Philosophy

Major: Philosophy
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits:  180.0
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years); No Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 38.0101
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 25-1126

About the Program

A great philosopher once said, "Philosophers have just interpreted the world—but the point is to change it." At Drexel, we believe ideas do affect and change the world—ideas about what matters, what "success" means and how to accomplish it, and what is to be learned from our experiences and activity. The most important reason to do philosophy is that we all can change the world and ourselves by living "the examined life" and being more reflective, thoughtful, and critical in our lives in concrete ways. Our classes seek to engage students in the active development of their reflective, creative, rational, logical, and linguistic abilities in thoughtful concern for some of the most important and fundamental questions and problems of life, or work, and of the world.
 

It is widely recognized that philosophical activity encourages and facilitates independent thinking more than almost any other academic study. But many do not realize that philosophy is also a very practical subject to study because it helps one develop skills like reasoning, writing, reading, thinking, speaking, listening, and dialogue that are essential to success in the widest range of great and sometimes even meaningful careers. Philosophy isn’t only a great way to think really carefully about what “success” might mean for you—it is also a way to work on the skills that are likely to help you accomplish success as you understand it.

The Drexel Philosophy major is an excellent preparation for success in any field of endeavor that values thoughtful reflection, logical thinking, and clear communication. It is particularly valuable as a preparation for careers in education, law, government, public policy, policy analysis, administration, journalism and international business and for research in philosophy and other humanities fields, classical studies and fields related to philosophy like critical media studies, public policy, and science, technology, and society (STS) .
 
Drexel Philosophy majors take a mixture of historical and topical courses in the major fields of philosophical inquiry. These include ethics, metaphysics (philosophy of reality), epistemology (philosophy of knowledge), aesthetics (philosophy of art), social and political philosophy, philosophy of science, and logic. Our elective classes cover a wide range of subjects including technology, medicine, law, religion, science, the environment, and more. Our upper-level seminar classes are discussion-driven, reading- and writing-intensive classes usually limited to 12-16 students.
 
Concentrations
 
Once students have started in the program, they may choose to focus their philosophical studies in one of three areas of concentration:
 
  • Ethical Theory and Practice
  • Philosophy and Law
  • Philosophy, Technology, and Science
Students may also remain in the Philosophy concentration, which gives them the widest range of options from which to select their courses.
 
Prior to the end of junior year, students may opt to work on a 6.0 credit senior thesis. This is a faculty-mentored independent research and writing project on a topic developed by the student working with a chosen faculty member. The project consists of two consecutive one-on-one tutorials directed by a faculty member of the student’s choosing.
 

Philosophy students who are interested in pursuing careers in the law or government are encouraged to consider a Kline Law Minor or a minor in some other field of interest. Students considering graduate school in the humanities including philosophy should consider pursuing a language certificate in their chosen language of interest. The philosophy BA includes approximately 60.0 credits of free electives, which also makes it possible for students to double major.

Our program also offers a minor in Philosophy (24.0 credits) and certificate programs in Ethical Theory and Practice; Philosophy, Arts, and Humanities; and Philosophy, Science, and Technology (18.0 credits each).

Additional Information

For more information about Drexel Philosophy classes and programs, please visit the Department of English & Philosophy website or stop by to see our director anytime. The Department of English & Philosophy is located in MacAlister Hall, Room 5016. The director can be contacted at:

Dr. Peter Amato
Director of Programs in Philosophy
Department of English & Philosophy

MacAlister 5029
peterama@drexel.edu

 

Degree Requirements 

University Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
UNIV H101The Drexel Experience1.0
UNIV H201Looking Forward: Academics and Careers1.0
College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum **
Analyzing Cultures & Histories **6.0-8.0
Cultivating Global Competence **6.0-8.0
Developing Quantitative Reasoning - Two courses in MATH based on placement exams6.0-8.0
Engaging the Natural World **6.0-8.0
Perspectives in Diversity **3.0-4.0
Understanding Society & Human Behavior **6.0-8.0
Language Requirement ***8.0
Philosophy Major Requirements - All Concentrations
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
LING 101Introduction to Linguistics3.0
PHIL 105Critical Reasoning3.0
PHIL 110Introduction to Philosophy3.0
PHIL 201Non-Western Philosophies3.0
PHIL 211Metaphysics: Philosophy of Reality3.0
PHIL 221Epistemology: Philosophy of Knowledge3.0
PHIL 251Ethics3.0
PHIL 481 [WI] Seminar in a Philosophical School3.0
or PHIL 485 Seminar in a Major Philosopher
PHIL 485 [WI] Seminar in a Major Philosopher3.0
or PHIL 481 Seminar in a Philosophical School
PHIL 481 [WI] Seminar in a Philosophical School3.0
or PHIL 485 Seminar in a Major Philosopher
WRIT 211Advanced Composition3.0
Applied Ethics Elective3.0
Select one of the following:
Business Ethics
Ethics and the Media
Ethics and Information Technology
Engineering Ethics
Ethics and Design Professions
Biomedical Ethics
Organizational Ethics
Ethics in Sports Management
Criminal Justice Ethics
Global Ethical Issues
Environmental Ethics
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option6.0
Thesis Option:
Senior Essay I: Research & Thesis Development
Senior Essay II: Argument Construction
Non-Thesis Option:
Any two PHIL courses (PHIL 341 and higher)
Free Electives60.0
Concentration Option21.0
General Philosophy Concentration:
Symbolic Logic I
Aesthetics: Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Mathematics
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Select one of the following courses:
Symbolic Logic II
Business Ethics
Ethics and the Media
Ethics and Information Technology
Engineering Ethics
Ethics and Design Professions
Biomedical Ethics
Organizational Ethics
Ethics in Sports Management
Criminal Justice Ethics
Global Ethical Issues
Environmental Ethics
Select two of the following courses:
Environmental Philosophy
Philosophy of Technology
Philosophy of Medicine
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy in Literature
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy & Law Concentration:
Symbolic Logic I
Symbolic Logic II
Social & Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Religion
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Select one of the following courses:
Business Ethics
Ethics and the Media
Ethics and Information Technology
Engineering Ethics
Ethics and Design Professions
Biomedical Ethics
Organizational Ethics
Ethics in Sports Management
Criminal Justice Ethics
Global Ethical Issues
Environmental Ethics
Ethical Theory & Practice Concentration:
Aesthetics: Philosophy of Art
Social & Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Religion
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Select one of the following courses:
Business Ethics
Ethics and the Media
Ethics and Information Technology
Engineering Ethics
Ethics and Design Professions
Biomedical Ethics
Organizational Ethics
Ethics in Sports Management
Criminal Justice Ethics
Global Ethical Issues
Environmental Ethics
Philosophy, Technology & Science Concentration:
Symbolic Logic I
Symbolic Logic II
Philosophy of Mathematics
Aesthetics: Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Technology
Philosophy of Science
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Major Philosopher
Seminar in a Philosophical School
Total Credits180.0-191.0
*

Students not participating in co-op will take one additional credit of free elective instead of COOP 101.

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

**

See Core Curriculum List for complete list of course options.

***

Students are required to take a minimum of two consecutive courses in a foreign language and must complete at least through the 103 level. Reaching at least the 201 level is recommended for students considering graduate school in Philosophy.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study

NOTE: The plan of study below is one way to complete the General Concentration in Philosophy. Students should consult with their academic advisor in choosing the concentration that best suits their interests, goals, and career plans.

4 year, no co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0CIVC 1011.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0VACATION
PHIL 1053.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0PHIL 2513.0 
PHIL 1103.0PHIL 2013.0Concentration Course3.0 
UNIV H1011.0Concentration Course3.0Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0 
Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Language elective*4.0 
 Language elective*4.0  
 13-14 17-18 16-17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 2113.0PHIL 2213.0COM 2303.0VACATION
Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0PHIL 481 or 4853.0LING 1013.0 
Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0PHIL 485 or 4813.0 
Free elective3.0Free elective3.0Free elective3.0 
Perspectives in Diversity3.0-4.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0 
 15-18 15-17 15-16 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 481 or 4853.0PHIL 485 or 4813.0Applied Ethics elective3.0VACATION
WRIT 2113.0Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0 
Concentration Course3.0Free electives9.0Free electives9.0 
Free electives6.0   
 15 15-16 15-16 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
UNIV H2011.0PHIL 497 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0PHIL 498 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0 
Concentration Course3.0Free electives9.0Free electives10.0 
Free electives9.0Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0  
Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0   
 16 15 13 
Total Credits 180-191
*

Students must complete two consecutive courses in a foreign language and must reach the 103 level.

4 year, 1 co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0CIVC 1011.0COOP 101**1.0VACATION
PHIL 1053.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
PHIL 1103.0PHIL 2013.0PHIL 2513.0 
UNIV H1011.0Concentration Course3.0Concentration Course3.0 
Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0 
 Language elective*4.0Language elective*4.0 
 13-14 17-18 17-18 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 2113.0PHIL 2213.0COM 2303.0Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0
Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0PHIL 481 or 4853.0LING 1013.0Free electives9.0
Applied Ethics elective3.0Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0PHIL 485 or 4813.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0
Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0Free elective3.0Free electives6.0 
Perspectives in Diversity3.0-4.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0  
 15-18 15-17 15 15-17
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 481 or 4853.0PHIL 485 or 4813.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
WRIT 2113.0Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0  
Concentration Course3.0Free electives9.0  
Free electives6.0   
 15 15-16 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
UNIV H2011.0PHIL 497 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0PHIL 498 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0 
Concentration Course3.0Free electives9.0Free electives9.0 
Free electives9.0Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0  
Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0   
 16 15 12 
Total Credits 180-191
*

Students must complete two consecutive courses in a foreign language and must reach the 103 level.

**

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

5 year, 3 co-op

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ENGL 101 or 1113.0CIVC 1011.0COOP 101**1.0VACATION
PHIL 1053.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
PHIL 1103.0PHIL 2013.0PHIL 2513.0 
UNIV H1011.0Concentration Course3.0Concentration Course3.0 
Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Developing Quantitative Reasoning3.0-4.0Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0 
 Language elective*4.0Language elective*4.0 
 13-14 17-18 17-18 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 2113.0PHIL 2213.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0PHIL 481 or 4853.0  
Applied Ethics elective3.0Analyzing Cultures & Histories3.0-4.0  
Engaging the Natural World3.0-4.0Free elective3.0  
Perspectives in Diversity3.0-4.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0  
 15-18 15-17 0 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 4853.0PHIL 485 or 4813.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
WRIT 2113.0Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0  
Concentration Course3.0Free electives9.0  
Free electives6.0   
 15 15-16 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PHIL 481 or 4853.0Concentration Course3.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Free electives9.0Free electives9.0  
Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0Philosophy elective (PHIL 341-391)3.0  
 15 15 0 0
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
COM 2303.0PHIL 497 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0LING 1013.0 
UNIV H2011.0Free electives6.0PHIL 498 (Or Non-Thesis Option)3.0 
Cultivating Global Competence3.0-4.0Understanding Society & Human Behavior3.0-4.0Free electives9.0 
Free electives9.0   
 16-17 12-13 15 
Total Credits 180-191
*

Students must complete two consecutive courses in a foreign language and must reach the 103 level.

**

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Opportunities

No major prepares students for success in as wide a variety of careers as philosophy. Because philosophical work helps students develop superior reasoning, communication, and analytical skills, a philosophy major can be an ideal choice for pre-med or pre-law students. It is also particularly valuable as a preparation for graduate study in philosophy and fields related to it, such as critical media studies, public policy, education, and science, technology, and society (STS). The Drexel Philosophy major is an excellent preparation for success in any field of endeavor that values thoughtful reflection, logical thinking, and clear communication. Philosophy majors graduate into a wide range of successful careers in business, industry, law, government, education, and service organizations and agencies, as well as many fields of graduate study and research.

In just its first five years, the Drexel Philosophy BA program graduated students into careers including teaching, the law, public policy, and academic research.

Co-op Experiences

Philosophy students at Drexel are encouraged to seek out interesting co-op opportunities related to the skills and interests they are developing through their philosophical studies and potential career options they would like to explore. These can be as broad as the difference between an ethics-related co-op that has the student shadowing an ethicist working for a hospital’s board of institutional review, to a student who is interested in aesthetics and politics working with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in liaison with community groups. Students in philosophy who are pre-law frequently pursue law-related co-ops and co-ops at public and private agencies and organizations that employ lawyers and law students. Students in philosophy who are thinking about careers in academia have the full gamut of writing, editing, and publishing co-ops available to them, as well as research-related co-ops they can develop by working with professors. While academically oriented co-ops and co-ops in the humanities generally pay less than those in the sciences, business, law, and engineering—if they pay at all—they are still enormously valuable as a way for students to develop a sense of what various careers might actually be like and how they work.

Additional Information

For detailed information on co-op and career opportunities, visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center webpage. For further information about co-op and career prospects related to Philosophy, contact the Drexel Philosophy program director:

Dr. Peter Amato
Director of Programs in Philosophy

Department of English & Philosophy
MacAlister 5030
215-895-1353
peterama@drexel.edu

Philosophy Faculty

Stacey Ake, PhD (Pennsylvania State University). Teaching Professor. Ethics, semiotics, existentialism
Peter Amato, PhD (Fordham University) Director, Philosophy. Teaching Professor. Ethics, Marxism, Continental philosophy.
Jacques N. Catudal, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Ancient philosophy, epistemology, aesthetics.
Nathan Hanna, PhD (Syracuse University). Associate Professor. Ethics, philosophy of law, philosophy of punishment
Adam Knowles, PhD (The New School for Social Research). Associate Teaching Professor. Continental philosophy, phenomenology, Heidegger
Carol Mele, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Ethical Theory, social and political philosophy, Rawls.
Flavia Padovani, PhD (University of Geneva). Associate Professor. History and philosophy of science, epistemology, logic.
Marilyn Piety, PhD (McGill University). Professor. History of philosophy, philosophy of religion, Kierkegaard.
Andrew Smith, PhD (SUNY, Stony Brook). Associate Professor. Philosophy, social and political philosophy, American philosophy.
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