Major

The Philosophy major aims to provide students with a grounding in basic skills and background in philosophy (including logic, ethics, and the history of philosophy), while leaving leeway for students to pursue themes or periods of particular interest to them. The major requires 13 courses, four of which satisfy the core requirements, and nine of which are electives.

The four core requirements (along with the courses that fulfill them) are as follows:

  • Logic: PHIL 150 or PHIL 250
  • Ethics: PHIL 260 or PHIL 261
  • History of Philosophy: PHIL 210-1 (Ancient Philosophy)
  • History of Philosophy: PHIL 210-3 (Early Modern Philosophy)

Of the remaining nine elective courses, at least six must be at the 300 level. These electives may not include PHIL 109, 270, 373, or 398.  One course offered by another department may be counted as an elective for the major, provided that it has substantial philosophical content (as determined by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

NOTE: Core requirements cannot be replaced by courses taken at institutions other than the NU philosophy department. This includes study abroad, online courses, other universities, other departments at NU. Only in cases of established exceptional hardship will the UG-committee be able to consider a request to have a course taken at another venue as a core credit (see FAQ for further details). Should you believe to be in such circumstances, you need to immediately contact your advisor or the DUS to find out more about the possibilities.

The department strongly recommends that students complete required courses (above) as early as possible, particularly if you plan to spend time outside NU, e.g. studying abroad.