The Honors Program in Philosophy

The Honors Program in Philosophy is available to Philosophy majors who have a high degree of commitment to advanced philosophical study and the motivation to sustain their participation in the program. All questions about the Philosophy Honors Program should be directed to the chair of the department.

Honors Program Requirements

To be considered for acceptance into the Honors Program, the student must have a 3.30 GPA or better in courses counting towards the major.

Honors Program Schedule

Spring Semester of junior year:

  • Inform the department chair of candidacy to the Honor’s Program
  • Register a one-unit independent study with a faculty member in the department who has agreed to serve as the honors advisor.

No later than the third week of September in the candidate’s senior year:

  • Submit a prospectus to each member of the Philosophy department. This prospectus will be the focus of a conversation with the Philosophy department members. The successful outcome of this conversation will be admission as a candidate in the Honor’s Program. The prospectus should be no longer than 3 pages and should include: a statement of the question the student is seeking to address, the course of study the student plans to pursue, and a bibliography. (If, after the admission to the Honor’s Program, the student’s topic or course of study substantially changes, he or she may be asked to submit a new prospectus for approval by the department.)

Spring semester of the senior year:

  • Complete a half-unit independent study with a faculty member in the Philosophy department. The purpose of this is for the candidate to continue discussion and receive guidance while writing the honor’s thesis.

By the end of the spring semester, senior year:

  • The completed honor’s thesis should be submitted to each member of the Philosophy department. The honors thesis should be a substantial paper (25-50 pages) that reflects the candidate’s considerable familiarity with the literature relevant to their topic, provides a clear statement and defense of the candidate’s own position on the topic, and demonstrates the candidate’s ability to understand and evaluate different positions others have taken on the topic. Department faculty members will determine if the thesis meets the necessary standards for honors to be awarded.
  • Make an oral presentation to fellow Philosophy majors and minors and to Philosophy department faculty (and to other students and faculty the student elects to invite) on the topic of the honors thesis.