Major and Minor
The Department of Philosophy at Vanderbilt offers a wide range of courses relating philosophy to various dimensions of human concern. The department also emphasizes those philosophers and movements that have had significant, forming effect in Western culture.
More information about the program, as well as links to the major/minor declaration forms, can be found below. Students interested in declaring a Philosophy major or minor should contact the department's Director of Advising, Professor Lyn Radke.
Major in Philosophy
The major should be tailored to the needs and interests of the student. The following distribution of courses is required as part of the major. Logic: 1003 or 3003 (at least 3 hours); Ethics: 1005, 3605, or 3606 (at least 3 hours); History of Philosophy: 2100, 2101, 2102, 2103, or 2104 (at least six hours). Any alterations must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies. We encourage all majors to work closely with their advisers to select courses that form a coherent whole. The student must take at least 30 hours in the major field of which at least 21 hours must be in courses beyond the 1000 level.
The Honors Program offers opportunities for advanced study in philosophy, including independent research projects and/or enrollment in certain graduate seminars (with permission of the instructor). To be admitted to the program, the student must: (a) be a major in philosophy; (b) have a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses; (c) have a 3.5 grade point average in philosophy courses; and (d) develop a written proposal for advanced study in consultation with a philosophy faculty sponsor. Students who satisfy these requirements should meet with the director of undergraduate studies to review their programs, whereupon the director may nominate the students for honors work. Honors work typically begins in the junior year or in the first semester of the senior year. Students who successfully complete the program while maintaining the grade point averages of 3.0 generally, and 3.5 in the major, will receive honors in philosophy; students who do especially distinguished work will receive high honors.
Minor in Philosophy
The minor in philosophy consists of 18 hours, including at least 12 hours in courses beyond the 1000 level. The minor program will be constructed so as to provide a broad grounding in philosophy and to complement the student's other studies. Each program must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.