Majoring in Philosophy at URI
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
- Philosophy is concerned with teaching you the methodology of clear
and logical thinking. In addition, it deals with ultimate questions of
human existence, such as the nature of morality, the purpose of human life,
the place of humans in the universe, the problem of evil, the nature of
scientific theorizing, and other, similar problems. By taking various courses
in systematic philosophy and in the history of philosophy, students will
encounter various options on how these questions have been answered, and
are invited to do their own critical thinking about them.
- Students who have shown ability for philosophical thinking by doing
well in a course not having prerequisites are admitted to the program upon
transfer from University College.
- Students selecting this field must complete no less than 33 credits
(maximum 45 credits) in philosophy. Students must take: (1) 205; (2) at
least one of 101 or 451 (logic); (3) at least one of 212, 314 (ethics);
(4) at least one of 341, 342, 452 (metaphysics, epistemology and science);
(5) both 321 and 323 (history); (6) at least one of 204, 318, 324, 346
(European philosophy); and (7) 490 (senior seminar). The remaining nine
credits may be chosen freely from the list of PHL courses offered by the
department. Further, at least 18 credits of course work used to satisfy
major requirements must be at the 300 level or above.
In addition to meeting with your advisor, you may download a worksheet that will help you organize your program.
To declare a major in philosophy, students in University College need to download a
Transfer to the College of Arts & Sciences (a Degree-Granting College) form.
To change majors, students will need to download and fill out a Change of Major form.
Before graduation, students will be required to download and fill out an Undergraduate File for Degree form.
- There are no formal program options within the philosophy major. However,
students may, in consultation with their advisors, informally choose a
specialization. Possible specializations are applied and theoretical ethics,
law and public policy, logic and epistemology, social philosophy, aesthetics
and environmental philosophy, the philosophy of science, philosophy of
mind, and the history of philosophy. In addition to directed studies courses
directed around students' areas of special interest, the Philosophy Department
currently offers a variety of service learning opportunities in the form
of internships. These include participation in the "Pre-trial Project"
at the Women's Adult Correctional Facility where students serve as liaisons
between inmates and the public defender's office, training in the Rhode
Island Ethics Commission Office in conjunction with the White Center for
Ethics and Public Service, and shadowing administrators in both public
and private institutions though our Administration Internship Program.
- A B.A. in philosophy is a liberal arts degree; it is, therefore, not
a preparation for any one career. However, the study of philosophy, either
by majoring in the field or by taking courses in it, is an excellent preparation
for any career in which logical thinking, an ability to organize and present
complex information, and the faculty to assemble reasons that back up solutions
proposed are desirable. Examples of such careers are teaching, law, public
administration, religious ministries, counseling, and related health services.
- URI's undergraduate program in philosophy provides excellent preparation
for M.A. programs and Ph.D. programs in philosophy. These programs are,
however, to a much larger extent career oriented than the B.A. program.
For this reason, students contemplating entering an M.A. program or a Ph.D.
program in philosophy should clearly be aware of the fact that university
professorships in philosophy are very limited.
For More Information, Contact Us
of Rhode Island
Chafee Social Science Center
- Phone: 401-874-2207
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