Philosophy Department


The Honors Program in Philosophy

The Honors Program in Philosophy is available to Philosophy majors who have a high degree of commitment to advanced philosophical study and the motivation to sustain their participation in the program.  All questions about the Philosophy Honors Program should be directed to the Chair of the Department.

 Honors Program Requirements and Schedule

  1. To be considered for acceptance into the Honors Program, the student must have an average of a 3.30 or better in courses counting towards the major.
  2. By the end of the Spring semester of the candidate’s junior year, the student should have: 1) informed the Department Chair of her/his candidacy to the Honor’s Program, and 2) registered a one unit independent study with a faculty member in the Department who has agreed to serve as the Honors Advisor.
  3. No later than the third week of September in the candidate’s senior year, he or she will submit a prospectus to each member of the Philosophy department.  This prospectus will be the focus of a conversation with the Philosophy department members.  The successful outcome of this conversation will be admission as a candidate in the Honor’s Program.  The prospectus should be no longer than 3 pages and should include:  a statement of the question the student is seeking to address, the course of study the student plans to pursue, and a bibliography.  (If, after the admission to the Honor’s Program, the student’s topic or course of study substantially changes, he or she may be asked to submit a new prospectus for approval by the Department.)
  4. During the spring semester of the candidate’s senior year, he or she will register for a half-unit independent study with a faculty member in the philosophy department.  The purpose of this is for the candidate to continue discussion and receive guidance while writing the Honor’s Thesis.
  5. During or before the first week of April, the candidate will make an oral presentation to fellow Philosophy majors and minors and to Philosophy Department faculty (and to other students and faculty the student elects to invite) on the topic of the Honors Thesis.
  6. The completed Honor’s Thesis should be submitted to each member of the Philosophy Department no later than the second week of April.  The Honors Thesis should be a substantial paper (25-50 pages) that reflects the candidate’s considerable familiarity with the literature relevant to their topic, provides a clear statement and defense of the candidate’s own position on the topic, and demonstrates the candidate’s ability to understand and evaluate different positions others have taken on the topic.
  7. The candidate will meet with the Philosophy Department faculty members to discuss and evaluate the completed Honor’s Thesis.  On the basis of the Thesis and this conversation, the Department will either award “Honors” to the project or will not.  (The Philosophy Department does not grant varying degrees of honors.)

Fall 2008