Honors Program

Admission to the Honors Program

  • You must submit an application for Honors between January of your sophomore year and March of your junior year. Applications are available here.
  • At the time of application, you must have completed at least two Philosophy courses.
  • At the time of application, your GPA in Philosophy must be at least 3.7 (A-). Your overall GPA must be at least 3.3 (B+).

Graduating with Honors

In order to graduate with honors, you must fulfill requirements I-IV, described below.

  1. GPA requirement
    • You must maintain at least a 3.7 GPA in Philosophy and at least a 3.3 GPA overall.
  2. Course requirements
    • You must complete twelve courses, distributed as follows:
    • 1. One upper division Logic course (PH 360 or PH 433).
    • 2. History of Ancient Philosophy (PH 300).
    • 3. History of Modern Philosophy (PH 310).
    • 4. One Moral, Political, or Legal Philosophy course at the 200-level or higher.
    • 5. One course in Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Mind, or Language at the 200-level or higher.
    • 6. One course between PH403-PH419.
    • 7. One course between PH420-PH488.
    • 8. One Philosophy course at the 100-level or higher.
    • 9-12. Four Philosophy courses at the 200-level or higher. See notes below.

    • Notes on the selection of the five electives (courses 8-12):
    • In determining which courses to take, you should consult with your advisor. The advisor is responsible for approving your selections.
    • You can fulfill one or two of these electives by taking one or two semesters of independent study in order to produce your senior paper. See Section III, below.
    • In certain cases, Honors students may wish to pursue their philosophical interests by taking advanced courses in other departments. For example, a student who has interests in political philosophy might want to take a course in Political Theory, or a student interested in philosophy of mind might want to take a course in Psychology. With the approval of the student’s advisor, it is possible to count up to two advanced courses in other departments as Philosophy electives (i.e., as fulfilling two of requirements 8-12). The following conditions must be met:
      • The course(s) must have clear philosophical relevance.
      • The course(s) must be at the 300-level or higher.
      • The advisor must approve these courses in advance.
  3. The Senior Paper

    In order to receive Honors, you must produce a senior research paper. This paper must be an accomplished, polished essay, representing your best work. There are several important deadlines, described below. If you miss any of these deadlines, you will not graduate with honors and will revert to the standard major.

    • Early in the second semester of your Junior Year:
      • Begin thinking about your paper’s topic and do some preliminary reading.
      • Decide which member of the Philosophy faculty would be an appropriate advisor for the paper. Meet with this faculty member and ask him or her to oversee your paper. Consult with him or her on appropriate paper topics.
      • In consultation with this faculty member, decide whether it would be appropriate to register for one or two semesters of independent study in order to produce the paper. (In exceptional cases, the student and professor may jointly decide that registering for an independent study is unnecessary; in this case, the student follows the steps below but receives no formal credit for them.)
    • May 1st of your Junior Year:
      • Submit a senior paper proposal including:
        • A brief description of the philosophical problem that the paper will address, together with a preliminary statement of what you plan to argue. This document should be 500-1000 words.
        • A short bibliography listing the articles and books that you plan to read.
      • This proposal must be approved by your senior paper advisor. If it is not approved, you will not be allowed to continue with the Honors major and will revert to the standard major.
    • September 15th of your Senior Year: Submit a prospectus and outline of your paper. Consult with your senior paper advisor in order to determine the appropriate length and format of this document. Note that this prospectus and outline should be considerably more advanced than the initial paper proposal.
      • This proposal must be approved by your senior paper advisor. If it is not approved, you will not be allowed to continue with the Honors major and will revert to the standard major.
      • If the proposal is approved, you must meet with your senior paper advisor in order to determine deadlines for drafts and the final version of the paper.
    • Submission and Grading: you must submit the paper on the date specified by your senior paper advisor. In order to graduate with honors, your paper must receive at least an A-.
  4. Participation in departmental events

    In order to receive Honors, you must attend at least one Philosophy department lecture or colloquium per semester. You must keep a record of which events you have attended. You will be required to submit a list of these events prior to graduation.

List of Requirements

Application