2014–2015 Philosophy/Religious Studies Program (PHIL, REL)

Program Goals | Objectives | Program Requirements | Major in Philosophy B.A. | Major in Philosophy B.S. 
Minor in Philosophy | Minor in Religious Studies | PHIL Course Descriptions | REL Course Descriptions

Faculty: Kara Barnette, Nicholas D. More, Michael A. Popich

Program Goals

Objectives

The Philosophy and Religious Studies Program offers an academic major in philosophy leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as an academic minor. It provides students with the critical and philosophical thinking skills necessary to examine human systems of value, knowledge, and belief, and to make rational analyses of ideas fundamental to living thoughtfully in the world. Philosophy is an excellent choice of study for pre-law students, as preparation for graduate school in philosophy, as a minor or second major for liberal arts students preparing for graduate school, and for anyone who would benefit from a discipline of clear thinking, writing, and problem solving in the pursuit of wisdom.

Religious Studies (available as a minor) is considered open to objective and scholarly investigation. Students learn to read religious literature intelligently and within context, and gain perspective on the religious impulse as it is expressed through the world’s religions. Students majoring in Philosophy who plan to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in the field should plan for graduate school, with the assistance of the Philosophy/Religious Studies faculty, no later than the second semester of their junior year. Students intending to pursue a degree in theology are advised to major in English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, or any broad liberal arts program, or minor in Religious Studies. The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada recommends that students have a background in history, religions of non-western cultures, and a foreign language.

Students majoring or minoring in philosophy with a GPA of 3.5 overall and in philosophy coursework may be invited to become members of Phi Sigma Tau, the international undergraduate Philosophy Honor Society. Westminster College’s Utah chapter is the oldest in the state.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.3 GPA in courses required in the philosophy major

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Philosphy/Religious Studies major:

Academic Major in Philosophy—Bachelor of Arts Degree


Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses 15  

The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Philosophy major.

PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE (4)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE (3)

Students who want to major or minor in Philosophy and who have HON 201 (Humanities I) and HON 202 (Humanities II) must take one of PHIL 102 (Critical Thinking, LE),
PHIL 100/100D (Introduction to Philosophy, LE), or PHIL 206/206D (Introduction to Ethics, LE). Honors students not majoring or minoring in Philosophy do not have to take any additional Philosophy or Religion courses for LE requirements.

   

 

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8  

Philosophy majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign
language.

   
II. Lower Division Philosophy Courses 18  
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE (3)    
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE (4)    
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years   PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years   PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE (3)    
III. Upper Division Philosophy Courses 8  
PHIL 390 Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)—offered fall only   senior standing, consent of instructor
PHIL 490 Research Seminar in Philosophy (4)*—offered spring only   PHIL 390; senior standing, consent of instructor
*PHIL 390 is required before PHIL 490 for Philosophy or Religion majors.    
IV. Electives 14  

Additional coursework in Philosophy

   
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 6  
300-level coursework in History or another discipline as approved by the student’s advisor in Philosophy (6)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MAJOR 54  

 

Academic Major in Philosophy—Bachelor of Science Degree

For a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy, students must fulfill the same requirements as for the Bachelor of Arts degree, except that students are required to take eight credit hours of a laboratory science in lieu of the history requirement.


Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses    

The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Philosophy major.
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE (4)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE (3)

   

 

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8  

Philosophy majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign
language.

   
II. Lower Division Philosophy Courses 18  
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE (3)    
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE (4)    
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years   PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years   PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE (3)    
III. Upper Division Philosophy Courses 8  
PHIL 390 Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)—offered fall only   senior standing, consent of instructor
PHIL 490 Research Seminar in Philosophy (4)*—offered spring only   PHIL 390; senior standing, consent of instructor
*PHIL 390 is required before PHIL 490 for Philosophy or Religion majors.    
IV. Electives 14  

Additional coursework in Philosophy

   
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 8  
Two semesters of a laboratory science (8)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MAJOR 56  

 

Recommended Plan of Study for Philosophy

 

Fall Semester

Spring Semester
Freshman Year Language I
PHIL 100/100D
PHIL 102 (or in Spring)
Language II
PHIL 206/206D
Sophomore Year PHIL 201 (or in Junior year)
PHIL elective (upper div.)
Science Lab course (BS)
PHIL 202 (or in Junior year)
PHIL elective (upper div.)
HIST elective (upper div.) (BA)
Junior Year PHIL elective (upper div.)
HIST elective (upper div.) (BA)
(Or) PHIL elective (upper div.) Science Lab course (BS)
Senior Year PHIL 390
PHIL elective (upper div.)
PHIL 490 Thesis II
(Or) PHIL elective (upper div.)

 

* It is recommended that students take 2 hours of PHIL 300 during May term for all four years.

Philosophy majors can take a combination of upper division courses in order to meet the catalog requirements for 14 (minimum) elective hours in Philosophy for a Bachelor’s degree. For example, in their sophomore and junior years they could take 2 or 3 courses as 300-level electives (offered in the Fall and Spring semesters) and then take several 2-credit May Term Philosophy 300 special topics courses.

Or, mutatis mutandis, the student could take several 300-level electives in their junior and senior years and several 2-credit Philosophy 300 special topics May Term courses over their sophomore, junior and senior years in order to reach the 14-hour (minimum) electives requirement in Philosophy

 

Academic Minor in Philosophy

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18  
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE (3)    
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE (4)    
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years
or
  PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years   PHIL 102 (LE)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE (3)   senior standing, consent of instructor
PHIL 390* Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)    

*Please see PHIL 390 course description regarding Philosophy or Religion minors.
   
II. Electives 6  
Additional coursework in Philosophy    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MINOR 24  

 

Academic Minor in Religious Studies

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 15  
REL 101/101D Religions of the World, LE (3)    
REL 311 Philosophy of Religion (4)   PHIL 102 (LE)
REL 312 The Bible: Jewish & Christian Scriptural Traditions (4)    
REL 490 Research Seminar in Religious Studies (4)—offered fall only   senior standing, consent of instructor
II. Electives 7  
Additional coursework in Religious Studies (7)    
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MINOR 22