distinguished majors

The Distinguished Majors Program

The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) is designed for students who wish to pursue their studies in philosophy beyond the requirements of the regular major. It requires both the study of a broad range of philosophical areas and a more concentrated examination of a single topic in the form of a senior thesis.

Students may apply to the DMP as early as the fifth semester before graduation and as late as the third semester before graduation. They must have completed at least two philosophy courses, and they must have and maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 in all philosophy courses taken. (In addition, they should have an overall GPA close enough to 3.4 to make it likely that they will be able to satisfy the College requirement of a final cumulative GPA of 3.4 for graduation with distinction.)

DMP students must complete 36 credits of course work in philosophy, no more than 15 of which are at the 2000-level. 100-level courses cannot be counted towards DMP requirements. The 36 credits must include:

1.    Either one of the following: PHIL 3310 (Metaphysics), PHIL 3320 (Epistemology), PHIL 3330.

2.    Either PHIL 2420 (Introduction to Symbolic Logic) or PHIL 5420 (Symbolic Logic). NB: PHIL 1410 DOES NOT satisfy the logic requirement for Distinguished Majors.

3.    One of the following: PHIL 3710 (Ethics), PHIL 3720 (Contemporary Ethics), PHIL 3730 (Ancient Ethical Theory), PHIL 2760 (Classics in Political Philosophy), PHIL 2770 (Political Philosophy).

4.     Two History classes. All Distinguished Majors must take either PHIL 2110 (History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval) or PHIL 2120 (History of Philosophy: Modern). Those who take PHIL 2110 must also take at least one of the following: PHIL 3140 (History of Medieval Philosophy), PHIL 3150 (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), PHIL 3160 (Locke, Berkeley, Hume), or PHIL 3170 (Kant). Those who take PHIL 2120 must also take at least one of the following: PHIL 3110 (Plato), PHIL 3120 (Aristotle), PHIL 3130 (Hellenistic Philosophy), PHIL 3140 (History of Medieval Philosophy). NB: PHIL 3140 can count as either Ancient or Modern.

5.     The Seminar for Majors (PHIL 4010 or PHIL 4020).

6.     A Thesis which comprises two courses: PHIL 4993 or 4995 (Directed Readings) to be used as a pre-thesis research course (the student must submit a thesis proposal to the Undergraduate Advisor upon completion of this course); and PHIL 4999 (Senior Thesis). The Seminar for Majors and PHIL 4999 will satisfy the general DMP requirement for 6 credits of advanced course work.