Program Description

The Major in Philosophy

The requirements for a Major in Philosophy are as follows (in addition to the usual degree requirements for the Arts & Humanities, such as the global engagement requirement):

A total of at least 36 hours (twelve courses) in philosophy, not counting Internship courses (PHIL 386). For a course to count toward a student's major, the grade in the course must be C- or above. For students who matriculated in September 2012 or later, the average of all grades counted toward the major must be 2.0 or greater. Therefore, grades of C- will have to be balanced with higher grades. (C- counts as 1.7 toward the GPA.)

The twelve philosophy courses must be distributed as follows:

  • at least six courses numbered 300 or above, of which at least two must be numbered 400 or above.
  • at least one course in logic at any level.
  • at least two courses numbered 200 or above in the history of pre-twentieth-century philosophy (one of which must be PHIL 310, 320, or 328).
  • at least two courses numbered 200 or above in value theory (including aesthetics and political philosophy as well as ethics).
  • at least two courses numbered 200 or above in metaphysics or epistemology (including philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion, as well as metaphysics and theory of knowledge).

Here is a list of philosophy courses that can be used to satisfy the various distributive requirements.  Please note that not all of the courses on this list are taught every year.  The department also offers new courses from time to time that may not appear on this list.  You should check with an advisor to determine what, if any, distributive requirement such a course fulfills.

Students should organize their course of study to make sure they acheive the following "benchmarks":

  • Year 1 (after declaring the major):  PHIL170; one other course in PHIL
  • Year 2:  one course in the History of Philosophy; one other course in PHIL
  • Year 3:  five PHIL courses

Majors must also take fifteen hours (five courses) in a supporting area outside philosophy. A complete listing of the Department's courses and assignments of courses to the above categories may be found by following links from our Undergraduate webpage. Students are reminded that, if there is a topic that doesn't figure in our list of courses, they are welcome to ask a faculty member to teach an individual study course on that topic (working either with a single student, or with a small group).

Minor in Philosophy

The requirements for a Minor in Philosophy are as follows:

A total of at least 18 hours (six courses, at least three of which must be at least 300 level or above) in philosophy, not counting Internship courses (PHIL 386). For a course to count toward a student's major, the grade in the course must be C- or above. For students who matriculated in September 2012 or later, the average of all grades counted toward the major must be 2.0 or greater. Therefore, grades of C- will have to be balanced with higher grades. (C- counts as 1.7 toward the GPA.)   Candidates for the Minor must satisfy the following distribution:

  • at least one courses numbered 200 or above in the history of pre-twentieth-century philosophy.
  • at least one courses numbered 200 or above in value theory (including aesthetics and political philosophy as well as ethics).
  • at least one courses numbered 200 or above in metaphysics or epistemology (including philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion, as well as metaphysics and theory of knowledge).

For a complete listing of the Department's courses and assignments of courses to the above categories, see the above link to the list of Philosophy courses.

Capstone Course

PHIL 426 (Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy) is a CAPSTONE course within the University of Maryland CORE program. As such, it may be taken in place of one of the two ‘outside courses at senior level’ required by CORE regulations of all philosophy majors.

PHIL 426 is normally restricted to philosophy majors only, and has a prerequisite of 21 hours (seven courses) of philosophy (or permission of the department). It is designed both to pull together work you will have done in different areas of philosophy (e.g. in metaphysics, epistemology and/or value theory) as well as providing a directive towards research in the subject.

Transfer Credit

Routine transfer credit issues are dealt with by the Transfer Credit Center:

      http://www.tce.umd.edu

Check with them first about transferring classes from another institution. (Remember that if you are already registered here and you plan to take classes elsewhere, you must get prior approval.)