Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the contact person for undergraduate questions and concerns?

The Director of Undergraduate Studies is Ursula Goldenbaum. She is best reached via e-mail, although you may also call her in her office at 404-712-1191 (301 Bowden Hall).

For forms, signatures, and other general information, please see the Undergraduate Administrative Assistant: Debbie Miller, 404-727-9687 (214 Bowden Hall).

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How can I choose my advisor?

As a major you can choose your advisor among the faculty of the department. You may contact the professor you would prefer and ask her/him. You can find the email address here: http://philosophy.emory.edu/home/people/faculty/index.html. You may also contact the DUS Prof. Goldenbaum for advice (ugolden@emory.edu).

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To whom can I talk when struggling with a grade?

You should talk to the DUS, Prof. Goldenbaum.

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Who can help me if I want to study abroad?

You can contact the DUS Prof. Goldenbaum or directly check with the Office of International and Summer Programs (OISP).

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How can I learn which courses abroad will satisfy my requirements for a philosophy major or minor?

Ask the DUS Prof. Goldenbaum.

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Who can be asked if I need a recommendation letter for applications?

You can ask every professor of the department.

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How do I find out if I am eligible for the Honors program in Philosophy?

Honors at Emory is a senior year program open to those students with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of their junior year. Eligible students are contacted by the Director of Undergraduate studies during the summer before their senior year, at which time they must decide whether they want to enroll in the program. Further details available from the DUS.

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What are the requirements for Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honor Society?

Phi Sigma Tau, Beta Chapter of Georgia, requires of all candidates for admission:

  1. five courses in Philosophy taken at Emory;
  2. a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all philosophy courses taken at Emory;
  3. a minimum overall GPA of 3.2.

Eligible students are contacted by the Faculty sponsor of Phi Sigma Tau, Beta Chapter of Georgia, in March or early April of each year. The induction ceremony is held in the Philosophy Department during the last week of classes in the Spring.

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How do I get Emory equivalencies for Philosophy courses taken on study abroad?

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies once you know which course(s) you will be taking, sending a description and/or syllabus for each course. The DUS will then determine the Emory equivalent course/credit, and inform the Study Abroad office to this effect.

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How do I get a letter of reference or recommendation?

Ask a professor who knows you and knows your work if she or he would be willing to write for you. Be respectful of the professor’s time by giving him/her plenty of notice before the letter is due. Be clear about the format and deadline for each letter. Finally, sign the waiver of access at the top of each form before you give it to your recommender. Those who read the letter will be more likely to take it seriously if they know it is truly confidential, and no one wants to waste their time writing a letter that won’t be taken seriously!

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What if I have a problem with a grade I've received in a course?

Take this up with the professor who taught the course. Except under a few very rare circumstances (such as a violation of the Honor Code), not even the President of the University can change a grade.

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What awards does the Philosophy Department have for undergraduates?

Two:

  1. the Paul Kuntz Award, given annually to the outstanding graduating senior in Philosophy;
  2. the Charles Hartshorne Prize, awarded annually to the outstanding essay submitted in an undergraduate Philosophy course at Emory (most entries are by nomination of professor; self-nominations are also welcome – watch for announcement in the Spring).

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What activities does the Philosophy Department have for undergraduates?

The William F. Edwards Undergraduate Lecture, established in 1988, is dedicated to our undergraduates and delivered every Fall by a well-known philosopher and distinguished teacher of philosophy. There is a reception afterwards with free food.

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