Philosophy Major

Goals for the Philosophy Major

The goals for the Philosophy major student:

Requirements for the Philosophy Major

The major in Philosophy consists of at least nine units. PHIL 201 and PHIL 221 are required of all majors. In order to assure that all majors are familiar with the breadth of the field, every major must take at least two units in each of subfields B and C. Majors are strongly encouraged to take a third unit in subfield A. Students planning graduate work in philosophy should take PHIL 216 and acquire a reading knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, or German. In order to assure that students have acquired some depth in philosophy, the department requires that each major complete at least two 300-level units; these units must be in different subfields of Philosophy and at least one of the 300-level units must be a Philosophy seminar (as opposed to PHIL 350 Independent Study, or PHIL 360 or PHIL 370 Honors Thesis) taken at Wellesley. 

Subfield Information  

The Philosophy department divides its courses and seminars into three subfields:

(A)  the history of philosophy: PHIL 102, PHIL 200, PHIL 201, PHIL 221, PHIL 325, PHIL 300, PHIL 301, PHIL 305, PHIL 306, PHIL 307, PHIL 310;

(B)  value theory: PHIL 102, PHIL 105, PHIL 106, PHIL 108, PHIL 111, PHIL 203, PHIL 213, PHIL 220, PHIL 222, PHIL 226, PHIL 227, PHIL 228, PHIL 229, PHIL 230, PHIL 233, PHIL 234, PHIL 235, PHIL 244, PHIL 249, PHIL 300, PHIL 301, PHIL 303, PHIL 304, PHIL 306, PHIL 307, PHIL 310, PHIL 316, PHIL 317, PHIL 318, PHIL 323, PHIL 330, PHIL 331, PHIL 333, PHIL 338, PHIL 340, PHIL 341, PHIL 342, PHIL 345; PHIL 366;

(C)  metaphysics and theory of knowledge:  PHIL 103, PHIL 112, PHIL 200, PHIL 207, PHIL 215, PHIL 216, PHIL 218, PHIL 220, PHIL 227, PHIL 229, PHIL 230, PHIL 245, PHIL 300, PHIL 306, PHIL 310, PHIL 311, PHIL 317, PHIL 318, PHIL 319, PHIL 323, PHIL 325, PHIL 331, PHIL 333, PHIL 341, PHIL 345.

Honors in Philosophy

Honors in the Philosophy major may be earned by writing a thesis or a set of related essays, and passing an oral examination.

Students who meet the college standard for eligibility for departmental honors (GPA of 3.5 or more for courses above the 100 level in Philosophy) may apply to write an honors thesis in philosophy. (Departments may petition on behalf of students whose average is below 3.5 but above 3.0 if they have exceptional qualifications.) Members of the department prefer to see that the student has made substantial progress towards satisfying the course requirements for the major. This typically requires having taken at least six Philosophy courses by the end of the junior year. These courses will usually include PHIL 201, PHIL 221 and at least one 300-level seminar. Details regarding the application process are available here: 

Applications are due to the department chair by April 1 of the student's junior year.

Transfer Credit in Philosophy

The department participates in exchange programs with Brandeis and MIT. Both schools have excellent philosophy departments, and students are encouraged to consult the respective catalogs for offerings.

Courses for Credit Toward the Philosophy Major

EDUC 102 Education in Philosophical Perspective


WRIT 114 EDUC 102 Education in Philosophical Perspective