Honors Major in Philosophy
Students may take a special Honors Major in Philosophy by completing all the requirements for the standard major and in addition writing a senior thesis. Students writing the senior thesis enroll in PHIL 48499 Senior Thesis in both semesters of the senior year (the equivalent of two regular three-hour seminars).
To be eligible for the honors major, students must normally maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above in majors courses. Students considering the senior thesis are strongly encouraged to have completed two of the three core courses (the two history surveys and logic) AND three 40000-level seminars by the end of the junior year.
The senior thesis is a year-long project in which a senior philosophy major, advised by a faculty member, works to produce a substantial paper on a mutually agreed upon topic. Students should begin thinking about topics, and possible faculty advisors, in their junior year, though it is not uncommon for the topic of a thesis to undergo some changes in the course of a student's thesis work. The Director of Undergraduate Studies (Jeff Speaks) is happy to meet with students to try to put them in touch with an advisor who will be able to help them answer the philosophical questions in which they are most interested. Lengths of senior theses vary, though many are around thirty pages. Students who successfully complete the senior thesis (in addition to the other requirements of the major) graduate with a philosophy degree with honors.