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Department of Philosophy|College of Arts & Sciences

Philosophy Undergraduate Program


The Department of Philosophy offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, as well as a variety of minors to suit student interests: Minor in Philosophy, Minor in Ethics, and Minor in Environmental Values.

The course of study is designed to provide a curriculum for students that enhances critical thought and logical analysis, as well as an introduction to some of the most important philosophical topics and traditions from the ancient world to contemporary times. Majoring in philosophy offers students the opportunity for self-exploration, while also applying philosophy to practical, everyday problems one might encounter after graduation.

Not only does the Philosophy department offer the "one-size-fits all" major course of study but allows a self-designed major course of study. Students interested in a self-designed major course of study should seek counsel from one of the department's advisors prior to executing the course of study.

Students may also choose to add Philosophy as a major field, while also pursuing another major, i.e., "double-majoring." Double-majoring in philosophy and another field of study will permit the student to develop a broad-based understanding of how to analyze and critically evaluate concepts that arise in the other major field of study.

 

Student Learning Outcomes


Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

To help understand the Department of Philosophy’s learning outcomes for our two named undergraduate programs (the Philosophy Major and the Philosophy Minor),  here is a brief list of some of the characteristics of our undergraduate programs and Philosophy students: 

  1. The major and minor have no required core classes.
  2. The major and minor have no specifically required entry and exist courses.
  3. For the major, the capstone experience consists of three graduate seminars of the student’s choice rather than a single capstone designated course; for the minor, the capstone experience consists of two graduate seminars of the student’s choice rather than a single capstone-designated course.
  4. Students often don’t declare the major/minor until their Sophomore or Junior years.  The major and minor requirements are designed to accommodate late entry into these programs, with light coursework requirements and prerequisites in the first two years of study, and then intensive coursework with substantial prerequisites in the last two years.
  5. The major/minor do not require a linear/sequential curriculum approach.  For example, students need not take Ancient Greek Philosophy before taking Early Modern Philosophy before taking Twentieth Century Philosophy.
  6. The major/minor provide students with a high degree of choice.  Students can choose whether to pursue a degree that emphasizes breadth or depth, historical or contemporary, and areas of study.
  7. Since the minor parallels the major, learning outcomes are the same for both.
  8. The department has a modest number of majors (approximately 40 total), and a small number of minors (approximately 5), so quantitative approaches to assessment lack statistical credibility.

 

Learning Outcomes for both the Philosophy Major and Minor:

  1. The student will be able to understand abstract philosophy texts.
  2. The student will be able to critically analyze abstract philosophy texts.
  3. The student will be able to produce philosophy papers demonstrating deep understanding and critical analysis.

 

 Last updated: 20 November 2007

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Doug Balmain

UW student, Philosophy major, and singer/songwriter, Doug Balmain plays on Prexy's Pasture.

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