Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 
    Apr 17, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy (BA.PHI)

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This program is no longer accepting new students. 

The purpose of the Philosophy Program is to provide a foundation in philosophy and its highly effective skills of reasoning. Philosophy is the study of problems about the nature of reality, knowledge, and value. The questions of philosophy and the attempts to solve them, as presented in the writings of many of the world's most valued thinkers, constitute the core of the human drive to understand ourselves and our place in the world. Students can study major philosophical figures: Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Quine, and more. The curriculum also introduces them to major philosophical and religious traditions: metaphysical dualism, materialism, nihilism, theism, existentialism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

At the same time, Philosophy trains its students to think more clearly and critically. That concentrated training in critical thinking is one of the best preparations for entry into any professional career. Many philosophy majors go into education in order to teach and do continued research in philosophy; but many more use philosophy as preparation for careers in the law, medicine, business, communication, and the arts. Those are increasingly common careers for philosophy majors.

Educational Objectives:

  1. The student will read philosophical works with understanding and critical reflection.
  2. The student composes an exposition of a philosophical problem or position describing how it is addressed by two to three philosophers from different historical periods.
  3. The student engages in philosophic discourse by asking questions and offering responses that indicate understanding of a position's implications and presuppositions.

And complete one course in Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge (3 cr):

And complete one course in World Philosophy (3 cr):

And complete 5 additional Philosophy courses (15 cr)

(Credits required for the major: 36 cr)

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Review  the Gen Ed requirements.


The Pre-Law Program in Philosophy allows highly focused students to earn a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy in just three years at CU and then a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in just two years at Vermont Law School

To be prepared to succeed in law school, Philosophy majors should follow this course of study:

Complete these core courses (15 cr):

PHI 1020 - Critical Thinking  

PHI 1030 - Introduction to Logic  

PHI 3011 - History of Philosophy I  

PHI 3012 - History of Philosophy II  

PHI 4510 - Seminar in Philosophy   -OR-  PHI 4620 - Senior Thesis in Philosophy  

And complete any three of these electives (9 cr):

PHI 1040 - Introduction to Ethics  

PHI 2120 - Social and Political Philosophy  

PHI 2740 - Selected Topics in Philosophy  

PHI 3020 - Medical Ethics  

PHI 3160 - Environmental Ethics  

(or-with the approval of your PHI advisor-any other applied ethics/philosophy course)

And complete four additional Philosophy courses (12 cr)


To participate in the 3+2 program, students must consult in their first year with the Philosophy Coordinator, Professor Brendan Lalor.

For more details about the Pre-Law program, see the Law Degree page .

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