The minor in Philosophy provides an education that enriches and empowers students by introducing them to rigorous analysis of their ways of thinking and acting. What distinguishes a philosophical mind is a habit of weighing the coherence, completeness, and trenchancy of various beliefs, arguments, and theories, and of doing so self-consciously within the historical context that marks our finite, human condition. The cultivation of these habits of mind enhances students’ abilities to learn across the curriculum, to contribute to the advancement of institutions, from arts and sciences to governments and global relations, and—not least—to grapple with the challenges and wonder of their own lives. For all these reasons, the overriding aim of the Department of Philosophy’s program is to help students develop these philosophical habits. Reflecting its history and the present makeup of its members, the department is in the advantageous position of being able to pursue this aim through six main areas of research: analytic philosophy and logic, ethics and political philosophy, history of philosophy, phenomenology and pragmatism, philosophy of religion, and philosophy and history of science.

The department’s philosophical life is significantly enriched by its close association with Boston University’s Center for Philosophy & History of Science (and its Colloquium) and the Institute for Philosophy & Religion (and its Colloquium).


The minor requires five 4-credit courses in Philosophy, all completed with a grade of C or higher:

  • CAS PH 300 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • CAS PH 310 History of Modern Philosophy
  • One course at the 200 level or higher
  • One 400-level course
  • One other Philosophy course