College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Minor in Philosophy

Students can take a general minor or one organized around specific emphases, each of which stresses a different aspect of philosophy. The emphasis in the history of philosophy is particularly useful to students in the humanities, especially those who wish to pursue graduate study. The emphasis in reality, knowledge, and science is especially beneficial for students majoring in the human and natural sciences. The emphasis in social and political philosophy is recommended for students who plan to pursue a career in law or politics.

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.

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses


PHIL 173 Logic and Critical Thinking 3
or PHIL 376 Symbolic Logic
Total Credits 3

History of Philosophy

PHIL 301 History of Western Philosophy: Ancient 3
PHIL 303 History of Western Philosophy: Modern 3
Total Credits 6


Select three electives in philosophy. At least 6 of the elective credits must be at the 300 level or above. 9
Total Credits 9

Students may choose to focus their three electives in one of the optional emphases below.

Emphasis in History of Philosophy

Select one course in the history of philosophy from the following:
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy
Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
Select two elective courses (6 credits) in philosophy

Emphasis in Reality, Knowledge, and Science

Select two courses from the following:
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
Hermeneutic Philosophy
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy of Mind
Darwin: Biology and Beyond (Mason Core)
Reason, Science and Faith in the Modern Age (Mason Core)
Select one elective course (3 credits) in philosophy

Emphasis in Social and Political Philosophy

Select three courses from the following:
Philosophy of Law
Classical Western Political Theory
Modern Western Political Theory
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Contemporary Western Political Theory
Philosophy, Sex, and Gender
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