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 and 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 adviser, typically of the student's choosing, will be appointed.
To graduate with Honors in Philosophy a student must complete a degree in philosophy and in doing so (i) complete PHI 300 and 301 and at least one other course in history of philosophy (PHI 302, 310, 376, or 401), (ii) complete LOG 335, (iii) write an honors thesis (PHI 498 for three credits), and (iv) complete (in addition to the PHI 498 honors thesis) at least one
three-credit 400-level course in philosophy or a concentration within philosophy. Graduation requires a 3.66 GPA in the major and a 3.25 GPA overall. 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.
PHI 498 must be completed at least one full semester prior to graduation. 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 director of the philosophy honors program. 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 director of the philosophy honors program 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.
The honors thesis must be a substantial, highly polished paper. It must include original critical analysis or interpretation that is supported by careful argument. Typically the paper will be about 6,000 words. A rough guide as to sufficient quality for approval for honors is that the thesis would serve well as a writing sample submitted to a top 40 Ph.D. program as part of an application for graduate work.