Philosophy Requirements

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Philosophy is a critical, speculative, and reflective discipline concerned with the exploration of ideas. The questions with which it deals can be found in every human pursuit and subject matter. Among the subjects it embraces are the nature of truth and reality, the possibility of knowledge, the quest for moral values and political justice, and the nature of mind, language, art, and reason. The field of logic is a formal study of the art of exact thinking. Given this breadth, philosophy can be related to almost any subject or profession.

Recent studies have shown that strong liberal arts majors are in much demand in the world outside the University. While preprofessionals may enter the job market with higher salaries, those with liberal arts majors tend to rise higher in their professions. This is because a liberal arts degree indicates a capacity for thinking, learning, writing, and breadth of understanding. Philosophy is a strong liberal arts major, and majors in philosophy rank in the highest percentages for GRE, LSAT, and GMAT scores. In addition to academic work, philosophy contributes toward careers in law, medicine, business, government, journalism, religion, computers, and education.

The School of History and Philosophy at SIU is a pluralistic school. It has faculty who specialize in the history of philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics, political and legal philosophy, feminism, critical race theory, American pragmatism, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of technology, and the philosophy of religion, among others. 

The student electing to major in philosophy should consult the department’s director of undergraduate studies. Majors may request to take a graduate level seminar (for undergraduate credit) as a substitute for three credit hours at the 400-level. Philosophy majors will satisfy the College of Liberal Arts Writing-Across-the-Curriculum requirement by passing PHIL 304 and PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B. A minor is not required for a major in philosophy, though it is recommended that the student take foreign languages such as Greek, Latin, French or German.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 14
Requirements for Major in Philosophy 33
100 or 200 level electives 9
History of Philosophy (PHIL 304 or PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B or PHIL 306) 6
300 level electives 9
400 level electives 9
Electives 34
Total 120

B.A. Philosophy - Pre-Law Specialization Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 14
Requirements for Major in Philosophy-Pre-Law specialization 33
PHIL 104 3
PHIL 105 3
History of Philosophy (PHIL 304 or PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B or PHIL 306) 6
PHIL 445 3
300 level electives 9
400 level electives 9
Electives 34
Total 120

Philosophy Minor

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
100 or 200 level electives 6
History of Philosophy (PHIL 304 or PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B or PHIL 306) 3
300 or 400 level electives 6
Total 15