Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Philosophy Major

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Regardless of whether course work was completed in a classroom or online, upon the successful completion of at least 120 credit hours distributed in each of the four areas described below, a Philosophy major will have met all the course requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Philosophy.

The first area is Philosophy ('PHIL') courses. A major needs at least 33 credits of PHIL courses distributed as follows:

Philosophy Courses (30 credit hours)There are five required PHIL courses for a total of 13 credits that each major must complete. Four of these courses are in the "core areas" of logic, value theory, and history of philosophy. The remaining required course is PHIL 3030: Individual Senior Seminar. Typically, this course is taken during the semester in which a student plans to graduate. By that time, he or she will have written several philosophical essays. In PHIL 3030, each major works with a faculty member to rewrite an argumentative essay, then to defend his or her essay orally to the entire Philosophy faculty. This sounds far more intimidating than it is. But what it is is a way for each major to demonstrate his or her mastery of certain skills each major should possess, including: reading philosophical texts, reconstructing the argument presented in a text, writing a philosophical essay in defense of his or her own position, and defending his or her position orally. Almost any PHIL course can be taken to meet the remaining 20 credits, provided that: (1) at least 15 credits are 3000+-level courses, (2) no more than 6 credits of 1000-level courses are included, and (3) at least one course (at any level) has been completed whose second number is 4, which corresponds to the remaining "core areas" of the Philosophy discipline: metaphysics & epistemology. The Philosophy degree program offers majors maximum flexibility in choosing courses of interest to them.

Students who choose to graduate with department or university honors will complete PHIL 3001: Senior Honors Thesis instead of PHIL 3030. PHIL 3001 is a two semester, 6 credit sequence, which, like PHIL 3030, culminates in the oral defense of an essay written over a semester under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Those 6 credits may not be used toward the total 33 credits of PHIL courses each major needs to complete. Hence, any student who chooses to graduate with department or university honors must complete at least 39 credits of PHIL courses.

The Department of Philosophy is in the College of Liberal Arts. Hence, Philosophy majors must meet all the general education requirements of our college. To do this, each major must take at least 36 or 39 credits distributed as follows:

College of Liberal Arts Courses (24 or 27 credit hours)The Foreign Language requirement for students in the College of Liberal Arts deserves a few comments. Typically, a liberal arts major meets this requirement in one of two ways: either he or she completes 1001, 1002, & 2001 in one foreign language, or, he or she completes 1001 & 1002 in two foreign languages. Note that although American Sign Language (ASL) courses may be used to meet the foreign language in other colleges at UNO, those courses cannot be used to meet this requirement within the College of Liberal Arts. Majors may take ASL courses, but they will count only as general electives.

There are 15 credits of additional general education requirements for a B.A. in Philosophy. These are courses having to do with mathematics and science (from 2 sciences and at least one course must begin with BIOS):

Non-college of Liberal Arts Courses (30)

The remaining 36 or 33 credits are approved electives:Elective (36 or 39)

At least 6 credits must be earned by completing 3000+-level courses in any discipline other than Philosophy. Since you cannot complete a minor or a double major in any discipline without completing at least 6 credits at the 3000+-level, anyone who minors or double majors in anything will meet this requirement.


Philosophy Minor

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It is very easy to minor in Philosophy. All a minor needs to do is maintain a GPA in Philosophy above 2.0 and complete 18 credits of PHIL courses distributed as follows:

Philosophy Courses for a Minor (18)Any student in the College of Liberal Arts who minors in Philosophy is only 12 credits away from being a double major! Double majors are much more attractive to graduate school admissions committees than single majors.