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College of Arts and Sciences

Philosophy

361 Savery Hall
206-543-5855
Website
Faculty Website
philinfo@uw.edu

Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, and value, and of the basic concepts, principles, and arguments of the major intellectual disciplines. Its fields include metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, history of philosophy, political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of law, and philosophy of religion.

 Undergraduate Programs


Philosophy

361 Savery Hall
206-543-5855
philadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: History and Philosophy of Science


Program Overview

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) studies the theories, methods, practices, and institutions of science from historical and philosophical perspectives. It strives to provide a genuinely interdisciplinary structure for critical reflection on science in all its aspects.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History and Philosophy of Science
Recommended Preparation

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: PHIL 120, PHIL 160. Courses that develop writing skills. Introductory science courses and mathematics courses through calculus.

Admission Requirements
  1. HSTCMP 311, HSTCMP 312; PHIL 160 or PHIL 460; PHIL 120, each with a minimum 2.0 grade
  2. Completion of 10 credits toward the Natural World (science) requirement (see below), each course with a minimum 2.0 grade
  3. Minimum UW 2.00 GPA
  4. Completion of 10 credits of composition/writing courses with a minimum 2.0 grade for each course. This requirement may be met by freshman English composition courses, "W" courses, or any courses in which the student has written a graded paper (to be reviewed by HPS faculty) of at least 10 pages.

 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History and Philosophy of Science


Credential Overview

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) studies the theories, methods, practices, and institutions of science from historical and philosophical perspectives. It strives to provide a genuinely interdisciplinary structure for critical reflection on science in all its aspects.

Completion Requirements

85 credits

  1. Core Courses (25 credits): HSTCMP 311, HSTCMP 312, HSTCMP 390; PHIL 160 or PHIL 460; PHIL 120. Minimum 2.0 grade in each course and overall minimum 2.50 GPA.
  2. Electives: 25 credits from the following, of which at least 10 must be PHIL courses and at least 5 must be HIST courses (or others upon petition): ESS 404, HIST 211, HIST 215, HIST 310, HIST 313 (or ASTR 313), HIST 314, HIST 315, HIST 316, HIST 317 (also MHE 422), HIST 318 (also MHE 424), HIST 412; PHIL 243, PHIL 350, PHIL 360, PHIL 406, PHIL 450, PHIL 460 (if PHIL 160 taken), PHIL 464, PHIL 466, PHIL 473, PHIL 481, PHIL 482, PHIL 483. Minimum 2.0 grade in each class.
  3. Capstone (5 credits): Completion of HPS 400, with a minimum 2.0 grade
  4. Science Component: 30 credits Natural World (NW) courses from anthropology, astronomy, atmospheric sciences, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and space sciences, economics, environmental studies, mathematics, physics, psychology, and sociology, with a minimum 2.50 GPA in these courses and a minimum 2.0 grade in each course. At least 15 of the credits must be outside mathematics.

 Program of Study: Major: Philosophy


Program Overview

Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, and value. Through the study of philosophy, students build skills of critical reflection, careful reading and writing, and creative thinking—skills that will be invaluable throughout their lives as workers and citizens in a democratic society. A degree in philosophy is a wonderful compliment to any major, whether it is in the physical sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities. Generally speaking, training in philosophy will be valuable in any occupation that requires examination and analysis of problems, critical evaluation of alternative solutions, and rational advocacy of one's conclusions.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy: Ethics
Recommended Preparation

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Introductory courses in symbolic logic, social philosophy, major problems of philosophy, and history of philosophy. Courses to develop writing, language, and analytic skills.

Admission Requirements

Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and completion of 10 credits of philosophy coursework

 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy


Completion Requirements

50 credits

  1. One course from PHIL 115, PHIL 120, or an upper-division course in logic
  2. One course from PHIL 320, PHIL 330, PHIL 335, or PHIL 340 (undergraduate adviser must approve substitutions)
  3. One course from PHIL 322, PHIL 332, PHIL 342, or 400-level courses in the same areas (undergraduate adviser must approve substitutions)
  4. At least four UW philosophy courses at the 400 level, excluding PHIL 484
  5. At least 25 credits through the UW
  6. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for all philosophy courses taken

 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy: Ethics


Completion Requirements

Minimum 50 credits

  1. Minimum 25 credits from approved list of ethics and justice-related courses. See department for approved course list.
  2. One from PHIL 115, PHIL 120, or upper-division course in logic (5 credits)
  3. One from PHIL 320, PHIL 330, PHIL 335, or PHIL 340. Adviser must approve substitutions (5 credits)
  4. One from PHIL 322, PHIL 332, PHIL 342, or 400-level course in the same areas. Adviser must approve substitutions (5 credits)
  5. Minimum four UW 400-level philosophy courses, excluding PHIL 484, two of which must be from approved list of ethics and justice-related courses (12-20 credits)
  6. Minimum 25 credits taken through UW
  7. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for all philosophy courses taken

 Program of Study: Minor: Ethics


Program Overview

This minor is intended to be an integrated component of a student's major studies and to provide interdisciplinary training in ethical reasoning. Students will complete the minor by taking select values courses in philosophy and their major. A rapidly changing world brings with it both benefits and problems. Thinking seriously about the problems requires students who have the ability to think across disciplinary boundaries. By encouraging students to recognize and analyze how the abstract terms of ethical theory play out in practice, as well as how the practical realities of work within various disciplines inform and constrain ethical argumentation, this minor enables students to make positive and informed contributions to their worlds.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Minor in Ethics

 Minor in Ethics


Credential Overview

This minor is intended to be an integrated component of a student’s major studies and to provide interdisciplinary training in ethical reasoning. Students complete the minor by taking select values courses in philosophy and their major. A rapidly changing world brings with it both benefits and problems. Thinking seriously about the problems requires students who have the ability to think across disciplinary boundaries. By encouraging students to recognize and analyze how the abstract terms of ethical theory play out in practice, as well as how the practical realities of work within various disciplines inform and constrain ethical argumentation, this minor enables students to make positive and informed contributions to their worlds.

Completion Requirements

27 credits

  1. Three courses from an approved list in which normative thinking and conceptual analysis of values and frameworks are central; at least one at the 300 level or above. See department website for approved list of courses.
  2. Two courses from an approved list in which values-laden issues are central; at least one at the 300 level or above. See department website for approved list of courses.
  3. ETHICS 495 (2-credit capstone).
  4. Minimum 15 credits outside the student's major.
  5. Minimum 15 credits completed through the UW.
  6. Minimum 2.00 GPA in courses used for the minor.

 Program of Study: Minor: Philosophy


Program Overview

Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, and value. Through the study of philosophy, students build skills of critical reflection, careful reading and writing, and creative thinking. Generally speaking, training in philosophy will be valuable in any occupation that requires examination and analysis of problems, critical evaluation of alternative solutions, and rational advocacy of one's conclusions. A philosophy minor is a wonderful compliment to any major, whether it is in the physical sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Minor in Philosophy

 Minor in Philosophy


Credential Overview

Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, and value. Through the study of philosophy, students build skills of critical reflection, careful reading and writing, and creative thinking. Generally speaking, training in philosophy will be valuable in any occupation that requires examination and analysis of problems, critical evaluation of alternative solutions, and rational advocacy of one's conclusions. A philosophy minor is a wonderful compliment to any major, whether it is in the physical sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities.

Completion Requirements

30 credits

  1. PHIL 115 or PHIL 120, or an upper-division course in logic
  2. At least 15 UW philosophy credits at the 300 level or above, excluding PHIL 484.
  3. 10 philosophy elective credits at any level
Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Graduates of the Department of Philosophy acquire considerable skills in abstract thinking, analysis, and critical writing (constructing and critiquing arguments). Because of these skills, philosophical training is invaluable in almost any area of life. Recent graduates have been successful in software development, financial planning, journalism, teaching, and law. A few go on to graduate school and become professional philosophers.

    Students' work is subjected to careful critical scrutiny. As a result, students benefit from philosophy courses with an increased competence in expository clarity, logical rigor, and analytical skill.

    Philosophy is an excellent undergraduate major for pre-professional students. It is perhaps ideal for those who aspire to work in the legal profession. The history and philosophy of science major is of particular interest to those planning careers in the sciences. Courses in ethics offer students in any field the opportunity to think clearly about the normative dimensions of their career choices. Because the skills of philosophical analysis can be applied widely, philosophy is always a good complementary second degree for any major.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The Philosophy Writing Center provides a free tutoring service to any student writing a philosophical paper.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The department offers internship credits for students participating in the philosophy of children program. Students may also arrange for internship credit with individual faculty. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: The Kenneth Clatterbaugh scholarship acknowledges a student with financial need who has outstanding academic merit and commitment to philosophy. The Kenneth R. Parker Award for Excellence in Community Service honors an undergraduate philosophy major or minor who has blended her or his studies in philosophy with a volunteer-based community project. The recipient receives a $500 scholarship. See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: The undergraduate student club is dedicated to the informal discussion of philosophical issues.

 Graduate Programs


Philosophy

361 Savery Hall
206-543-5855
philgpa@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Doctor Of Philosophy (Philosophy)


This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Philosophy)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Philosophy)


Completion Requirements

90-99 credits depending on option chosen

  1. Teaching Seminar (2 credits): PHIL 504 and PHIL 505
  2. Proseminar Courses (10 credits): PHIL 500 (5 credits, taken twice)
  3. 12 Graduate Courses in Philosophy (48 minimum credits, must be completed at grade of 3.0 or higher):
    1. Distribution Area 1 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 422, PHIL 426, PHIL 430, PHIL 431, PHIL 433, PHIL 436, PHIL 437, PHIL 438, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526
    2. Distribution Area 2 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 450, PHIL 453, PHIL 459, PHIL 460, PHIL 463, PHIL 464, PHIL 466, PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 479, PHIL 481, PHIL 482, PHIL 483, PHIL 490, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 566, PHIL 570, PHIL 587
    3. Distribution Area 3 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 406, PHIL 407, PHIL 408, PHIL 409, PHIL 410, PHIL 411, PHIL 412, PHIL 413, PHIL 414, PHIL 415, PHIL 416, PHIL 417, PHIL 418, PHIL 440, PHIL 441, PHIL 442, PHIL 445, PHIL 446, PHIL 449, PHIL 465, PHIL 467, PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 538, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 565
    4. Formal Methods Course (1 course): Choose from PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 483, PHIL 570
    5. Courses designated as seminars (6 courses): Choose from PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 565, PHIL 566, PHIL 570
  4. Dissertation (27 credits): PHIL 800
  5. Additional PHIL courses at the 400-level or above may be used to meet the required total.
  6. Master's Qualifying Papers: Students submit a qualifying paper at the end of the second year which acts as the culmination of the Master's program as well as admission to the PhD program.
  7. Literature Review: Students complete a literature review in the Autumn quarter of their 3rd year (graded pass/fail). Must pass the literature review.
  8. General Exam
  9. Final Exam & Submission of Final Dissertation
  10. Other Courses: Students may use up to three approved courses outside philosophy. (Such courses do not automatically satisfy the twelve-course requirement.)

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy)


Completion Requirements

90-99 credits depending on option chosen

  1. Teaching Seminar (2 credits): PHIL 504 and PHIL 505
  2. Proseminar Courses (10 credits): PHIL 500 (5 credits, taken twice)
  3. 12 Graduate Courses in Philosophy (48 minimum credits, must be completed at grade of 3.0 or higher):
    1. Distribution Area 1 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 422, PHIL 426, PHIL 430, PHIL 431, PHIL 433, PHIL 436, PHIL 437, PHIL 438, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526
    2. Distribution Area 2 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 450, PHIL 453, PHIL 459, PHIL 460, PHIL 463, PHIL 464, PHIL 466, PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 479, PHIL 481, PHIL 482, PHIL 483, PHIL 490, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 566, PHIL 570, PHIL 587
    3. Distribution Area 3 (3 courses): Choose from PHIL 406, PHIL 407, PHIL 408, PHIL 409, PHIL 410, PHIL 411, PHIL 412, PHIL 413, PHIL 414, PHIL 415, PHIL 416, PHIL 417, PHIL 418, PHIL 440, PHIL 441, PHIL 442, PHIL 445, PHIL 446, PHIL 449, PHIL 465, PHIL 467, PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 538, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 565
    4. Formal Methods Course (1 course): Choose from PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 483, PHIL 570
    5. Courses designated as seminars (6 courses): Choose from PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 565, PHIL 566, PHIL 570
  4. Dissertation (27 credits): PHIL 800
  5. Additional PHIL courses at the 400-level or above may be used to meet the required total.
  6. Master's Qualifying Papers: Students submit a qualifying paper at the end of the second year which acts as the culmination of the Master's program as well as admission to the PhD program.
  7. Literature Review: Students complete a literature review in the Autumn quarter of their 3rd year (graded pass/fail). Must pass the literature review.
  8. General Exam
  9. Final Exam & Submission of Final Dissertation
  10. Other Courses: Students may use up to three approved courses outside philosophy. (Such courses do not automatically satisfy the twelve-course requirement.)
Additional Completion Requirements

In addition to all other requirements, the Ancient Philosophy option requires:

  1. 4 graduate courses in Classics Department (12 credits): Students must complete four approved courses at the graduate level (400 or above) in the Classics department, at least one of which must be at the 500 level.

Additional Information
  • Financial Aid: Graduate students are admitted only if they can be offered some financial support. Typically students receive teaching assistantships, and the Graduate School makes some research assistantships available on a competitive basis. Funding packages are typically for five years and require satisfactory academic progress.

 Program of Study: Graduate Certificate In Ethics


This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Graduate Certificate In Ethics
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Graduate Certificate In Ethics


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Program of Study: Master Of Arts (Philosophy)


This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Master Of Arts (Philosophy)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Arts (Philosophy)


Completion Requirements

42 credits

  1. Teaching Requirement (1 credit): PHIL 504
  2. 11 Graduate Courses in Philosophy (41 minimum credits, must be completed at grade of 3.0 or higher):
    1. Distribution Area 1 (3 courses): PHIL 422, PHIL 426, PHIL 430, PHIL 431, PHIL 433, PHIL 436, PHIL 437, PHIL 438, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526
    2. Distribution Area 2 (3 courses): PHIL 450, PHIL 453, PHIL 459, PHIL 460, PHIL 463, PHIL 464, PHIL 466, PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 479, PHIL 481, PHIL 482, PHIL 483, PHIL 490, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 566, PHIL 570, PHIL 587
    3. Distribution Area 3 (3 courses): PHIL 406, PHIL 407, PHIL 408, PHIL 409, PHIL 410, PHIL 411, PHIL 412, PHIL 413, PHIL 414, PHIL 415, PHIL 416, PHIL 417, PHIL 418, PHIL 440, PHIL 441, PHIL 442, PHIL 445, PHIL 446, PHIL 449, PHIL 465, PHIL 467, PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 538, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 565
    4. Formal Methods Course (1 course): PHIL 470, PHIL 471, PHIL 472, PHIL 473, PHIL 474, PHIL 483, PHIL 570
    5. Courses designated as seminars (4 courses): PHIL 510, PHIL 514, PHIL 520, PHIL 522, PHIL 526, PHIL 540, PHIL 545, PHIL 550, PHIL 556, PHIL 560, PHIL 563, PHIL 564, PHIL 565, PHIL 566, PHIL 570
  3. Master's Qualifying Papers: Students submit a qualifying paper at the end of the second year. (Part-time students submit their paper for evaluation upon completion of 11 courses in philosophy.)
  4. Evaluation: Students completing the above requirements are (a) awarded an MA and admitted to the PhD program; (b) awarded an MA and invited to revise and resubmit a qualifying paper a second time, or prepare a new qualifying paper; (c) awarded a terminal MA; or (d) dropped from the program without a degree.
  5. Satisfactory Progress: Students not yet admitted to the PhD program must take at least two courses (10 credits) per quarter with a minimum 3.0 grade.
  6. Other Courses: Students may use up to three approved courses outside philosophy. (Such courses do not automatically satisfy the twelve-course requirement.)

Additional Information
  • Financial Aid: Graduate students are admitted only if they can be offered some financial support. Typically students receive teaching assistantships, and the Graduate School makes some research assistantships available on a competitive basis. Funding packages are typically for five years and require satisfactory academic progress.