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 Department of Philosophy at SIU is a pluralistic department, representing a variety of traditions, such as analytic philosophy, phenomenology, American philosophy, Asian philosophy, and feminism. It has faculty who specialize in the history of philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics, political and legal philosophy, 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 Degree in Philosophy Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 41
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 14
Requirements for Major in Philosophy 33
Logic requirement: PHIL 105 or PHIL 320 3
Ethics requirement: PHIL 104 or PHIL 340 3
History of Philosophy requirement: PHIL 304 and PHIL 305A, PHIL 305B 6
Six hours from 300 level courses in addition to PHIL 304 and PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B 6
At least nine hours of 400-level courses 9
Electives for major in Philosophy 6
Electives 32
Total 120

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy, Pre-Law Specialization Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 41
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 14
Requirements for Major in Philosophy-Pre-Law specialization 33
PHIL 104; PHIL 105; PHIL 309I; PHIL 310; PHIL 340 PHIL 445; PHIL 499 3
History of Philosophy requirement: PHIL 304 and PHIL 305A, PHIL 305B 6
At least six hours of 400-level courses 6
Electives 32
Total 120

Philosophy Minor

A minor in philosophy requires 15 hours, a maximum of six of which may be selected from philosophy courses offered in the University Core Curriculum and below the 300-level, six of which must be selected from the courses listed above for the major. PHIL 304 and PHIL 305A or PHIL 305B are recommended.