Philosophy Majors and the Minor

The Philosophy Department offers four different Major Concentrations: General Philosophy, Humanistic Philosophy, Philosophy and Science, Political and Moral Philosophy. (We are in the process of redesigning our webpage, so in the meantime please go here to see the basic requirements for the Political and Moral Philosophy concentration). It is possible to pursue honors in any one of these Majors, either through writing a thesis (PHIL-301) or by taking a graduate-level course (500-level). We also offer a minor.

Philosophy divides into a number of areas: epistemology and philosophy of science, logic, metaphysics, moral and political philosophy, and aesthetics. None of these areas of philosophy can be pursued in complete isolation from the others. Thus all four majors and the minor include a distribution requirement, satisfaction of which ensures familiarity with central issues from different areas of philosophy. Philosophy is not a cumulatively obtained body of knowledge. Philosophers of each generation continue to learn from the classical works of older philosophical traditions. Thus each of the four majors includes a distribution requirement in the history of philosophy. Questions concerning what courses meet which distribution requirements should be addressed to the Undergraduate Chairperson.

The total number of university credits required for College Graduation varies for these majors.  See: http://www.college.upenn.edu/credits-needed

It is possible to pursue honors in any one of these majors, either through writing a thesis (PHIL-301) or by taking a graduate-level course (500-level).

Finally, all four majors and the minor include a level requirement to guarantee that students do not confine their studies to introductory courses. Transfer students especially should note that at least eight courses toward any of the Majors, including all the distribution requirements and the 300-level course requirements, must be taken from regular or visiting members of the Philosophy Department at the University.