Philosophy Requirements

A.  Requirements for students who entered the College prior to Fall 2015

Required for the Major: Majors must complete no fewer than 10 courses in the department, to include:
1. Logic Requirement: PHIL 0180
2. History Requirement:
    a) PHIL 0201 or CLAS/PHIL 0275
    b) PHIL 0250
3. Distribution Requirement:
    a) one course in Ethics and Social & Political Philosophy (ESP)
    b) one course in Epistemology, Language, Metaphysics, Mind and Science (ELMMS)
4. Seminar Requirement: two 0400-level seminars (see below)
5. Electives: three courses
 
Additionally, it is highly recommended that students take either PHIL 0150 or PHIL 0151, preferably early in the program. PHIL 0180 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year. For students going abroad in their junior year, the history requirement should be completed prior to departure. Cognate courses may be substituted for no more than two departmental electives, but will not satisfy the departmental distribution requirement; such substitutions require the prior approval of a major's departmental adviser, and must be at the 0200-level or above. No more than one term of thesis work may count towards the 10 course requirement.
 
Seminar Requirement: Majors must take two department seminars (0400-level courses on advanced topics in philosophy). Junior majors should take the seminar currently offered in the spring term; seniors should take the seminar currently offered in the fall term. Students who are abroad during the spring of the junior year must take both seminars in their senior year. This requirement will not be waived for students doing departmental honors. These seminars will not normally satisfy the departmental distribution requirement, but may in exceptional cases by permission of the Chair.
 
Departmental Honors: Majors with at least a B+ average in philosophy courses may apply to the Chair to become candidates for departmental honors. To apply, a student must find a faculty member willing to supervise the project and then submit a proposal to that faculty member in writing. If (and only if) the proposal is accepted, the student should then register for two successive terms of PHIL 0700 (normally during the winter and spring terms of their senior year). To receive honors, students must complete a two-term project resulting in a thesis or a set of thematically related papers, give an oral defense (according to departmental regulations), and receive for their work a minimum grade of B+. In addition, they must maintain their B+ average in courses in the department.
 
Required for the Joint Major: For the philosophy component of a joint major, students must (1) take eight philosophy courses, including (a) PHIL 0180, to be taken by the end of the sophomore year; (b) one 0400-level seminar to be taken in the last three semesters; (c) One course from the history requirement; and (d) one course from the distribution requirement (ESP or ELMMS). Either PHIL 0150 or PHIL 0151 is also highly recommended, and, like PHIL 0180, should be taken early in the program whenever possible. In addition, students must (2) give evidence of having used the training in both major fields, usually in an independent project or thesis, but sometimes in a seminar paper. Joint majors are eligible for department honors, if they do a two-term thesis.
 
Required for the Minor: A total of six courses in philosophy, including PHIL 0180 and at least one course at the 0300 or 0400 level. Minors wishing to take a 0400-level seminar must have completed three other philosophy courses first. Enrollment priority in 0400-level seminars will be given to majors. Students electing the philosophy minor should arrange to have an adviser in the philosophy department.

B.  Requirements for students entering the College in Fall 2015 or after

Required for the Major: Majors must complete no fewer than eleven courses in the department, to include:

  1. Logic Requirement: PHIL 0180 (to be taken by the end of the sophomore year)
  2. History Requirement (to be taken by the end of the junior year):
    a. PHIL 0201 or CLAS/PHIL 0275 and
    b. PHIL 0250
  3. Distribution Requirement:
    a. one course in Ethics and Social & Political Philosophy (ESP); and
    b. one course in Epistemology, Language, Metaphysics, Mind and Science (ELMMS).
  4. Upper-level Course Requirement:  Three courses at the 0300 or 0400 level, at least one of which must be a 0400-level course. (0400-level courses will not normally satisfy the distribution requirement. Courses taken while abroad will not generally be allowed to substitute for the required 0400-level course.)
  5. Senior Independent Research Requirement
  6. At least two other philosophy courses, in order to fulfill the eleven-course requirement. 

Cognate courses may be substituted for no more than two departmental electives, but will not satisfy the departmental distribution requirement; such substitutions require the prior approval of a major's departmental adviser, and must be at the 0200-level or above.

Senior Independent Research Requirement: Majors must complete a one-semester independent research project (PHIL 0710) in the spring of their senior year. Topics and advisers will be decided through consultation with members of the department. PHIL 0710 includes participation in the senior project workshop held for all students completing their independent work.

Departmental Honors:  Students will be awarded departmental honors if and only if they receive a) at least an A- average in courses counted toward the major, and b) an A- on their senior project.  Students will be awarded high honors if and only if they receive a) at least an A- average in courses counted toward the major, and b) an A on their senior project. 
 
Required for the Joint Major:  For the philosophy component of a joint major, students must take nine philosophy courses, including

1.   PHIL 0180, to be taken by the end of the sophomore year;
2.   One 0400-level seminar to be taken in the last three semesters;
3.   Three of the following:

a.  PHIL 0201 or CLAS/PHIL 0275
b.  PHIL 0250
c.  one course in Ethics and Social & Political Philosophy (ESP) and
d.  one course in Epistemology, Language, Metaphysics, Mind and Science (ELMMS)

4.  A course in which the student completes a senior independent project that shows evidence of having integrated the training of both major fields.  (Normally this course will be PHIL 0710, though other models may be appropriate.)  The topic and scope of the independent project is to be determined in consultation with both major advisers. 
5.  At least three other philosophy courses, in order to fulfill the nine-course requirement. 

Required for the Minor: A total of six courses in philosophy, including PHIL 0180 and at least one course at the 0300 or 0400 level. Minors wishing to take a 0400-level seminar must have completed three other philosophy courses first. Enrollment priority in 0400-level seminars will be given to majors. Students electing the philosophy minor are encouraged to consult with faculty members in the Philosophy Department about course planning.

Department of Philosophy

Twilight Hall
50 Franklin Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

802.443.2077 fax