Degree Requirements

The undergraduate major in philosophy requires 30 hours of philosophy coursework.

All majors must complete the basic course requirements. Students with particular interests may choose to structure their major around tracks offered by the department.  A minimum of 18 hours including all courses for the major at or above the 3000 level must be taken in residence in the UMSL Department of Philosophy. 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. PHIL 1120: Asian Philosophy and PHIL 1125: Islamic Philosophy satisfy the college cultural diversity requirement. Majors may not count philosophy courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis toward the degree requirements. 

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.

Course Requirements

1) History of Philosophy, two courses:
PHIL 1110, History of Western Philosophy I, or PHIL 3301, Ancient History
PHIL 1111, History of Western Philosophy II, or PHIL 3303, Early Modern Philosophy

2) Logic, one of the following:
PHIL 1160, Logic and Language
PHIL 3360, Introduction to Formal Logic

3) Normative Philosophy, one of the following:
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, one of the following:
Any 3000 level History of Philosophy course not used to satisfy the History of Philosophy
Requirement above (PHIL 3301 to PHIL 3307)
PHIL 3374, Philosophy of Art
PHIL 3378, Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 3380, Philosophy of Science

5) Core Requirement, one of the following:
PHIL 4440, Theories of Knowledge
PHIL 4445, Metaphysics

6) PHIL 4491, Senior Seminar

See the B.A. checklist for more detalis.

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.