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Degree Requirements

The undergraduate major in philosophy requires 30 hours of philosophy coursework. A minimum of 18 hours in Philosophy must be taken from the UMSL Department of Philosophy. Courses above the 3000-level taken elsewhere do not count toward the major. Philosophy majors must complete all required courses (under Course Requirements) with a grade of “C-” or higher and maintain a 2.0 GPA for all their Philosophy coursework.

General Education Requirements

Majors must meet the university and college general education requirements. Candidates for the B.A. degree may take any foreign language to meet the foreign language requirement. Students who double major with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. degree in Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physics may waive the foreign language requirement.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire basic knowledge of traditional philosophical issues in the western tradition.
  2. Develop critical thinking skills based on knowledge of the standards governing logical reasoning.
  3. Acquire familiarity with philosophical issues that arise in some other disciplines (e.g. biology, art, education, etc).
  4. Acquire a basic understanding of ethical and social-political principles and their role in resolving ethical disputes and in evaluating social practices and institutions.
  5. Become acquainted with current philosophical debates in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, and value theory, and with the arguments and proposals made to resolve them.

Specific Course Requirements

1) History of Philosophy, two courses:

PHIL 1110, History of Western Philosophy I, or PHIL 3301, Ancient Philosophy, or PHIL 3302, Medieval Philosophy; and either

PHIL 1111, History of Western Philosophy II, or PHIL 3303, Early Modern Philosophy, or PHIL 3304 19th Century and 20th Century Philosophy

2) Logic, one of the following:

PHIL 1160, Critical Thinking
PHIL 3360, Introduction to Formal Logic

3) Normative Philosophy, one of the following:

PHIL 1030, Present Moral Problems
PHIL 1130, Approaches to Ethics
PHIL 4430, Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 4435, Classical Ethical Theories
PHIL 4438, Recent Ethical Theory

4) Junior Level Requirement:

Any 3000 level Philosophy course not used to satisfy the History of Philosophy Requirement above (PHIL 3301 to PHIL 3307)

5) Metaphysics and Epistemology Requirement, one of the following:

PHIL 3340, Knowledge and Reality
PHIL 4440, Theories of Knowledge
PHIL 4445, Metaphysics

6) Senior Capstone Requirement:

Select any 4000 level Philosophy course, excluding PHIL 4458 and PHIL 4465, that has not been used to satisfy a requirement above.

See the B.A. checklist for more details.

Departmental Honors: Majors with a 3.2 or higher grade point average in all courses may, with the department's consent, earn departmental honors by:
1. Taking PHIL 3360, Introduction to Formal Logic;
2. Completing at least 3 hours of PHIL 4450, Special Readings in Philosophy;
3. Submitting an acceptable thesis before the end of the senior year.


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