- At least 27 units total
- Three "Core" courses (one in each area)
- "Writing Intensive" Course in Philosophy or another Core course
- Capstone Experience (Phil 3991 or Honors Thesis)
- At least 21 units at 300-level or above (including core courses)*
- At least 6 of those 21 at 400-level**
Core Courses Majors must complete at least one Core course in each of the following:
301G - Symbolic Logic
306G - Philosophy of Language
3113 - Theory of Knowledge
3481 - Introduction to Metaphysics
315 - Philosophy of Mind
321G - Philosophy of Science
347C - Ancient Philosophy
349C - Descartes to Hume
357C - Kant & 19th Century Phil
358 - Conceptual Foundations in Modern Science
331F - Classical Ethical Theory
339F - Philosophy of the Arts
340F - Social & Political Philosophy
345F - Issues in Applied Ethics
346 - Philosophy of Law
A full listing of courses is available on the Washington University Course Listings site.
* At least 18 units of the required upper-level courses must be completed with a minimum of a C-.
** Three of these credits (one course) must not be from Honors Thesis or Independent Study.
Writing Intensive Course (Fall semester only)
All students in Arts & Sciences are required to take a Writing Intensive Course. Majors are encouraged to fulfill their Writing Intensive requirement by taking Phil. 390 or a regular philosophy offering that is specially designated as “Writing Intensive”. These courses are typically taken in the junior year and are limited to 15 students. Significant attention is devoted to conceiving, researching, writing, revising, critiquing, and presenting philosophical essays. A philosophy major who does not take a philosophy writing intensive seminar must take a fourth core course, in any of the three core areas.
Philosophy 390: Philosophical Writing
This seminar is the "Writing Intensive" course in Philosophy. It will have a different topic of central philosophical importance each semester. Significant attention will also be devoted to conceiving, researching, writing, revising, critiquing, and presenting philosophical essays. This seminar is also designed to be a small, specialized seminar for philosophy majors (and others with a strong interest in philosophy). This course will have a cap of 15 students, and a requirement that students write and then revise at least three papers. Typically taken in the junior year. Priority will be given to philosophy majors and minors who have not yet completed their Writing Intensive requirement.
NOTE: Majors who do not take their Writing Intensive course in the philosophy department are required to take an additional Core Course in any Core area (for a total of four Core Courses rather than three).
Capstone Experience (Spring semester only)
All Philosophy majors are required to complete a capstone experience, either by writing an honors thesis or by taking the "Philosophy Capstone Course" (Phil 3991). To qualify for doing an honors thesis, students must have, at the end of the junior year, at least a 3.5 GPA in the major, a 3.5 GPA in advanced philosophy courses, and a 3.5 overall GPA. Alternatively, majors sign up for Phi1 3991 (a three-credit course), which covers important readings that span several philosophical areas.
Philosophy 3991: Philosophy Capstone Course
This course will focus either on classic writings from the past century or on contemporary writings that address a major philosophical concern, such as "The Meaning of Life" or "The Concept of Self". In either case, the course will draw together a variety of philosophical specializations. Must be taken by all philosophy majors who are not writing an honors project. Prerequisite: Senior standing, major in philosophy; preference given to those majors not pursuing Honors.
Philosophy 499: Study for Honors
To qualify for doing an Honors Thesis, students must have a 3.5 minimum grade point average overall, a 3.5 minimum grade point average in philosophy courses, a 3.5 grade point average in advanced Philosophy courses, level 300 and above, and the permission of the department.
Arts & Sciences Policies Regarding Double Majors
Declaring a second major involves exactly the same procedure (even the same form) as declaring a first major. You need to indicate which major will officially be your primary major. You are encouraged to keep your advisors in both majors informed of your academic plans. You receive your authorization for registration from your primary major advisor as well as from your four-year advisor.
If you have two majors, a course may count toward both majors only if:
- The courses are cross-listed across the two departments.
- You have a minimum of 18 units of advanced credit (300-level and above) for each major (that is, a minimum of 36 total advanced units between the two majors) that are not involved in the double counting. In that case, a cross-listed course can count toward both majors, especially if it is a 100- or 200-level courses.
Example: Philosophy & Religious Studies Double Major:
Both Philosophy and Religious Studies require 27 units for the major. Ordinarily, this would involve 18 courses. However, a student might take the following set of courses:
- Six advanced courses in philosophy (300 and above)
- Six advanced courses in Religious Studies (300 and above)
- Three double-counted, cross-listed courses:
Phi1 127F: lntro to Phil of Religion
Phil 229C: Oriental Philosophies
Phil 347C: Ancient Philosophy
Thus, the total number of courses would be 15 instead of 18.
Requirements for the Philosophy Minor
All philosophy minors are required to complete 6 courses (18 units), with at least 4 courses (12 units) at the 300-level or above, including at least one "Core" course in each of the three areas above.