FAQs

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding administrative issues for undergraduate students of philosophy

General

Study Abroad

For Majors and Minors

General

Q. How to declare a major/minor in philosophy?

A. Visit major and minor declaration page

Q. May I request a permission number to register, or request that you save a space for me in a class, prior to the opening of the registration period?

A. No. Permission numbers will not be sent out nor will spaces be saved weeks or days before your registration begins.

If you are a major or minor, then you may request your permission number any time either after you receive the Notice of Pre-Registration Class List from the office, which is usually after 3:00 pm on the Friday preceding pre-Registration. Your requests will not be answered until Monday morning.

If you are a non-major or minor, then you may request a permission number only after the start the opening day of registration.

Q. I want to take a Philosophy 399-0 Independent Study class. Can I have a permission number?

A. Independent Study is by Instructor Consent. Please present a proposal to your intended instructor. If the instructor approves, then have that instructor e-mail the approval to Jasmine Hatten. If you have received an e-mail approval from the instructor, you may forward the e-mail approval to Jasmine. Upon receipt of the instructor approval, Jasmine will send you a permission number.

Q. Add week/Late registration has ended. I need to get a permission number for a class. What should I do?

A. After add week/late registration ends, permission numbers will not work without the completion of an add slip and the intervention of the dean.

You are urged to regularly consult the Registrar's Academic Calendar which lists all such deadlines for the entire school year. You will find this in Caesar, and at the Registrar's Office

Q. I have a Time Conflict; I have to drop/add; I need to know when registration starts; I need help with Caesar; I have another Registration issue. What should I do?

A. Go to the Office of the Registrar. If you do not see your issue in the list, type it in the 'Ask a Question' box.

MAJORS AND MINORS: Here are some handy Weinberg links

Q. Where can I make suggestions, submit ideas, or voice concerns regarding departmental life?

A. In general, any faculty member you're comfortable talking to will be happy to help, advise or direct you to the right place. More specifically, our undergraduate advisors and the Director of Undergraduate Studies are glad to get your input and will take it to the right places. Just so you see it matters: when a group of undergraduates organized themselves recently, we helped them found and maintain the Undergraduate Philosophy Society (UPS) at NU, and we recently were able to adjust the rules for honors theses because students had told us about their needs, constraints and preferences. So: if there's anything on your mind, please GET INVOLVED and GET IN TOUCH.

Study Abroad

Q. What should I do to get departmental approval for courses I have taken abroad?

A. Because the material of classes offered at different universities can differ significantly from those at our department, you need to get departmental recognition for the courses you have taken at other universities. In particular, the department's committee of undergraduate studies (UGKOM) has to decide whether a specific course can count as equivalent to one of the elective requirements of the major or minor, and at which level (200, 300).

NOTE: Core requirements cannot be replaced by courses taken at institutions other than the NU philosophy department. The core requirements are: PHIL 150, PHIL 210-1, PHIL 210-3, PHIL 260/261. Only in cases of established exceptional hardship will the UGKOM consider a request to have a course at another institution recognized as a core credit. 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.

In order to get departmental recognition for a course taken abroad, please submit the following documentation complete in electronic form to your advisor or the DUS (either of whom will forward it to the UGKOM for decision):

  • The syllabus and course description of the course you wish to have checked,
  • Unless specified in these materials: a precise explanation of the assignments you fulfilled,
  • A filled-in form from the College called "Petition for NU Credit for Courses taken abroad"
  • A specification of which course in the NU-Undergraduate catalog’s listings for PHIL-courses you would like the courses taken abroad to be recognized as. This is an IMPORTANT part of your petition because it is the only way of making sure that your abroad-courses are not credited as a NU-PHIL course that you actually have already taken. If you have questions, please consult your advisor or the DUS.

Once the UGKOM has decided about your request, you will be notified by either the DUS, your advisor or the departmental UG-assistant. The form will then be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising (OUSA) from the department’s UG-assistant granting you whatever has been approved as NU credit(s). Please make sure to check back if you don’t see credits that you believe should be on your transcript after receiving the notification, but allow 10 business days for processing.

Q. Will courses taken abroad or at other universities be recognized that were offered at departments other than philosophy?

A. Generally no. In exceptional cases, the committee may decide otherwise, but the general policy is to honor only courses from philosophy departments.

Q. What should I do if I want to study abroad, but keep in touch with philosophy?

A. Wonder. Think. Work at becoming a good person. Read. Write. Email others in the philosophy community. In any event: Before you leave, see our study abroad expert, Mark Sheldon

For Majors and Minors

Q. How do I get specific course credits for courses I have taken at another university before coming to Northwestern?

A. Generally, if your courses were taken at the philosophy department of another four-year, degree-granting institution (i.e., college or university), there should be no problem to get credits. Transfer students should visit the WCAS website for more information about transferring credits.

Q. How do I get course credits for classes taken at other U.S. institutions after matriculation to Northwestern?

A. Because the material of classes offered at different universities can differ significantly from those at our department, you need to get departmental recognition for the courses you have taken at other 4-year colleges and universities. In particular, the department's committee of undergraduate studies (UGKOM) has to decide whether a specific course can count as equivalent to one of the elective requirements of the major or minor, and at which level (200, 300).

NOTE: Core requirements cannot be replaced by courses taken at institutions other than the NU philosophy department. The core requirements are: PHIL 150, PHIL 210-1, PHIL 210-3, PHIL 260/261. Only in cases of established exceptional hardship will the UGKOM consider a request to have a course at another institution recognized as a core credit. 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.

Although you should meet with your program adviser before deciding to take courses at other institutions, this form can be before or after you take classes elsewhere. Credit is not guaranteed and is subject to approval of the UGKOM. In order to get departmental recognition for a course taken at another university after matriculating at Northwestern, please submit the following documentation:

  • Complete the online form “Petition for Credit for a Non-Northwestern Course”
  • Upload the syllabus and course description of the course you wish to have reviewed to the online form.
  • Unless specified in these materials, include a precise explanation of the assignments you fulfilled.
  • You may also upload a document specifying which NU-Philosophy course you want to substitute, otherwise, the UGKOM will use its own discretion in assigning credit.

Once the department reviews the course, the appropriate major/minor/school official(s) will determine whether the course can be applied to your requirements as you have requested. If approved by all school officials, the form will be sent to the Office of the Registrar. 

Q. How do I get specific course credits towards my philosophy major for courses I have taken at another Northwestern department?

A. Our departmental rules for the major in philosophy allow you to have at most one course taken in another department recognized as a philosophy course. Obviously, this is only possible insofar as the course in question had an unquestionably philosophical content. However, what specific course your credit will count for has to be determined by the department's Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGKOM).

NOTE: Core requirements cannot be replaced by courses taken at institutions other than the NU philosophy department. The core requirements are: PHIL 150, PHIL 210-1, PHIL 210-3, PHIL 260/261. Only in cases of established exceptional hardship will the UG-committee be able to consider a request to have a course at another institution recognized as a core credit. 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.

In order to get departmental recognition for a course taken at another Northwestern department, please submit the following documentation complete in electronic form to your departmental advisor (who in some cases will be able to approve directly, and in the remaining cases forward the petition to the UGKOM for decision):

  • The syllabus and course description of the course you wish to have reviewed.
  • Unless specified in these materials: a precise explanation of the assignments you fulfilled.
  • A specification of which course in the NU-Undergraduate catalog’s listings for PHIL-courses you would like the course to be recognized as.

Q. What should I do to petition to graduate?

A. The person in the department who will take care of your petition to graduate is your undergraduate advisor. She or he is responsible for ensuring that you either already have or will be able to fulfill your requirements. For this purpose, please follow these steps:

  • Go over the requirements for the major or minor. Make sure you know exactly which requirements are still missing.
  • Regarding the classes you plan to take in your senior year, make sure that these classes are offered, and when. View the yearly course schedule.
  • Complete a petition to graduate form
  • Obtain a unofficial transcript from CAESAR.
  • Make an appointment with your undergraduate advisor, or drop in during her or his office hours. To this appointment, please bring:
    • your transcript
    • your filled-in petition to graduate form
    • any evidence of the department's recognition of courses you have taken at other universities or abroad (see below for more on this).

Q. When should I fill out the Petition to Graduate?

A. You should consult the Weinberg web site. To file the Petition to Graduate, you should make an appointment with your adviser. Make sure to bring the appropriate completed form as well as your Academic Progress report, so that you can review your major or minor program with your advisor. If you do not know who your adviser is (or if your adviser is unavailable), please e-mail Jasmine Hatten and she can assist you in finding the relevant person.