The Philosophy  and Politics Program

Philosophy and politics share a common history and pursuit of many of the same profound questions. Studying them together, therefore, can enrich your understanding and appreciation of both. If you have interest in both disciplines, this combined major gives you just enough focused study of each.

What Can I Do With a Major in Philosophy?

Completion of a degree in philosophy and politics offers a deeper understanding of the profound questions raised in both fields, and prepares graduates to enter the fields of business, government, law and public service, as well as for graduate studies in philosophy. 


Graduates with a philosophy and politics degree have a sound historical knowledge of both fields and are able to critically engage the world with solid analytic abilities and imaginative, synthetic solutions to problems which present themselves. They are prepared to offer both abstract analyses as well as concrete proposals. They are independent learners and prepared to begin graduate studies in the humanities, social sciences or law.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Politics

Philosophy Major Requirements (54 credits)
21 credits in Philosophy, structured in the following way*
(These are in addition to the Core requirement of 1st Philosophy PL 101):
PL 120 Logic - 3 credits
PL 201 Ancient Philosophy - 3 credits
PL 202 Medieval Philosophy - 3 credits
PL 200 Modern Philosophy - 3 credits
PL 204 Kant and His Successors or
PL 206 19th and 20th Century Philosophy - 3 credits
PL 215 Ethics - 3 credits
PL 440 Senior Capstone Exam or
PL 450 Senior Thesis - 3 credits

*Those applying for graduate studies in philosophy are also required to complete Symbolic Logic, PL 250. All other majors are strongly encouraged to complete this course.

Politics Major Requirements (27 credits) 
PS 100 Principles of American Politics - 3 credits
PS 135 Classical Political Thought - 3 credits
S 136 Modern Political Thought - 3 credits
PS 242 International Politics or
PS 343 Comparative Politics - 3 credits
PS 290 Institutions - 3 credits
PS 336 American Political Thought - 3 credits
PS 339 Constitutional Law: National Powers or
PS 369 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties - 3 credits
PS 345 Domestic Public Policy - 3 credits
PS 480 Senior Thesis - 3 credits

In addition, 6 credits of electives from either Philosophy or Politics, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisers.

Senior Capstone Projectphilosophy-senior-capstone
Senior Capstone Project
Joint majors in Philosophy and Politics complete the senior capstone requirements in the two departments and are encouraged to reflect on the relationship between political theory and political practice.  For example, students might be expected to explore some theoretical question, problem, or theme in a Philosophy thesis and then write a Politics thesis applying these things to the practice of law, policy-making, or politics broadly conceived.  See the respective department's requirements for more guidelines.
Internships and Careers

Students who complete the Philosophy program may be employed or continue their education as:

  • Teachers
  • Researchers
  • Academic Affairs specialists
  • Paralegals
  • Government workers
  • Clergy and religious leaders
  • Administrators/managers
  • Technical writers and editors
  • Graduate school students
  • Student Learning Outcomes

    In addition to the outcomes within the two departments, the major in Philosophy and Politics helps its students

    • Apply principles of political theory to political practice.