Alice A. Keefe, Chair
Room 489, Collins Classroom Center
Environmental Ethics Program Coordinator
Chris Diehm, Professor
This department is in the College of Letters and Science.
Philosophy Faculty: C Diehm, C Horn, D Warren, J Zinser.
Religious Studies Faculty: A Keefe, S Luft, L Whitmore.
Mission: The Department of Philosophy, housing the disciplines of philosophy and religious studies, trains you in the skills of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, written and oral communication, and empathetic engagement with diverse worldviews and religions. The training we offer equips you with the skills needed for a wide variety of professional careers and with the ability to adapt to the inevitable changes and challenges they will face after graduation.
Philosophy is the rigorous examination of issues that cannot be resolved through empirical observation or experiment, such as the status of ethical judgments, the existence of God, and what counts as good reason for belief.
Religious Studies is the cross-cultural and comparative examination of humanity’s diverse religious traditions.
Philosophy Honors Program
The Department of Philosophy offers an honors program for students majoring in philosophy, philosophy with a concentration in environmental ethics, or philosophy with a concentration in religious studies. To apply for admission:
- Have at least 30 university credits.
- Have 6 credits in philosophy or religious studies with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
- Contact the department chair or department honors adviser.
Requirements for philosophy honors are:
- Complete all the requirements for the major with a GPA of at least 3.5 for courses in the major.
- Complete a minimum of 6 honors credits in philosophy and/or religious studies courses with a grade of “A Honors.”
- Complete one credit “Independent Study: Honors Project” in PHIL 399 or REL 399.
Test-out Policy for Philosophy
You may apply to test out of any course in philosophy or religious studies that meets one or more of the General Education Program (GEP) requirements. The department chair will make arrangements for the test. You will work with a designated faculty member who will confer with you regarding date, site, question format, etc. The faculty member will prepare a comprehensive written exam, grade it and inform you in writing of your grade within two weeks of taking the exam. If you receive a grade of B or higher, the corresponding GEP requirement will be waived.
The department assumes no responsibility for preparing you for test-out examinations. You may not apply to test out of a course in which you are currently enrolled. You may not attempt to test out of a course more than once.
Academic Standards for Philosophy
- To ensure that your program is as well planned as possible, the Philosophy Department requires each major or minor to have a departmental adviser.
- You must have your adviser’s approval on all philosophy courses you select to apply to the major or minor.
- You may apply selected upper division religious studies courses with adviser approval to your philosophy major or minor if it will strengthen your program.
- To be accepted and retained as a major or minor and approved for graduation, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in courses counted toward the major or minor, including transfer credits and regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. Courses taken pass/fail or with a grade lower than C- may not be counted toward the major or minor. You may repeat a course in the major or minor only if you follow the policy on repeating courses found in the Grade-related Policies section of this catalog.
- Courses in philosophy are open to all students who meet the prerequisites.
Academic Standards for Religious Studies
- To ensure that your program is as well planned as possible, you must have a religious studies adviser.
- You must have your adviser’s approval for all courses you select to apply to the major or minor.
- To be accepted and retained as a major or minor and approved for graduation, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in courses counted toward the major or minor, including transfer courses and regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. Courses taken pass/fail or with a grade lower than C- may not be counted toward the major or minor.
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