Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Philosophy

University Park, College of the Liberal Arts (PHIL)

PROFESSOR SHANNON SULLIVAN, Head of the Department

This major provides in-depth study of fundamental issues that inescapably confront all persons. Topics include ethics, social and political philosophy, and esthetics--study of the good life, justice, and beauty; metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion--study of the nature of reality, mind, body, and the meaning of life and death; epistemology, philosophy of science, and logic--study of the nature of knowledge, truth, objectivity, and principles of sound reasoning; and subjects such as comparative philosophies and world cultures, feminist theory, and philosophical issues in technology, language, education, and the professions of law, business, medicine, communications, engineering, and agriculture. These studies enhance imaginative, interpretive, analytical, critical, and communicative capacities. Majors thus may acquire intellectual abilities crucial for self-fulfillment, responsible participation in public life, and success in a wide range of careers--including law, business, education, journalism, medicine, and public service.

Majors pursued concentration in history of philosophy; humanities and arts; philosophy of science and mathematics; social sciences; the professions; or justice, law, and values. This is combined easily with minors, area studies, and concurrent majors. Qualified students participate in honors study and internships.

For the B.A. degree in Philosophy, a minimum of 124 credits is required.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

GENERAL PHILOSOPHY OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in the history of western philosophy and the historical development and impact of philosophical ideas and issues--from the ancient to the contemporary period. It is designed for all students who seek a broad liberal education, including students interested in graduate study in philosophy.

HUMANITIES AND ARTS OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in philosophical issues in the arts, art history, literature, languages, history and religion. It is designed for all students primarily interested in the philosophical dimensions of the arts, humanities, and cultural studies, including students with career or further educational goals in these fields.

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in philosophical issues in the life sciences, the physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology. It is designed for all students primarily interested in the philosophical dimensions of the natural sciences, technology, and mathematics, including students with career or further educational goals in these fields.

SOCIAL SCIENCES OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in philosophical issues in the social sciences, social and political theory, and education. It is designed for all students primarily interested in the philosophical dimensions of social thought and methodological and normative issues in the social sciences, educational theory, and public policy, including students with career or further educational goals in these fields.

PROFESSIONAL STUDIES OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in philosophical issues and dimensions in the theory and practice of the professions of agriculture, business, engineering, journalism, law, and medicine and health care. It is designed for all students seeking a foundation in the philosophical dimensions of these professions, including students who wish to combine humanistic study with career or further educational goals in these fields.

JUSTICE, LAW, AND VALUES OPTION: This option provides students with a concentration in philosophical issues in aesthetics, ethics, jurisprudence, and social and political theory, and everyday life. It is designed for students primarily interested in moral, social, political, and legal questions concerning value and is especially appropriate for those anticipating future educational work in law school.

TO VIEW THE Philosophy Minor (PHIL)

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES :
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selection, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selection, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 25 credits

BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: 24 credits
(3 of these 24 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR, GENERAL EDUCATION, or ELECTIVES and 0-12 credits are included in ELECTIVES if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.)
(See description of Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements in this bulletin.)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 30 credits[1]

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 9 credits

ADDITIONAL COURSES: (9 credits)
Select 9 credits in philosophy at the 200 level (Sem: 3-6)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 21 credits

GENERAL PHILOSOPHY OPTION: 21 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (3 credits)
PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9 credits)
Select 6 credits in philosophy at the 00 or 100 level (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 200 GH(3), PHIL 201 GH(3), PHIL 202 GH(3), PHIL 203 GH(3), PHIL 204 GH(3) (Sem: 3-6)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits in philosophy at the 400 level, in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

HUMANITIES AND ARTS OPTION: 21 credits

ADDITIONAL COURSES (12 credits)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 010 GH(3), PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)
Select 6 credits in philosophy at the 00 or 100 level (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 401(3), PHIL 402(3-6), PHIL 409(3), PHIL 413(3), PHIL 424(3), PHIL 429(3), PHIL 435(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 6 additional credits in philosophy at the 400 level and 3 credits at the 400 level in a related arts or humanities discipline, in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS OPTION: 21 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSE (3 credits)
PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9 credits)
Select 6 credits in philosophy at the 00 or 100 level (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 407(3), PHIL 410(3), PHIL 412(3), PHIL 417(3), PHIL 425(3), PHIL 426(3-6), PHIL 427(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 6 additional credits in philosophy at the 400 level and 3 credits at the 400 level in a mathematics or natural science discipline, in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

SOCIAL SCIENCES OPTION: 21 credits

PRESECRIBED COURSE (3 credits)
PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9 credits)
Select 6 credits in philosophy at the 00 or 100 level (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 401(3), PHIL 408(3), PHIL 415(3), PHIL 416(3), PHIL 425(3), PHIL 438(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 6 additional credits in philosophy at the 400 level and 3 credits at the 400 level in social science, in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

PROFESSIONAL STUDIES OPTION: 21 credits

ADDITIONAL COURSES (12 credits)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 010 GH(3), PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 405(3), PHIL 406(3), PHIL 418(3), PHIL 423(3), PHIL 431(3), PHIL 432(3), PHIL 433(3), PHIL 435(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits at the 400 level in a professional area outside philosophy, in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

JUSTICE, LAW, AND VALUES OPTION: 21 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSE
(3 credits)
PHIL 105 GH(3) (Sem: 1-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (18 credits)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 010 GH(3), PHIL 012 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits in philosophy at the 00 or 100 level (Sem: 1-6)
Select 3 credits in philosophy at the 400 level (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits from PHIL 403(3), PHIL 405(3), PHIL 406(3), PHIL 407(3), PHIL 408(3), PHIL 418(3), PHIL 420(3), PHIL 425(3), PHIL 432(3), PHIL 433(3), PHIL 438(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6 credits from AF AM 409 US(3), AF AM 465 US(3), CAS 321(3), COMM 403(3), HIST 449 US(3), HIST 450 US(3), L ST 370(3), PL SC 403(3), PL SC 412(3), PL SC 415(3), PL SC 424(3), PL SC 431(3), PL SC 432(3), PL SC 470W(3), PL SC 471(3), PL SC 472(3), PL SC 474(3), WMNST 423 US(3), WMNST 453 US(3) (Sem: 5-8)


[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2005

Blue Sheet Item #: 33-06-154

Review Date: 04/12/05

UCA Revision #2: 7/30/07

LA