The Major or Minor in Philosophy acquaints students with the significant philosophical concepts in Western thought and provides training in the major currents of contemporary philosophical investigation. Stress is placed on philosophy as an activity, combining a knowledge of important philosophical issues with the bases for developing an analytical judgment that is both critical and productive.
The Major or Minor in Religion provides students the critical thinking skills to examine the incredible diversity and pervasiveness of religious life, religious experience, and religious thought throughout human history and today. Students learn to employ a variety of literary, historical, philosophical, theological, phenomenological, and social-scientific methods of religious study.
Majors and minors on both sides of the department are provided excellent preparation for various areas of graduate study and careers in law, politics, writing, communications, journalism, education, business, social services, international relations, public relations, social policy, and much else. For more information on careers, see the For Students page, and the Why Study Philosophy and Why Study Religion resources.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students in Philosophy and Religion courses should learn to:
- Think critically and creatively
- Read and interpret complex and significant texts
- Write clearly and effectively
- Make clear and convincing arguments, including in response to arguments of others
- Develop oral communication skills through effective and well-organized presentations and productive classroom participation
- Conduct independent research involving primary and secondary sources
These additional goals are geared to students’ specific choice of major:
- Understand a variety of methods for the study of religion.
- Understand basic history, concepts, beliefs, and practices of both eastern and western religions.
- Make effective use of formal logic and understand types of non-deductive argument and their evaluation.
- Demonstrate knowledge of major issues and fields of philosophy, different approaches and styles of philosophy, major authors, and the history of philosophy