirement in analytic or continental philosophy, and also for the ethics and political philosophy requirement, then both requirements are fulfilled with that course.

BA in Philosophy with no Concentration

One course (3 credits) in logic chosen from:

PHIL 173 - Logic and Critical Thinking Credit: 3

PHIL 376 - Symbolic Logic Credit: 3

Two courses (6 credits) in history of philosophy

PHIL 301 - History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Credit: 3

PHIL 303 - History of Western Philosophy: Modern Credit: 3

One course (3 credits) in the analytic tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 332 - Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 333 - American Philosophy: Pragmatism Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 355 - Theories of Ethics Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 358 - Ethics and Economics Credits: 3

PHIL 371 - Philosophy of Natural Sciences Credits: 3

PHIL 373 - Theory of Knowledge Credits: 3

PHIL 374 - Philosophy of Mind Credits: 3

PHIL 411 - Theories of Decision Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in the continental tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391PHIL 421, PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 325 - Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought Credits: 3

PHIL 335 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 336 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism Credits: 3

PHIL 337 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 340 - Hermeneutic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

One course (3 credits) in ethics and social and political philosophy chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 305 - Business Ethics Credits: 3

PHIL 309 - Bioethics Credits: 3

PHIL 311 - Philosophy of Law Credits: 3

PHIL 323 - Classical Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 324 - Modern Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 325 - Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought Credits: 3

PHIL 327 - Contemporary Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3

PHIL 343 - Topics in Environmental Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 344 - Ethical Issues in Global Health Credits: 3

PHIL 355 - Theories of Ethics Credits: 3

PHIL 358 - Ethics and Economics Credits: 3

PHIL 411 - Theories of Decision Credits: 3

Five or six elective courses (15 - 18 credits) in philosophy

Students choose electives from any philosophy courses including those listed above that are not used to meet another requirement. If both the analytic or continental philosophy and the ethics and political philosophy requirements above are met with the same course, the student will complete six elective courses.

Total: 33 credits

◊ Concentration in Philosophy and Law (PHLW)

The concentration in philosophy and law offers philosophy majors the opportunity to focus their study of philosophy in a way that prepares them for the study of the law.

In addition to the specific courses listed below, other relevant courses may be applied to the requirements for this concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

One course (3 credits) in logic chosen from:

PHIL 173 - Logic and Critical Thinking Credits: 3

PHIL 376 - Symbolic Logic Credits: 3

Two core courses (6 credits) in history of philosophy

PHIL 301 - History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Credits: 3

PHIL 303 - History of Western Philosophy: Modern Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in the analytic tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, orPHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 332 - Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 333 - American Philosophy: Pragmatism Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 355 - Theories of Ethics Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 358 - Ethics and Economics Credits: 3

PHIL 371 - Philosophy of Natural Sciences Credits: 3

PHIL 373 - Theory of Knowledge Credits: 3

PHIL 374 - Philosophy of Mind Credits: 3

PHIL 411 - Theories of Decision Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in the continental tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421,PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 325 - Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought Credits: 3

PHIL 335 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 336 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism Credits: 3

PHIL 337 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 340 - Hermeneutic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

One course (3 credits) in philosophy and law

PHIL 311 - Philosophy of Law Credits: 3

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PHIL 323 - Classical Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 324 - Modern Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 327 - Contemporary Western Political Theory Credits: 3

GOVT 428 - Advanced Democratic Theory Credits: 3

GOVT 448 - Ethics and International Politics Credits: 3

Three elective courses in philosophy (9 credits)

Students choose electives from any philosophy courses including those listed above that are not used to meet another requirement.

Total: 33 credits

◊ Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

This is a high credit concentration for students interested in a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, political science, and economics.

Students pursuing this concentration, similar to all students pursuing a BA in philosophy, must complete at least 33 credits in philosophy earning a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. No course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement. In addition to the specific courses listed below, other relevant courses may be applied to the requirements for this concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

One course (3 credits) in logic chosen from:

PHIL 173 - Logic and Critical Thinking Credits: 3

PHIL 376 - Symbolic Logic Credits: 3

Two courses (6 credits) in history of philosophy

PHIL 301 - History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Credits: 3

PHIL 303 - History of Western Philosophy: Modern Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in the analytic tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 332 - Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 333 - American Philosophy: Pragmatism Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 355 - Theories of Ethics Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 358 - Ethics and Economics Credits: 3

PHIL 371 - Philosophy of Natural Sciences Credits: 3

PHIL 373 - Theory of Knowledge Credits: 3

PHIL 374 - Philosophy of Mind Credits: 3

PHIL 411 - Theories of Decision Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in the continental tradition chosen from:

When the subject matter is appropriate and with the prior written approval of the undergraduate director, PHIL 391, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, or PHIL 425 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

PHIL 313 - Philosophy of Religion Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 325 - Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought Credits: 3

PHIL 335 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 336 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism Credits: 3

PHIL 337 - Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology Credits: 3

PHIL 338 - Philosophy, Sex, and Gender Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

PHIL 340 - Hermeneutic Philosophy Credits: 3

PHIL 356 - Philosophy of Art Credits: 3

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3(with departmental approval)

Required courses for concentration (39 credits)

GOVT 103 - Introduction to American Government Credits: 3

ECON 103 - Contemporary Microeconomic Principles Credits: 3

ECON 104 - Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles Credits: 3

ECON 306 - Intermediate Microeconomics Credits: 3

PHIL 324 - Modern Western Political Theory Credits: 3

PHIL 327 - Contemporary Western Political Theory Credits: 3

GOVT 422 - Constitutional Interpretation Credits: 3

PHIL 357 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences Credits: 3 or PHIL 371 - Philosophy of Natural Sciences Credits: 3

PHIL 358 - Ethics and Economics Credits: 3

ECON 412 - Game Theory and Economics of Institutions Credits: 3

PHIL 411 - Theories of Decision Credits: 3

GOVT 467 - Current Issues in Economic Policy Credits: 3

PHIL 460 - Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Credits: 3

Total: 54 credits

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. All senior seminars (PHIL 421, PHIL 422) in philosophy are writing intensive. Philosophy majors should consult the undergraduate director for other courses that can be taken to fulfill this requirement.

Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

Degree Total: Minimum 120 credits

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