Programs in Philosophy


Philosopy and General Education

At Saint Mary's every student takes a three semester hour course designed for beginners in philosophy, Philosophy 110: Introduction to Philosophy. This course acquaints students with major issues and figures in philosophy and develops skills in critical thinking. A description of readings specific to each section of Philosophy 110 is available in the philosophy department office during registration.

Many students complete their introductory course to find they want another course in philosophy. Any second course in philosophy (numbered 200 or above) will fulfill one of the three required Area A courses. The philosophy department offers a wide range of courses, many of which are especially suited to those with interests in other fields.

The Major in Philosophy

Students who want to continue their study in philosophy beyond one or two courses may either major or minor in philosophy. Extended study of philosophy develops self-knowledge, maturity of perspective and confidence. Philosophy majors gain conceptual skills that are invaluable in any path through life where vision, clear thinking and the ability to solve problems is crucial to success.

The Department of Philosophy offers majors a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, an opportunity to reflect on the philosophical aspects of specific contemporary problems and a balanced exposure to current critical perspectives on classical philosophical traditions. Students work closely with their colleagues and faculty in discussion, seminar and tutorial formats. The Departments helps students develop skills in advanced philosophical writing, and encourages interdisciplinary work.

Philosophy majors take 24 hours in philosophy beyond the three credit introductory course.

The Double Major in Philosophy

Many Students combine a major in philosophy with a major in another discipline. Saint Mary's philosophy majors have also majored in political science, chemistry, psychology, religious studies, business, english literature and writing, sociology, history, art, humanistic studies, communications, and just about every other major on campus! Students who double major are encouraged to choose their area requirements and electives in philosophy in a way that complements their work in their second major. The senior comprehensive in philosophy is extremely flexible and can be designed to explore philosophical issues that arise in a second major.

The Minor in Philosophy

A philosophy minor enriches study in other fields of enquiry. To complete the minor in philosophy, a student needs to take five courses in philosophy prior to graduation, including Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic and at least one course in the history of philosophy sequence for majors. In choosing her remaining two elective courses in philosophy, a minor is encouraged to consider courses that complement her work in the major.