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Honors Program in Philosophy

Develop your capacity to understand, criticize and construct arguments as well as analyze and solve problems.

Challenge Yourself

The Honors Program in Philosophy offers an enriched and challenging educational experience to qualified majors. Successful completion of the program is noted on the student’s transcript, diploma and in the commencement and honors convocation programs.

This program was created to expose highly qualified students to challenges of identifying problems or issues deserving systematic investigation in the study of philosophy, and engaging in independent, sustained, critical inquiry into such issues.


Admission to the program requires completion of nine credits in the major, a 3.66 GPA in the major and a 3.25 GPA overall. Interested students should contact the philosophy honors director, who will then guide them through the details of application for admission. Upon being admitted, an advisor, typically of the student’s choosing, will be appointed.


To graduate with honors in philosophy, a student must complete all the requirements of any one of the department’s major programs in philosophy and satisfy the following requirements of the Philosophy Honors Program:

  • Complete PHI 300 and 301 and at least one other course in history of philosophy (PHI 302, 310, 376, or 401),
  • Complete LOG 335, and
  • Write an honors thesis (PHI 498 for three credits).

All coursework taken to fulfill requirements for honors in philosophy must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, the department requires that a C- or higher be earned for all coursework used toward the student’s departmental requirements.

Honors Thesis

PHI 498 must be completed at least one full semester prior to graduation. The honors thesis, which is typically about 6,000 words, is a substantial, highly polished paper. It must include original critical analysis or interpretation that is supported by careful argument.

The PHI 498 course grade is decided by the thesis advisor. The thesis is also to be evaluated for honors by a second reader selected by the student in consultation with the advisor and approved by the philosophy honors director. The second reader must be provided a complete draft of the thesis at least one month prior to the end of the student’s graduation semester in order to permit the second reader to express any concerns and, if needed, ask for revisions. The final version of the thesis must be submitted to the advisor, the second reader and the philosophy honors director no later than the last day of classes in the graduation semester. Approval of the honors thesis requires approval from both the advisor and the second reader. An award of honors in philosophy requires approval of the honors thesis.