With the joint Philosophy & Religion major, students are introduced to a rigorous analysis of their ways of thinking and acting. The mental rigor and investigative habits developed through their philosophical education allow students to thoroughly explore religion and religious traditions from a variety of disciplinary and topical perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Philosophy & Religion program are expected to:

  • Demonstrate the conceptual ability and communication skills needed for intensive examination of questions concerning what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with core questions in the main branches of philosophical inquiry (ethics and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, logic) and sustain critical reflection on, and discussion of, those questions.
  • Demonstrate acquaintance with the canonical works of both antiquity and modernity, as well as the basic issues and texts of contemporary philosophy.
  • Defend their own views with strong arguments but also remain open to disagreement and critique.
  • Display basic familiarity with a range of methodological approaches in the study of religion, as well as specific knowledge of major world religious traditions.
  • Demonstrate an acquaintance with important conceptual issues in the philosophy of religion.


All first-year, first-time students will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Philosophy & Religion will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in areas such as Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Scientific and Social Inquiry; Quantitative Reasoning; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; Communication; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements may be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

At least six courses in philosophy and six in religion, with a grade of C or higher, are required (all courses are 4 credits unless otherwise indicated).

In Philosophy, the following is required:

  • One course in Philosophy at the 100 level
  • CAS PH 300 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • CAS PH 310 History of Modern Philosophy
  • Any one of CAS PH 245, 246, 408, 446, 456
  • Two additional 4-credit PH courses at the 200 level or above

In Religion, the following is required (All courses must be chosen in consultation with an advisor in the Department of Religion):

  • One 100-level course
  • Two 200-level courses, including RN 200
  • One 300-level course
  • Two 400-level courses, including RN 400