Programs of Study for Philosophy & Religious Studies
The Department of Philosophy offers two programs of study that lead to a B. A. in Philosophy. Students may emphasize either a Philosophy Track or a Religious Studies Track. The department also offers minors in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Professional and Applied Ethics.
A Philosophy Major with the dual tracks of Philosophy and Religious Studies challenges students to think critically and express themselves effectively. Students will develop an appreciation for lifelong learning and the richness of culture and intellectual history. On either track, students will find a solid foundation to build a career in professions that demand critical thinking and conceptual flexibility in interacting with diverse populations.
Students who take the Philosophy Track will study a broad spectrum of ideas, thinkers, issues and arguments. The Philosophy Track addresses key questions from a variety of areas: the history of philosophy, reasoning and argumentation, ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, social and political theory, and aesthetics. The Philosophy Track also offers a variety of special topics courses that address issues of interest to philosophers. Special topics courses are concerned with a range of issues, e.g., courses may address the work of one particular figure in the history of philosophy, or a philosophical interpretation of modern cultural trends.
Students who take the Religious Studies Track will investigate the diversity of religious thought and practice from multicultural perspectives. These students explore the influence of religious traditions in shaping values, norms, and public policies in societies worldwide. Regular course offerings in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Indigenous traditions are integral to our curriculum. Religious studies courses encourage multiple disciplinary approaches toward religious expression, whether in the fine arts, literature, politics, social conflict, language, history, or gender studies. Overarching goals are to understand the significance of religion, with sympathetic insight into religious communities, and to analyze the dynamic influences of religion on social development and cultural transformation throughout history and around the globe.